How to Reset a GFCI Circuit

    • 1). Press the RESET button a few times. Pressing it harder or off to one side may allow the RESET button to operate correctly. Some GFCIs have known problems with the RESET button, where it needs to be pressed in a very specific way to reset. If the GFCI now resets, replace it if desired.

    • 2). Find all the GFCIs connected to this circuit. GFCIs are commonly used to protect numerous outlets at one time, and it may require some detective work to find all of them. They may be in another room, the garage or even outside.

      Test each of outlet connected to the circuit with your outlet tester and identify all other outlets that are non-functional when the GFCI has tripped. Remove anything plugged into any of these outlets.

      Look for outdoor outlets wired into the circuit. Water or moisture in the outlet box will cause the associated GFCI to trip. If moisture is present in an outdoor socket, correct this before resetting the GFCI.

    • 3). Press the RESET button on the GFCI.

      If the GFCI will now reset, the unplugged appliance was the problem. It should be referred to qualified personnel for service.

      If the GFCI will not reset, check the circuitry. Remove the GFCI from the electrical work box it is mounted to, and check for any loose or broken wires. If you find any, repair or replace as needed, and reinstall the GFCI into the electrical box. Turn the power back on, and try to reset the GFCI. If it resets correctly, the problem is solved.

    • 4). Disconnect any wires attached to the LOAD terminals from the GFCI. The LOAD terminals are connected to outlets further downstream from the GFI. Reassemble the GFCI into the electrical box and turn the power back on. Press the RESET button. If the GFCI will reset, the problem is further downstream.

      Disconnect all downstream devices, and reconnect them one at a time until the problem can be isolated and repaired. Repairing the downstream problem will allow the GFCI to reset.

    • 5). Replace the GFCI if disconnecting the LOAD terminals does not allow the GFCI to reset. If the new GFCI resets, the old GFCI was defective.

      If the GFCI will still not reset, there may not be 120 volts reaching the GFCI. Press the TEST button on the GFCI. On new GFCIs (manufactured after 2003), the TEST button will be non-functional if 120 volts are not supplied.

      If you determine that 120 volts are not being supplied to the GFCI or if the new GFCI will still not reset, refer the problem to a qualified electrician.

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