Asbury Electric Power Tip

What to Do When Your GFCI Won’t Reset

Published by Asbury Electric

For many people, a GFCI is simply the outlet with the buttons in the bathroom or kitchen. Often, we have no reason to think about or touch controls on a GFCI until something happens. Suddenly, everything plugged into your outlet isn’t turning on. At this point, you probably know that all you need to do is press the reset button to get things working again.

However, sometimes that isn’t enough. You can press the reset button all you want, but the connection remains cut, and your appliances don’t have power. That’s a problem. This article covers everything you need to know when your GFCI won’t reset in your home in Gloucester, VA.

Try Resetting the Outlet

First, it’s important to understand why your GFCI tripped. The purpose of a GFCI is to interrupt the flow of electricity when it senses a ground fault, which could otherwise shock you. When your GFCI trips like this, there is something wrong with how electricity flows to the outlet.

If you can’t manage to reset the outlet, this could be because there is something wrong with the GFCI, the outlet itself is faulty, or a deeper issue that needs resolving.

Press the reset button to see if it pops back out. If it doesn’t pop out but still doesn’t work, the GFCI is most likely dead. If it pops out as it should, plug an appliance into the GFCI and see if you can turn it on. You shouldn’t be able to. If the appliance works anyway, consider replacing the GFCI because something is wrong.

Check for Other Dead Outlets

The next thing to do is check around the room for other dead outlets. These could indicate a deeper issue (probably a blown fuse or tripped circuit). Or, those dead outlets could be located on the same circuit as your GFCI outlet installation. If they’re on the same circuit and downstream from your GFCI, they won’t have access to power until the GFCI gets reset. 

Without knowing how your home is wired, you might not be able to tell the difference, so the best option is to test voltage. If the outlet with your GFCI outlet installation is dead, replace the outlet. 

Test the lights in nearby rooms by flipping them on and off, or use a volt tester to verify that power is running to nearby outlets. That step helps determine whether whatever is affecting your GFCI is impacting other spaces in your home. For the health of your appliances, unplug any appliances currently plugged into dead outlets.

Evaluate Your Electrical Panel

After checking your outlets, the next stop is your electrical panel. Older homes are likely to have fuses, and newer homes will probably have a circuit breaker. If you’re dealing with a blown fuse, the problem should be relatively obvious. The fuse in question will appear scorched or contain a broken filament, similar to a burnt-out light bulb. 

A circuit breaker will make the problem even more obvious. If the circuit containing your GFCI outlet installation has tripped, it will be in the “off” position. All you need to do is switch it back on. Go back to your GFCI and see if you can successfully reset it. In this case, it’s possible whatever appliance you had plugged in overloaded the circuit, so you may want to consider plugging in a different device for testing.

Consider Other Potential Problems

If nothing else works, there could be a deeper issue that requires a more hands-on approach. You might be dealing with loose connections, loose terminal screws, or scorched wiring in or around the outlet. 

Because electrical components like these require advanced knowledge and skills to address properly, we don’t recommend dealing with them on your own. Instead, it may be time to call a professional in Gloucester, VA.

Call an Electrician

If there is something wrong with your GFCI outlet installation and no amount of troubleshooting seems to help, you should consult with a professional in Gloucester, VA. Or, if you’ve located the problem and it requires replacing live or hot components, you should call an electrician for your safety. Electricity is as dangerous as it is useful. You could get hurt trying to come up with a DIY solution without the proper training.

Best Electrician Near Me

Asbury Electric is the go-to electrician service for the greater Hampton Roads. If you need help with your GFCI outlet installation or other electrical services in Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, or Gloucester, VA, call or contact us online.

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