The term “ground fault circuit interrupter” refers to a built-in breaker in electrical outlets that trips when a short or a ground fault is detected. Ground fault interrupters are required by the National Electrical Code in some parts of the kitchen and bathroom, as well as in some specified locations that are more susceptible to shorting out. They are highly dependable, but like any electrical wiring, there is a chance it may fail. Every GFCI outlet has a “test” and “reset” button, but GFCI outlets might not always reset, and in that case, here are some steps to help remedy the problem.
Whenever a GFCI outlet won’t reset, the most challenging thing to figure out is whether the problem is with the outlet or with the circuit. It can be difficult to identify why an outlet isn’t working, which is why it’s always best to call a certified electrician. It’s possible that the issue is limited to that single outlet, or it could be part of a bigger issue. You can do a brief sweep of the room to see if anything else is tripped or malfunctioning.
It’s time to go to the circuit breakers if there are any more outlets that don’t function or lights that won’t turn on. These are located in your main electrical panel as well as any subpanels you may have. The circuit breakers will be visible once you open the panel. If any of them are out of sequence, they’ve been tripped. Check to see whether resetting the tripped breaker fixed the problem. If this happens repeatedly, you may have an overloading issue, which implies the circuit isn’t strong enough to handle everything hooked in.
It is important to note that if the GFCI trips frequently after resetting a breaker, it could indicate a voltage leak. Since this is a potentially dangerous situation, you should immediately contact an electrician. However, you can determine the urgency of the situation by checking the following:
- If the “reset” button does not pop out, you may not have pressed it strongly enough. If you try again, and it still doesn’t operate, the GFCI may be faulty.
- It is possible that the GFCI has been wired improperly if the “reset” button pops out when you plug something in and switch it on.
- There is a ground fault downstream of the GFCI if the “reset” button doesn’t stay in.
- Almost always, when the “reset” button is popped out but the devices or appliances continue to work, there is a reversed line and load. Very rarely, there could be a defective interrupter.
This is one of the most typical causes of this problem. Sometimes circuits contain a few defective connections and now might be a good opportunity to see if your system has any. A professional electrician can investigate your wiring connections and identify which ones are causing you headaches. Contact JDP Electric Inc at 701-232-1991 if you require assistance with your outlets or GFCIs. When you plan to upgrade, our well-trained and qualified electricians have the skills and training to handle your electrical panel upgrade job from start to finish.