#TipsForTenants: How to reset a GFCI

Every night before you take your tired self to bed, you do two things: brush your teeth and set your coffee maker for the morning. And on those nights when you only have the energy to do one thing, you set your coffee maker for the morning. Don’t deny it. Then one morning, after fighting a losing battle with your alarm, you stumble to the coffee pot to discover that your most beloved appliance is DOA. Before you panic and Amazon Prime yourself a replacement, take a look at the outlet it’s plugged into. If it’s a GFCI outlet, you may be in luck.

So, what is a GFCI outlet? GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Most commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, a GFCI outlet reduces the risk of receiving a shock from a faulty electrical device; it shuts off or trips when it detects that an electric current is flowing along an unintended path … like through a person! A GFCI outlet looks just like a common outlet, except that it has two small buttons, a ‘test’ button and a ‘reset’ button. That’s right! The only thing standing in the way of you and caffeinated bliss is the push of a button … hopefully.

How to reset a GFCI:

  1. UNPLUG APPLIANCE(S) – so it’s not damaged when the circuit is re-engaged
  3. PLUG IN APPLIANCE(S) – to ensure it’s working

If all goes well, your coffee maker is now perking up! If nothing happens, try plugging it into a different outlet just to be sure it’s the appliance that needs replacing.

There you have it: how to reset a GFCI. Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. If your coffee maker is not the only appliance affected in the area (i.e. appliances plugged into other outlets, overhead lights, etc.) the issue may be a tripped breaker, as opposed to an individual GFCI outlet.
  2. If you push the ‘test’ button on a GFCI outlet, you then need to push the ‘reset’ button because conducting a test breaks the circuit.
  3. If a GFCI outlet continues to trip, there may be a short or it may need to be replaced. If this occurs, please contact us at your earliest convenience and we’ll set up a maintenance appointment.