One of the most common service calls we receive is often resolved by the simple push of a button. If you’re experiencing a problem with some of your electrical outlets not working, your problem may be merely a tripped GFCI receptacle.
The acronym GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. As a safety precaution, GFCIs are designed to instantly open the circuit to prevent electric shock when in contact with water. Thus, they are most commonly used in areas that have potential to get wet, like bathroom outlets, kitchen outlets, garage outlets and outdoor outlets. GFCIs are very sensitive and can occasionally trip or open the circuit at other times. Being exposed to things like unusual amounts of moisture, an electrical storm or a power surge can easily cause a GFCI to trip.
What many people do not know is that their other normal receptacles (non GFCIs) may be protected by a GFCI receptacle somewhere else along the circuit. So if some of your electrical outlets are not working, you might try the following solutions before making a service call.
If you have kitchen electrical outlets that are not working, you should look around the counter top and along the kitchen walls for any GFCI receptacles. Make certain to look behind small and large appliances. If you find a CFCI receptacle, look to see if the reset button is pressed in. If the GFCI receptacle is working properly, pushing the test button will cause the reset button to pop out. A sharp click noise can be heard when the test button is pushed. Now, after you have reset the GFCI receptacle, check all of your other kitchen outlets to make certain they are working. Keep in mind, many kitchens have two separate GFCI receptacles to protect the many appliances and other electronic gadgets that are often used in kitchens.
If you have bathroom electrical outlets that are not working, be sure to check each bathroom in your home for GFCI receptacles. Follow the same directions listed above for testing and resetting your GFCIs. Depending on your home’s design, each bathroom may have its own GFCI receptacle or multiple bathrooms may be protected by just one GFCI.
If your outside electrical outlets are not working, be sure to check every outside outlet, every garage outlet and every basement outlet for a tripped GFCI receptacle. Follow the same procedures listed above to reset your GFCIs.
Likewise, if your garage outlets are not working, check all around the interior of your garage for a tripped GFCI receptacle. The same goes for your basement. If you basement outlets are not working, check all around the basement for any tripped GFCI receptacles.
If you’ve tried everything listed above, and your GFCI receptacle will not reset or your outlets still do not work, then unplug any electrical devise that is plugged into the non-working outlet and try resetting the GFCI again. If this works and the GFCI resets, you may have a problem with whatever electrical devise you unplugged. If this does not work, you may have a tripped circuit breaker. Check your circuit breaker and if that is not the problem, it’s time to give us a call at Houchin Electric, (918)663-1818.
Find out more about Houchin Electric Company and why we’re Tulsa’s Best Electrician. Visit our website at HouchinElectric.com