We are all guilty of taking electricity for granted. Most of the time, we use power carelessly at home and at work, as is to be expected. However, occasionally a light will not turn on or a laptop will not charge despite being plugged in. Thankfully, resetting a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet usually solves the problem.

However, as with anything electrical, the GFCI can malfunction, too.

GFCI-protected electrical outlets trip when a short or ground fault is detected. Ground fault interrupters are required by the National Electrical Code in sites prone to shorting, such as kitchens and toilets. They are reliable, but they are not without flaws.

Read on to discover five GFCI outlet reset procedures to know today.

Determine the Root of the Problem

The most difficult to assess is if a GFCI outlet won’t reset is a fault with the outlet or the circuit. To find out why the outlet isn’t working, contact a licensed electrician. It could be that particular channel or a broader issue.

Look around for any other damaged or tripped things. Examine the neighboring sockets and lights. Unplug gadgets from each GFCI outlet and look for the reset button.

Check the other outlets in the house as a precaution. You can use a voltage tester to see if electricity is flowing via any outlets. If everything else works, the problem is with a single outlet; if other outlets or lights do not work, the issue could be with the circuit.

Look For Any Tripped Circuits

Check the circuit breakers if additional outlets or lights are not working. These components can be found in the main electrical panel as well as any subpanels. The electrical panel is often positioned near the point where electricity enters the home. These are common in garages, basements, and laundry rooms.

The circuit breakers are visible after the panel is opened. If any of them are out of order, that means they’ve been tripped. Try to reset the breaker. If this is the case, and it continues, you may have an overloading problem, which occurs when the circuit’s capacity is insufficient for the load.

Evaluate the Situation Carefully

There could be a current leak if the GFCI trips regularly after resetting the circuit breaker. Because this is risky, seek the advice of an electrician. 

Perhaps you may not have pressed the “reset” button hard enough. If the GFCI fails again, it could be faulty. When you plug something in and turn it on, the “reset” button may fall out, indicating that the GFCI is not correctly connected.

Meanwhile, in some situations, the release of the “reset” button indicates a GFCI ground fault.

If the “reset” button is pressed yet the gadgets or appliances continue to run, the line and load have most likely been reversed. Remember, circuit breakers fail infrequently.

Anticipate Connection Problems

GFCI outlets may not reset due to faulty wiring or connections. Pulling on each wire separately with a wire connector can reveal a faulty connection. If you find one, have it repaired by an electrician. The problem’s scope is unknown.

Check the surrounding outlets if there are no loose connections in the connector box. Begin with Step 1’s failures. With the main circuit breaker switched off, look for any unsecured connections. Terminal screws, stab-in connections, and wire connectors are examples of commonly problematic connections.

Get Assistance from a Professional

As previously indicated, seek assistance if the problem is more complicated than a tripped GFCI outlet or circuit. Even experienced do-it-yourselfers may be intimidated by the complexity. DIY electrical work is quite dangerous. Contact a licensed electrician to avoid property damage and injury.


Electrical upgrades can boost the value and visual appeal of any property. Electrical system upgrades can transform a home or business. If you hire an electrician to enhance your home and decide to change your electrical system, make sure the professional has the appropriate knowledge and experience.
Are you experiencing problems with your GFCI power outlet? PowerMaster Electric is here to address your electrical issues and give you the solutions you need. Call us today!