A GFCI outlet has the super important responsibility to keep your home free of electrical mishaps. Occurrences such as sudden voltage rise, voltage fluctuation and so on are covered by one good gfci outlet.
But what would you do when the gfci outlet is not resetting? Do you have to get a new one, or there are quick hacks and steps to troubleshoot?
Well, we have a few good news for you. If you're suffering from a gfci not working or resetting, go through the 4 solutions we've mentioned in this article, along with a basic discussion of each of them.
Table of Contents
Getting to Know The Functions of A GFCI Outlet
As we are talking about a technical problem that can take place in a GRFCI outlet, it's imperative that we are well aware of how it works and what it's functionalities are.
Therefore, we've noted down descriptive details on three of the major functions of a GFCi outlet- the test, the reset button, and the LED light.
We will enlighten you on three of these-
The test button is there for you to check whether everything with the circuitry is okay or not. If the electric circuit connected to the gfci outlet can receive electricity in the right manner, this button will be the indicator of that.
Another job of the test function is to make sure that the outlet powers are shut off, and the outlet is plugged in.
Next, to the test, you will find a reset button and it has it's functionalities as well.
Right after the gfci outlet shuts off the power due to some sort of problem. By resetting the outlet, it will be able to get into its regular tasks over again. But there is something important that you need to know.
In case the electrical problem(that caused the shut off) is still there, the reset button won't work. And in case you don't solve the issue from the root, the reset button won't work. And that's what we are talking about throughout this article.
The LED Light
The third component of the outlet is the LED indicator light. It will show you messages by changing the color of it. As an example, if there is an issue detection in the circuit, it will change it's color or turn on from turned off stage.
To understand what light or state of the led means what, you have to go through the manual provided with your outlet. For different models, the way of providing the message through LED can be different.
4 Things to Do While GFCI Outlet Is Not Resetting
A while back, we were saying that sometimes, the reset button of your gfci outlet won't work. That means, no matter how many times you press the reset button, it' won't reset and get back to its regular work.
So what you would do and how would you deal with the situation?
Here go the four possible solutions to the problem-
Reset the Circuit Breaker First
If there is an issue with the circuit breaker due or voltage rise or so, it will cut off. And with a cut off the circuit breaker, a gfci outlet is not supposed to work anyway.
So, find the label of your circuit breaker box and test whether the wire inside the circuit breaker is cut off or not. In case you can not visually identify the point of damage, there are spotters available in the market to do the job for you.
Now, there can be multiple circuit breakers, as each of the rooms has got one. And there will be a parent circuit breaker as well. We don't know which one is the possibly damaged one. So, you've to go through a thorough check on all of them and find the right one.
Most of the time, the circuit breaker will be reset just by replacing the wire inside it. Make sure that the new wire is made of the same material and as thick as the previous one. Otherwise, it will be unable to deliver the proper voltage and current.
In case the gfci outlet is not working yet, move on to the next troubleshooting, which is about unplugging appliances.
Try Looking for Other Outlets on the Circuit
A GFCI outlet is connected to the circuitry of the home, and there are all other circuits and outlets are connected as well. Sometimes., the reason behind gfci outlet not resetting is the issues in the other outlets.
Before checking up the other outlets of the circuit, keep in mind that that are two sides of an electric outlet- the load side and the line side The load side is the side where the power propagates, and the line side is the one from where the power comes from.
Electric switches and outlets are connected to each other using chains. In some cases, that chain can be a major suspect of the issue we are talking about.
In case you are okay to test the circuit and the outlets manually, you should rather go for a circuit tester device. It's an outlet plug that helps you to check our the input electricity and output electricity of any outlet and let you know the health condition of the outlet.
Check for The Wiring Faults
One of the most likely places of an electrical faile is the wire. In case you have got not so strong electric wires, or you'd been unlucky enough to have a voltage rise and burn off the cable, you have no other way than replacing it right away.
In case there is a misplaced or loosen up wire instead of a burnt one, you don't have to take the hassle of replacing it with a new. It's quite a DIY process actually.
Try Unplugging Any Appliances
Sometimes, plugs from other devices that are connected to the gfci outlet can be the simple but impactful reason behind a gfci outlet reset failure.
To detect that right away, you need to unplug the chord from every device and check for which one of the gfci outlets is not working. If it's a usual device from your home, you need to take actions and replay it or at least repair.
The GFCI Outlet is Out of Order
GFCI outlets are not immortal. In fact, nothing is. So, after a certain period of service, it will lose it's usability. And there would be no way other than replacing it right away.
Most of the gfci outlets last for 15+ years, and some of them goes for even 20 years or more. So, there is no chance that your gfci outlet will be out of order back to back.
However, if your outlet is old enough, you better go for checking the functions of the outlet and replace it if necessary.
FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions)
Question: Can I detect damages in the circuit to solve the issue?
Answer: Yeah. checking the circuit breakers for damage is a part of the overall troubleshooting process of the problem.
Question: How long does a gfci outlet last in usual?
Answer: Most of the best quality gfci outlets last for at least 15 years.
Question: Does a gfci outlet protect us from voltage raises and thunders?
Answer: Of course it does. Both voltage fluctuation and Thunder-driven damages are meant to be naturalized by it.
If your gfci outlet is a regular household one, one of these tips should work pretty fine to come over the issue. In case you need to buy a new gfci outlet anyway, don't compromise with the best quality.