Testing and Replacing a GFCI

Testing and replacing a GFCI outlet requires a few basic hand tools and an electrical tester.

On the outlet you will see 2 buttons (they can be a combination of colors and sizes) depending on the manufacturer. One will be the test button one the other is the reset button.

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFIC) outlet is designed to stop the flow of electrical power when even the slightest issue occurs with the power leaving the device. If electric power is detected passing to ground the device with trip and stop the flow of power. It only takes milliamps to trip the circuit to prevent you from injury or death.

GFCI are required by National electrical codes to be installed all wet locations in the home. These location include bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, unfinished basements, garages and all outdoor outlets.

Testing a GFCI

These outlet should be tested monthly to be sure they are working properly. Use a plug in tester that is designed to test GFCI’s is the best way to test them. You can also plug in a light, turn it on and depress the test button on the outlet, if the light goes out and comes on when you press the reset button the device is working properly.

If the outlet does not respond properly to the test it will need to be replaced.

Head over to the Next Page for instructions on replacing a bad GFCI outlet.


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