Monthly Archives: December 2011

GFI Outlets

GFI outlets/receptacles are the ones with a “test” and “reset” button in the middle of the outlet. They are normally found in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, garage, outdoors and other wet areas. If one of these plugs is not working the GFI outlet may have been tripped. Since one GFI protected outlet can control up to ten additional plugs downstream, one tripped GFI outlet can be the cause for several electric plugs not working in the home, garage or outside. Try pressing the “test” button and then the “reset” button on the outlets that have quit working. In most cases this will immediately resolve the issue. The new smart GFI receptacles will not reset if the power off because of a tripped circuit breaker feeding the circuit. At Electric Services Los Angeles, we can install, repair, and replace ground fault interruptors for your home or business in Los Angeles, CA and the surrounding cities.

If it does not resolve the issue and more than one of your GFI outlets is not working, you may have tripped the GFIC (ground fault interrupter circuit) circuit breaker in the main electrical panel box. These are also commonly known as GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupters. The GFIC/GFCI circuit breakers protect all of the GFI outlets in the home. A tripped breaker may also be the cause for several GFI outlets not working. The GFIC/GFCI circuit breakers are found in your home’s breaker box. Check to make sure the GFIC/GFCI circuit breakers are in the “on” position. Turn them completely “off” and then “on” again.

GFI Outlets

GFI Outlets

What Do I Do If My GFI Outlets Are Not Working?

A single GFCI breaker or GFI outlet in your bathroom, garage or basement may be the reason that all of your bathroom, garage and outdoor plug quit working. One GFI breaker or outlet can control or protect up to 10 other outlets around the house.

1) Common reason GFI’s tripping is that water gets into the outdoor outlet or extension cords going to Christmas lights, water fountains or landscape lighting. Try unplugging them and let them dry out for a while as this may take care of the problem. Push the test and reset button to restore power.

2) The GFCI breaker or GFI outlet has just stopped working altogether. Age of the device, power surges and near by lightning strikes are common reason of the GFI not working due a malfunction in the device itself.

3) Sometimes just finding the tripped GFI outlets can be an adventure. Look behind a stack of storage boxes in the garage or basement. A set of kitchen plugs may have gone out because of the tripped GFI hiding behind a kitchen appliance or china cabinet in the dining room. Searching around for GFI outlets may save you an electrician service call.

4) If the GFI will not reset contact your electrician for repair or replacement.

Other Causes for Outlet Failure

Dust or bugs collecting in the outlet housing can also cause outlet failure. If you need to examine the internal housing of any outlet, be sure to turn the power off before working on the faulty receptacle. If you have any doubts on how to turn the power off, call an electrician to help you.

Note: All of your GFI outlets need to be tested monthly. This is done by pressing the “test” button and then the “reset” button on all of your GFI outlets.

A useful item to have around the house is a plug tester. These can be purchased at your local hardware store and are very easy to use. They just plug into any outlet and can tell you if there is voltage present and even if the outlet is wired correctly. Warning! If you use a plug tester and find that one or more of your outlets in or around the home are not wired correctly, you must immediately call an electrician! Faulty wiring can cause a fire!

If you have tried all of the solutions given above, and you are still having problems with your outlets not working, you will need to call an electrician to replace them promptly. Do not try to replace an outlet on your own if you are unfamiliar with electrical work. Only an electrical contractor can replace a faulty plug safely.

For a free estimate, please contact Electricians Los Angeles today!