Plugs Not Working? Check Your GFCI Outlet
What is a GFCI outlet?
A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet is an electrical device that is designed to shut off power when it detects current flow through an unintended path such as a person or water. They are used to reduce the risk of electrical shock and electrical fires. GFCI’s are required by the NEC electrical code to be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, exterior locations and near any sink with running water. Some GFCI outlets are made with an indicator light that informs you if the power is on or off.
How To Troubleshoot GFCI And “GFCI Protected” Outlets
I have gone on several repair service calls to homes where the outlets located in the kitchens or bathrooms have stopped working out of the blue. In all cases, the homes were either newer or older, but well maintained and had properly installed electrical systems. But these GFCI outlets were tripped by an accidental overload or the “test” button was hit. If this happens to you, here’s how to troubleshoot your GFCI and “GFCI Protected” outlets.
- Go to the main electrical panel and ensure that all the circuit breakers are in the “on” position and that none have tripped off. If a circuit breaker has tripped, reset it to the “on” position. If the circuit breaker immediately trips again you have a problem that requires the attention of a licensed electrician. If there are no tripped circuit breakers, move on to the next step.
- If the dead outlets are located in the kitchen, bathroom, garage or outside, go to each GFCI outlet and press the “reset” button until it clicks. If you do not see any GFCI outlets to reset, the regular duplex-style outlets may be “GFCI Protected”. Many home builders will install the GFCI outlet in the garage or in an adjacent room to protect the other outlets. They do this to save a couple of dollars, but you will need to go check all the GFCI outlets you can find in your house to ensure that they are on and have not tripped.
If you take these steps, you could save yourself some money by fixing the power outage yourself. Although, if you have gone through these simple troubleshooting steps yourself and the problem still exists, you may have a more complicated problem in your electrical circuit. Call Fehn Electric today at (831)998-1746 and I will repair the trouble quickly and at a great price. Our average residential repair invoice is 207.00 and we do same day appointments.
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