Sunday, December 27, 2015

GFCI Reset

A couple days before Christmas I was sitting on the couch one evening when I heard a loud *POP* come from the foyer near the front door. I got up and looked around but couldn’t find anything that caused it and chalked it up to the cats being dumb. About an hour later I looked outside and realized that the pole light was out along with half the Christmas lights.

As I looked around outside I couldn’t figure out why everything was out. The lights were plugged in but that didn’t explain why the pole light was out when I had just replaced the bulbs a few months ago. Then it dawned on me to check the GFCI outlet inside the house. Sure enough it had popped. Pushing in the top button to reset it fixed the problem and I didn't have any more issues with it. Central Virginia has received a lot of rain lately and I’m guessing water got into one of the light strands and caused a short which in turn tripped the GFCI.

At least on ours if it's tripped the top button will be out slightly and a red light will appear on the left side. Pushing the top button will reset it.

We didn’t have these at our old house but we’ve got them everywhere water might come into contact with a power source here but they’re not on every outlet. (Bathrooms, kitchen, and garage.) In the case of the one for the power outlet on the outside front of the house the GFCI reset button is on the outlet in the foyer by the front door. In the case of one of my neighbors that had the same issue on the same night they found theirs in the garage.

So if you experience a partial loss of power check the outlet first. It might just be as simple as pushing in the button to reset it. In our case the cause seemed to be fairly straightforward and we didn't have any further issues with it. If it continues to trip however it might be wise to consult an electrician to determine the cause and fix it.

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