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How do I reset a GFI outlet?


Ground fault interrupters, or GFIs, are installed in your home to help keep you and your family safe: they help prevent electrocution. You'll find them in your bathroom, kitchen, basement, unfinished areas of your home, and on the exterior. In the event of a problem, the first thing to know is that each floor of the home has a GFI reset button that should be addressed prior to taking other actions.

In the event there is no power to your Primary Bath receptacles, go to your secondary bathroom and check the actual GFI outlet. When tripped, the GFI has a red indicator light that comes on. If the red indicator light is on, this means the GFI is not functioning. If that happens, the first thing you should do is hit the reset button—it was likely tripped from a system overload, meaning too much power operating at once. GFIs sometimes trip in bathrooms, where multiple appliances—like a hairdryer, curling iron and straightener—in simultaneous use can draw a lot of power.  If you don't have power in one bathroom, there is a centrally located GFI outlet that ties in all the circuits of all the bathrooms. Wherever it might be, locate the GFI and hit the reset button. If tripped, that action will reset it.

Another instance to check the GFI might be if you are outside, trying to plug in your holiday lights and there is no power to the outlet. First and foremost, don't panic. Most likely, it is tied to a GFI. Usually, receptacles on the main level will be tied to the GFI circuit in the garage. If you are unable to locate a GFI outlet in the garage, check both an unfinished area and the mechanical closet in the basement. If in the event you try to reset the GFI and it will not reset, the GFI outlet may be faulty. Call Van Metre or a professional to come out and inspect the item.