GFCI outlets, technically known as ground fault circuit interrupters, are outlets built to turn themselves off when there’s an imbalance between incoming and outgoing currents. By doing this, it protects electrical wiring from overheating and possibly catching fire. You’ll normally find GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens, places where you’ll find a higher amount of humidity. But what should you do if your GFCI outlet doesn’t reset after it’s been tripped?
The trouble with your GFCI not resetting can be assessed by what happens.
If the reset button doesn’t pop out when you press the test button, this is easy to figure out. Either the test button wasn’t pressed hard enough, the 120-volt current is not reaching the outlet, or the outlet is defective.
If the reset button won’t stay in, you may have a ground fault downstream of the GFCI, or it might be miswired. Try pressing the test button again to ensure that isn’t the trouble. With newer model GFCI’s, the line and load might be reversed, or there might not be sufficient current reaching the outlet.
If the reset button pops out and your devices work, or it pops out when you plug something in, there are a few causes to look at. Line and load might be reversed, or a downstream ground fault might be the culprit.
If the reset button is in, and nothing is working, then you likely have a miswired GFCI outlet, it might not be receiving the 120V it needs, or it may be defective.
In all cases, GFCI outlets are not to be tampered with. If you find yourself having trouble with your outlets in your bathrooms or kitchen, let us know. Netco Electric would love to help!