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Meet The Editor

Darrell Boyd - Owner of Mister Sparky in Olympia, WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darrell Boyd - Owner of Mister Sparky of WA.

Darrell is a Master Electrician license holder here in WA State and has been in the electrical field for over 25 years. He is extremely passionate about the electrical field and serving the local community. Educating people through this blog is just one of the ways he enjoys reaching out and sharing his knowledge. Electrical Safety in the home and making sure each home Mister Sparky enters is safer then when they got there is truly a belief and standard by which he leads Mister Sparky. Born in Tacoma, WA and raised in Olympia He loves the Greater Puget Sound Area and all it offers. Beyond electrical and Mister Sparky Darrell is also a husband of 28 years to his wonderful wife Yolanda and dad of 2 children Brett & Kaitlyn. When there is a spare minute you may find him watching and following his favorite sports teams The Seattle Mariners & The Seattle Seahawks or quite possibly on a quiet river fishing for trout and enjoying this great state. If you have a question or topic you would like to have Darrell write about please feel to reach out to him or contact him anytime at darrell@mistersparkyofwa.com

 

 

 

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GFCI or GFI Outlet Doesn’t Work?

 

GFCI Outlet Doesn’t Work?GFCI Outlet

Definition - GFCI is short for... Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

 

As with most electrical devices there can be multiple reasons why it's not operating properly. Here are a few that seem to be the most common regarding your gfci outlet.
 
  1. The most often cause is that the reset button has tripped out and needs to be reset. Usually just hitting the reset button will get your gfci reset and have it back in operational use again.
  2. Often times something downstream of the gfci can be causing a problem that is keeping the gfci tripped or tripping on a regular basis. (For instance a outside receptacle that is getting wet or has water in it.)
  3. The gfci itself may just be bad or worn out and need to simply be replaced.
  4. It can also be the result of the gfci itself not getting power. This can be a result of anything upstream of the device being bad and not allowing power to feed the gfci. ie... tripped circuit breaker.

 

These are just a few of the main causes that cause your gfci not to work. However, keep in mind that what is equally important to resetting or replacing your gfci device is knowing for sure what caused it to not work or trip in the first place. These devices are designed to save lives and so when the reset button gets tripped be certain to try and find out why it tripped as there may be a real problem or concern that needs corrected. If you aren’t certain why yours is tripping or know how to troubleshoot the gfci please consult your local electrician. 

 

GFCI OutletWhat do these devices do? Think of them as air bags for your home you know like the air bags you have in your car to protect you from a crash. These devices sense electrical current and if the current coming in doesn't match the current leaving then this device knows there is a problem and shuts the circuit down. Think about all the appliances we use in kitchens and bathrooms and around sinks, think about all the power tools we use plugged into our outside outlets, think about the extension cords we use and how they get nicked up. These devices will shut down quicker than you can blink to protect us from ourselves. If electricity flows from hot to ground through you it can be fatal however this simple device will react with in 1/30th of a second to save your life just like the air bag in your car.

 

Finally don't forget these devices are required on all garage and outside outlets, kitchen outlets, bathroom outlets, with in 6' of any sink (ie...laundry sink, clothes washer, etc...) and crawl spaces or unfinished spaces. Caution.....Never replace a gfci outlet with a regular outlet as you are endangering yourself and everyone else who comes in contact with the circuit you compromised by not keeping a gfci installed where required. If it's a nuisance and won’t stop tripping out then have an electrician find out why, there IS a reason!

 

If you need help call the pro's at Mister Sparky. We will answer the phone, show up on time, give you a price up front before starting the work, then solve your problem professionally and with a smile. Oh.... We'll cleanup when were done too!

Comments

I had what I thought was a dead gfci outlet. The fuse that powered this outlet also powered another outlet in this bathroom along with an outlet in the bathroom down the hall and the bathroom downstairs. I replaced the "faulty" outlet and it still did not work although the green light on the outlet was on. I could not get the reset button to click. It just pushed in. Along with this outlet not working, neither did the rest of the outlets associated with this fuse. I put the put the old outlet back in and it still did not work (green light was on though) but the rest of the outlets worked again. Any thoughts?
Posted @ Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:46 AM by Scott Davis
Hi Scott I'm having the same issue, but only on one outlet (by the washer/dryer). Since no one had replied, what was the issue?
Posted @ Tuesday, November 19, 2013 6:06 PM by Ray Gatchalian
Ray, All gfci outlets have a line and a load marked on the gfci outlet. You must make sure these are wired properly or the gfci will not function properly. (I mention this in case you tried to wire one yourself, if its been working and no longer works or resets then either there is no power to the gfci or the gfci itself is bad.) Its common for all bathroom outlets to be fed by one gfci outlet thus protecting all outlets downstream by the same gfci. I hope that helps. 
 
To your safety, 
Darrell R Boyd
Posted @ Tuesday, November 19, 2013 8:18 PM by Darrell Boyd
I have 5 GFI circuits in my home. 1 protects all bathrooms, and that was activated yesterday. Even though the gfi reset the one outlet where the problem occurred still has no power. If the outlet was bad,wouldnt that still cause the entire circuit to be off?
Posted @ Sunday, November 24, 2013 9:00 AM by John
I have a standard outlet in my bathroom that works. When I replaced it with a GFI outlet, it will not work. Any ideas?
Posted @ Tuesday, January 14, 2014 3:33 PM by Sharon Matteson
I replaced in bathroom regular outlet that was working fine whit gfci outlet and gfci not working (won't reset)i know how to wire these outlets on which side is line and load goes and ground .i took out gfci and put new outlet(regular) and test whit my testers is showing that is working fine .when I put again new gfci outlet it won't reset like it should. Any help
Posted @ Sunday, February 16, 2014 11:21 PM by Shane
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