How Do I Know if My GFCI Outlet is Blown?

Dougs - How do I know if my GFCI outlet is blown

A ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI outlet is a special outlet designed to protect the home against electrical hazards caused by electrical shocks. These types of outlets are most commonly installed in areas where there are water sources like bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry rooms. 

The purpose of GFCI outlets is to detect ground faults, which is a division in the flow of electricity. The outlet interrupts that diversion in order to prevent any shocks that can come about as a result. Because they play such an essential role in the safety of your home, it is important to pay attention to their performance and get the appropriate repairs underway when it appears that you have a blown GFCI outlet. 

Signs of a Blown Outlet

So how would you know that your outlet is blown without being an electrician yourself? Sometimes answering this question is simpler than it seems. You’ll know that your outlet is blown when you find the following issues:

No Power

One of the first signs of a blown GFCI outlet is when you go to use it and find that it doesn’t deliver any power. This is a bit inconvenient and will require the attention of a professional who will be able to repair the underlying issue. 

Reset Button Won’t Stay Engaged

When you press the “Reset” button, it does not stay in the reset position. It immediately pops back out or feels loose. This indicates that the GFCI outlet has tripped and needs to be reset.

Test Button Doesn’t Trip the Outlet

The test button is used to stimulate a ground fault and test the outlet’s function. If the test doesn’t cause the outlet to break, then you will know that the outlet is not functioning properly. 

Discoloration or Burning Smell

If you notice burn marks on the outlet cover or any burning smell coming from the outlet, then there is a definite problem with the outlet. It would be best to avoid using such an outlet until it’s thoroughly assessed for safety and function. 

Other Outlets on the Same Circuit are Not Working

If other outlets are not working on the same circuit, then the circuit may have tripped and will need to be reset. You will most likely need the help of a professional to repair the tripped circuit or any blown GFCI outlets that occurred as a result. 

How To Check Your GFCI Outlet 

If you feel that you may have a blown GFCI outlet, you may need to contact your local electrician for assistance. However, before doing so, you  can do a small minor inspection on your own to verify that there is indeed a problem. Try these following steps: 

1. Inspect the Outlet

Carefully inspect the outlet and check it for visible signs of damage like burn marks, discoloration, or cracks on the outlet’s cover. 

2. Reset the Outlet

If you’re having trouble getting any power out of the outlet, you can also attempt to reset it yourself. Press the “reset” button and if it clicks into place, then you’ll know that it interrupted a previous ground fault. 

3. Check for Power

Plug in a device  into the GFCI outlet and turn it on to see if it receives power. If there is no power despite resetting the outlet, it might indicate a blown or faulty GFCI.

4. Test with a Circuit Tester

You can also purchase a circuit tester from your local hardware store to see if the circuit is in good order.  Follow the provided instructions and look for the indicators as outlined in the manual. This will give you a good understanding of whether your outlet is in need of repair or not. 

5. Check Other Outlets on the Circuit

Check some of the other outlets nearby to see if they are working and follow the same instructions we provided to see how the other outlets are performing. 

Call Doug’s for Blown GFCI Outlet Repair

Finally, if none of the above steps help you pinpoint the source of your issues with your outlets, you should call our team of electricians for assistance. At Doug’s Service, we have a team of electricians who will be able to troubleshoot the source of your issues and help you live in comfort.

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