How to test and/or reset a GFCI outlet

Everything you need to know about your GFCI outlets, from what is a GFCI outlet to malfunctions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Information

The major purpose of ground fault circuit interrupters is to sense an imbalance in the electrical circuit, and break the circuit if a risk is detected. They are commonly required in “wet areas” of the home, such as bathrooms, kitchens and garages, to help avoid risk of electrocution.

Note: If you don’t see a GFCI outlet where you expect one, the outlet may be protected in your electrical panel as part of a GFCI circuit or is controlled by another GFCI outlet.

We recommend monthly testing of each GFCI in your home to ensure it is working correctly.

How to test your GFCIs:

  • Plug a small lamp into the GFCI outlet and ensure it is on
  • Press the test button on the GFCI, which should turn the light off
  • Press the reset button, which should turn the light back on
  • Please see the How-To video for more detailed information
    • Note: Some circuits are protected using a breaker in your electrical panel. If you do not see a GFCI outlet, please check your panel box.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my GFCI outlet trip all the time?

GFCls sense low-level ground faults and assure optimum protection for homeowners. Due to the sensitivity of the GFCI circuit, it may trip more frequently than other circuits. GFCI outlets are not to be used for appliances which demand high current, such as freezers, refrigerators and other appliances with motors or compressors.

How do I know if my outlet is GFCI protected?

Per code, any area of the home that might get wet requires a GFCI-protected outlet. They are usually wired so that when tripped, power will be cut to all outlets in the circuit. To test this, go to your bathrooms and locate the GFCI outlet and test it—this should cut power to all other bathroom plugs. (Please note that some circuits are protected with a GFCI breaker in the electrical panel.)

What if one of my switches, outlets or light fixtures malfunctions?

We will repair or replace defective switches, fixtures and outlets within one year of settlement.