Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are designed to protect your home from electrical faults. They do so by shutting off power if an electrical fault is detected. GFCI outlets were designed with this capability to protect homeowners from electrical shock. You can rest easy knowing this doesn’t automatically mean you need to spring for GFCI outlet replacement!
All GFCI outlets feature two buttons in the center marked by the words TEST and RESET. If an electrical fault has caused one of your GFCI outlets to trip, you may need to reset it. While resetting a tripped outlet may seem simple, it’s important to take proper precautions.
Read on for instructions on the best way to reset your GFCI outlets.
Steps to reset a GFCI outlet
Many people experience a tripped GFCI outlet while using kitchen appliances. No matter what type of appliance you were using, it’s important to unplug it before trying to reset the outlet. This will help prevent you from experiencing an electrical shock.
As mentioned above, there are two buttons located near the center of all GFCI outlets. Locate the button that reads RESET, and gently press it. If the lettering has worn off your outlet and is now indistinguishable, you’ll probably want to contact an electrician, as you may need to have the outlet replaced. GFCI outlet replacements are usually quite easy and inexpensive.
When pressing the RESET button, you should hear a click. After that, you can try plugging in your appliance again.
Why your outlets trip
There are many things that can cause an outlet to trip. For example, plugging too many appliances into one outlet could overload the power and cause a trip. An issue with the appliance itself could also cause a trip. Other common causes of a trip include contaminants inside the outlet, nearby moisture, ground faults and much more.
What if my outlet keeps tripping?
Sometimes an outlet might continue to trip even after you’ve reset it. If this occurs, you may be overloading the outlet with too many appliances. Try unplugging all your appliances; then reset the outlet again. This time, only plug in one appliance to see if this fixes the issue. If the outlet continues to trip, you’ll probably want to contact an electrician.
What if my outlet won’t reset?
When a GFCI outlet won’t reset at all, that usually means the breaker box has been tripped. Check your breaker box to see if the circuit for that particular outlet has tripped. If so, simply switch the circuit back to the correct position.
When doing any kind of electrical work, it’s best to contact a professional. Simply pressing the RESET button on your outlets is easy enough, but if this doesn’t fix the problem, don’t try to work with your home’s electrical system. Working with a reputable electrician can help prevent injury and ensure that the job gets done right the first time.
For all your electrical repair needs, including help with GFCI outlet replacement or troubleshooting, contact the experts at Eavenson Electric Co. We also offer a variety of other services, including electrical wiring, circuit breaker repair, panel upgrades and more.
Categorised in: Electrician
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