How to Troubleshoot a GFCI Receptacle
Currently, GFCI’s are required in exposed locations and in locations where power and water are likely to be used side by side. Some examples are kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor locations, unfinished basements and garages. With so many rooms and locations in your home being protected by ground fault circuits, it is not uncommon to have a device trip from time to time resulting in a loss of power to the device and any surrounding areas served by the device. Often times, these are “nuisance trips” that are not associated with an actual problem in the circuit. Due to the sensitivity of the GFCI, surges from the utility company or fluctuations that occur during normal operation of motors can cause these types of events.
Depressing the “reset” button on the face of the GFCI can restore power to the effected areas. If power is not restored when the reset button is pressed, a ground fault likely exists and it’s time to call in the electrician.
The GFCI has done a fantastic job of making our homes safe and allowing us to use electrical devices safely without fear of shock or injury. Advancements in electrical safety for the home are constantly being developed. The newest safety requirement is the AFCI, or Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter. For the most part, rooms not protected with GFCI receptacles, will require AFCI protection. We’ll talk about AFCI’s in a future post. Sign up for our email list to be notified when we publish our next post.
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