Do you have outlets not working?

Posted on by lou

Frequently we get a call from a customer who has an outlet or group of outlet that have unexpectedly stopped working. They will tell me that they checked the circuit breakers and none have tripped. They also may have turned all the breakers off and then reset them, also to no avail. Frequently the problem is as simple as resetting whats know as a Ground Fault Receptacle or GFI outlet.

The purpose of a GFI is to prevent electric shock and they are usually found in locations that may be subject to moisture such as kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements and laundry rooms. If one of the outlets that is not working is in one of these rooms this may be a clue as to the origin of the problem. One GFI can and usually does protect a series of outlets downstream. In my home the GFI in the master bathroom also protects the outlets in the other upstairs bath and the garage. If I have no power in the garage I know to go check the GFI in the master bath.

There are two buttons on a GFI outlet. A TEST and a RESET. If you suspect a GFI may be the culprit in your loss of power locate each outlet with a GFI recepticle. Press the test button in firmly. If the GFI is working properly the RESET button will pop out and the outlet and any others downstream from it will be dead. If it does not pop, the outlet is either defective or it has already tripped. Next press the reset button. If it holds you have solved your problem. If not the GFI may need to be replaced or there may be a problem elsewhere in the circuit.

Give it a try next time you have a power outage. If it doesn’t work give us a call.

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