GFI Outlets (Ground Fault Interrupters)

According to the National Electric Code, GFI outlets must be used in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, outdoors, and anywhere that frequently comes into contact with moisture. GFI outlets ensure the safety of devices plugged into the outlets in these areas. In order to increase the safety of any electrical outlet that may come into contact with water, GFI receptacles are designed to cut off the power whenever any electrical problems are present.

Make sure you are plugged in to a GFI outlet if you lose power in one of these areas. If it is a GFI outlet, all you have to do is depress the test button and then push the reset button all the way in. If you run into an outlet that frequently shuts off power, try plugging something else in. If this fixes the problem, it is probably your appliance. If it still cuts the power, then you should call an electrician to come inspect the outlet.

If you are in one of these areas and have lost power to an outlet that does not lead to a GFI outlet, you may be plugged into an outlet that is connected to another GFI in the circuit. In this situation, check all GFI outlets in the area to see if any have been tripped.

More About GFI Outlets

As an important safety feature, GFI receptacles are designed to detect minor differences (as small as 3ma) in electricity. This means the outlet will cut off power whenever more power is coming in than is flowing out. The electricity has to exit somewhere, and this prevents it from exiting anywhere near you when it is unable to travel back into the electrical system or ground.

To ensure the safety of your GFI outlets, make sure to test them every month. This is easy, and only requires you to press the button labeled “TEST”. If this causes the reset button to pop out, everything is in order. Just push it back in and you are ready to go. If this does not happen, you will need to consult with an electrician.