A GFCI outlet is designed to reset. This is one feature that allows it to safely provide your home with electricity. Although in a variety of cases this type of outlet may stop working correctly. If your GFCI won’t reset or you find the GFCI outlet not working, you may be wondering what to do. To help you keep your house safe, we have created an outline of various types of issues with GFCI outlets and ways to respond.
How to Troubleshoot a GFCI Outlet That Won’t Reset
If your GFCI outlet is not resetting, the first step is to troubleshoot it. This will help you understand the issue and determine its severity.
1.) Try to Figure Out Why
To begin troubleshooting, you should identify the source of the problem. Your goal is to determine whether the issue lies with the outlet or the circuit. First, start by checking other outlets in the room. If you already have things plugged in, turn them on and see if they run, or plug in something to see. While you do this, check other rooms as well.
If everything else is working, the problem is likely related to that specific GFCI outlet in your house. If there are problems elsewhere, you are looking at a more prominent issue requiring electrical services from a professional electrician.
2.) Inspect the Electrical Panel for Tripped Circuits
If you are dealing with a circuit issue, you will need to go to your circuit breakers. Find the main electrical panel in your home and head there. Inside the panel, you will find the circuit breakers. Look for any that are tripped. These will be facing a different direction than the other circuits. If any are tripped, flip them back to normal. Next, recheck the outlet.
Sometimes, checking the outlet may cause the circuit to trip again. This occurs because the circuit cannot handle the amount of electricity demanded from it. This could be due to having too many appliances plugged into one outlet or because the circuit is outdated and unable to handle modern appliances. If you are having problems with the electrical panel itself, it may be time for an electrical panel replacement in your home.
3.) Assess the Severity of the Issue
At this point, you can start to get an idea of how serious the issue is. Run a the following tests below to assess the severity of the issue:
- Push the reset button again, making sure that it goes in all the way. It may be defective if you push it hard enough and it still doesn’t work.
- If the button pops as soon as something plugged into it is turned on, there could be a wiring issue.
- If the button doesn’t stay in at all, the GFCI outlet may have a ground fault.
- If the button pops but still provides power to whatever is plugged into it, the issue is probably with the line and load.
In any of these cases, the problem is serious. You will likely have to call an electrician to have them fix the issue.
4.) Look for Bad Connections
The GFCI outlet in your home may not be working properly due to a bad connection. Poor connections are difficult to see, as they are hidden in the walls. However, with some work, you can test the issue.
Before you test the issue, make sure to turn off the main circuit breaker, as you don’t want any risk of electrical shock. Next, you can gently tug on a few wires. If one of them comes loose, you are dealing with a bad connection. If this is the case, professional electrical wiring replacement may be necessary.
5.) Call a Professional Electrician
The best way to examine the problem when your GFCI outlet won’t reset is to call a professional electrician. They have the tools and experience necessary to diagnose and fix the issue.
In many cases, seeking professional assistance is necessary. Dealing with a serious electrical problem on your own is dangerous, and mistakes can put your home at risk. It is always advised to rely on a licensed electrician for such issues.
Advantages of Installing GFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets are standard in most homes. This is because they provide unparalleled advantages that help keep you and your home safe.
The biggest thing to worry about regarding outlets is electric shocks. GFCI outlets deal with this issue directly. They have systems in place that detect the overloads that come with shocks. If they detect this, they cut the power the outlet is currently providing, which should immediately put a stop to any potential shocks.
GFCI outlets don’t only turn off when there is a risk of electrical shock but also in situations that could potentially cause fires. They have built-in safeguards that protect against electrical leaks that may lead to fires. Therefore, they can prevent fires from occurring before they even start.
Prevent Damage to Electronics and Appliances
An electrical leak in an outlet with electronics or appliances plugged into it can damage those electronics or appliances. However, a GFCI outlet will cut power when this happens. This prevents damage to your television, smartphone, computer, washing machine, dryer, oven, and other appliances.
All of these benefits also come with the benefit of automatic monitoring. The GFCI outlet handles all of this detecting and sensing automatically and shuts off automatically too. This means you have to do less and worry less.
When there is an issue with a GFCI outlet, it will give you a clear indication that a problem exists. The button on the outlet will switch off, and some outlets may even have an indicator light. This means that with a GFCI outlet, you will spend less time trying to figure out where the problem lies.
Protection from Electrical Surges
Electrical surges may occur due to issues ranging from static electricity to lightning strikes. This can fry electronics, damage your light fixtures, and generally harm anything plugged into the outlet. The GFCI outlet prevents this damage from happening by detecting the surge and cutting power as soon as it does.
Electrical Repair and Installation Services
If your GFCI outlet won’t reset or you are experiencing any other problems with your outlets, don’t try to solve the issue on your own. Our team of local electricians offer emergency electrical services in Newton, MA and other areas. Our technicians have the expertise necessary to replace damaged power outlets in your house.
We also offer a variety of other electrical services including lighting installation, ceiling fan replacement, rewiring, and whole-house generator installation. Our electricians are prepared to offer comprehensive electrical services for any issue you have. We’ll bring our tools, knowledge, and wealth of experience to the job. With all of this, we can fix the issue to keep you and your home safe. Give our technicians a call at (508) 301-1767 to receive assistance with a damaged GFCI outlet or other electrical issues in your house.