RCA TV Won’t Turn On: Try These Fixes First

By SmartHomeBit Staff •  Updated: 09/23/22 •  7 min read


1. Power Cycle Your RCA TV

When you turn your RCA TV “off,” it isn’t truly off.

Instead, it enters a low-powered “standby” mode that allows it to start up quickly.

If something goes wrong, your TV can get stuck in standby mode.

Power cycling is a fairly common troubleshooting method that can be used on most devices.

It can help fix your RCA TV because after continuously using your TV the internal memory (cache) may be overloaded.

Power cycling will clear this memory and allow your TV to run like it’s brand new.

To wake it up, you’ll have to perform a hard reboot of the TV.

Unplug it from the wall outlet and wait for 30 seconds.

This will give time to clear the cache and allow any residual power to drain from the TV.

Then plug it back in and try to turn it on again.


2. Replace the Batteries in Your Remote

If power cycling didn’t work, your remote is the next potential culprit.

Open the battery compartment and ensure that the batteries are fully seated.

Then try pressing the power button again.

If nothing happens, replace the batteries, and try the power button once more.

Hopefully, your TV will turn on.


3. Turn Your RCA TV on Using the Power Button

RCA remotes are pretty durable.

But even the most reliable remotes can break, after prolonged usage.

Walk up to your TV and press and hold the power button on the back or side.

It should power on in a couple of seconds.

If it doesn’t, you’ll need to dig a bit deeper.

Why Won’t My RCA TV Turn On & How to Fix

4. Check Your RCA TV’s Cables

The next thing you need to do is check your cables.

Inspect both your HDMI cable and your power cable, and make sure they’re in good condition.

You’ll need a new one if there are any horrendous kinks or missing insulation.

Unplug the cables and plug them back in so you know they’re properly inserted.

Try swapping in a spare cable if that doesn’t fix your problem.

The damage to your cable could be invisible.

In that case, you’d only discover the damage by using a different one.

Many RCA TV models come with a non-polarized power cord, which can malfunction in standard polarized outlets.

Look at your plug prongs and see if they’re the same size.

If they’re identical, you have a non-polarized cord.

You can order a polarized cord for around 10 dollars, and it should solve your problem.


5. Double Check Your Input Source

Another common mistake is using the wrong input source.

First, double-check where you’ve plugged in your device.

Note which HDMI port it’s connected to (HDMI1, HDMI2, etc.).

Next press your remote’s Input button.

If the TV is on, it will switch input sources.

Set it to the correct source, and you’ll be squared away.


6. Test Your Outlet

So far, you’ve tested many features of your TV.

But what if there’s nothing wrong with your television? Your power outlet may have failed.

Unplug your TV from the outlet, and plug in a device that you know is working.

A cell phone charger will work for this.

Connect your phone to the charger, and see if it draws any current.

If it doesn’t, your outlet isn’t delivering any power.

In most cases, outlets stop working because you’ve tripped a circuit breaker.

Check your breaker box, and see if any breakers have tripped.

If one has, reset it.

But keep in mind that circuit breakers trip for a reason.

You’ve probably overloaded the circuit, so you may need to move some devices around.

If the breaker is intact, there’s a more serious problem with your home’s wiring.

At this point, you should call an electrician and have them diagnose the problem.

In the meantime, you can use an extension cord to plug your TV into a working power outlet.


7. Check Your RCA TV’s Power Indicator Light

Your TV’s power light serves as an indicator of its current status.

A light that doesn’t turn on when you’ve plugged in the TV means your power supply is broken.


Red Light on

A solid red light means your main board has failed.

In most cases, you’ll need to replace it.

However, you may be able to clear the issue by performing the following steps:


Red Light Flashing

A steady blinking red light means that you need a replacement lamp.

A light that flashes in five-blink bursts means that the lamp housing is improperly closed.


Blue Light Flashing

A flashing blue light means that the power supply board is not responding to the main board.

You can try fixing this using the same steps as for a red light.

But in most cases, there’s an electrical issue somewhere in the power supply.

This requires extensive diagnosis, and it’s probably more than you want to take on.


8. Factory Reset Your RCA TV

To factory reset your TV, press and hold the menu button for a minimum of 10 seconds.

A menu will pop up confirming that the TV has reset.

Then, you’ll have to go through the initial setup process.


9. Contact RCA Support and File a Warranty Claim

Storms, power surges, and other power supply issues can permanently damage your TV’s internal circuitry.

In that case, you may have no alternative to filing a warranty claim.

You can call them at (800) 968-9853, or email them at: support@curtiscs.com.

RCA warranties all their TVs for two years from the date of purchase.

Depending on where you bought your TV, you may be able to return it for a full refund.

If not, you’ll need to find a local repair shop that works on RCA TVs.


In Summary

As you can see, there are many ways to repair a broken RCA TV.

We recommend working through the steps in order since the earlier solutions are far more simple, but even in the worst-case scenario, at least one of these methods should work.


Frequently Asked Questions


Where is the reset button on RCA TVs?

There is no reset button on RCA TVs.

However, you can still reset your TV by holding the Menu button down for 10 seconds.


How do I manually turn on my RCA TV?

Use the physical power button on the housing.


Where do I find my RCA model number?

On the back of your TV, there will be either a sticker or an engraved plate.

It will display not only your model number but also your TV’s serial number.

In some cases, you can also find this information on the box.

SmartHomeBit Staff