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GFCI Won’t Reset – How To Resolve it?


Wondering how the GFCI breaker is different from the fuse? The fuse is created to protect the circuits and electrical appliances. On the other hand, the GFCI is meant to protect humans from any possible electric shock. 

Another factor that makes GFCI circuit breakers stand apart is- it’s located within the outlet only.  This small yet effective solution saved almost hundreds of Americans from electrocution. 

The whole thing works in the change in current. Suppose, you’re using an appliance in the bathroom and accidentally drop it in the water. In such a situation, the GFCI will  detect the change in power supply. Thus, ultimately it will shut off the main power supply.  

To use the things again normally, you’ll require to reset the GFCI outlet again. And this is where you might encounter the issue, where the outlet doesn’t reset at all. 

There’s no obvious reason behind this. However, surely you can resolve the issue by diagnosing it. 

Troubleshooting Everything Including GFCI Outlets and Other Dead outlets:

Check if the other outlets are working fine or not

  • You should check whether your circuit breaker is actually not working or it’s just every other outlet of your home.
  • To do so, turn on and off the light of the room. Tackle every outlet one at a time. Also, don’t forget to use the relevant voltmeter for assurance. 
  • On finding one disconnected the device from that outlet. Make sure, you’re disconnecting it right after it to prevent any possible overloading. 
  • Make that outlet with the help of marker or a tape for easy pinpoint.

Check for the Stripped Wire or a Blown Fuse

Now, you’ll be required to work with the circuit breaker, located in the main electric panel of your house. 

On opening the main panel, there’ll be a circuit breaker or a fuse in that. Now, there are several conditions that you may encounter. 

  • If the circuit breaker is tripped- down, lift it to circulate the current again. 
  • There are chances the fuse will be in a burnt state. Fix it properly or replace it with a new fuse if necessary.

Check the GFCIs

This time, you should check all the GFCIs located throughout the house. In general, these GFCIs are installed in places where there are more chances of getting electric shocks. The reason behind this is simple: the GFCI will immediately turn off the power in that case. 

For a better search, you should look at the bathrooms, kitchens, and garden areas. They’re some of the popular areas of the house where GFCI would be a great fit. 

Now, check all the GFCIs by testing them. And then, you’ll have to reset them all. If a particular GFCI socket fails to reset, there are two possibilities in this situation.

Either the socket has turned faulty or the power supply isn’t enough. 

However, here’s something you shouldn’t ignore at all. If the GFCI is tripping down every time you’re lifting it, there might be a big issue behind the walls. This behavior of GFCI indicates there’s a continuous electric leakage in the circuitry. 

Take the help of experts immediately, and try to not switch on any appliances at that moment. 

Signs to Look at for Resolving the Issue

  • There are chances that the reset button has not popped out by pressing the test button. If this is the case with you it means, the current is not enough to reach the unit. Or simply the GFCI outlet has stopped working.
  • In some cases, the reset button will pop up on any device in the house. The most obvious reasons behind this are a downstream ground fault or a faulty GFCI connection.
  • Because of the reverse load, there can be chances the plug-in devices work even if the reset button is out. 
  • Lastly, if the reset button is all good but the device connected with it is not working? In that case, there’s something wrong with the GFCI. It either has been misplaced or has become incapable of receiving current. 

Look for the Faulty Connections

This is one of the most common reasons behind this situation. Almost every circuitry involves at least a few faulty connections in it. And this would be the best time to check whether you’re having any or not. 

Take every single wire from the connector and pull it in a way to check whether the connection is loose or not. 

Encountered with any of the loose wire?  Remove that wire from the connector and strip all the wire from ½ inch to ¾ inch to expose the fresh copper wire for establishing a connection.

Don’t just start cutting the wire by taking guesses, it should be of perfect length. For this, read the instructions on the wire connector container for the perfect stripping. 

But what if there are no loose connections in the box? Check other outlets for the same thing, a good way to start would be from your markings earlier. 

Also, don’t forget to turn off the main circuit before checking the outlet individually. 

Reinstall the Connector 

This one is the ultimate hack to get things done. Assemble all the wires present them tightly. At the same time, make sure you’re twisting the long wire ends clockwise for connecting to the new wire connector. 

At last, check whether the issue has been resolved by turning the main circuit breaker. If you’re struggling to ensure the number of wires to be connected, consider looking at the sticker on the package of the connector. 

Conclusion

We hope the above information will help you to use your GFCI outlet again, properly. In general, the most obvious reason behind the issue is, the GFCI has become faulty or it simply lacks a connection. Thus, in most cases, you’ll not require an electrician to get the things done. 

However, there are chances, the issue will stay there even after trying all the methods. Don’t hesitate to consider taking help from the expert in that case. Also, if you’re confused by the GFCI situation, call the experts from the beginning. 



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