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Charlotte Home Inspector Explains GFCI Outlets

January 1st, 2012 · No Comments



A GFCI outlet may be wired in a branch circuit, which means other

outlets and electrical devices may share the same circuit and breaker

(or fuse). When a properly wired GFCI trips, the other devices down

the line from it will also lose power. Note that devices on the circuit

that come before the GFCI are not protected and are not affected

when the GFCI is tripped. If the GFCI outlet is improperly wired, none

the other loads, upstream nor downstream are be protected.


If you have an outlet that doesn’t work, and the breaker is not tripped,

look for a GFCI outlet which may have tripped. The non-working outlet

may be down line from a GFCI outlet. Note that the affected outlets

may not be located near the GFCI outlet, they may be several rooms

away or even on a different floor.


GFCI outlets should be tested periodically, at least once a year. A

GFCI outlet has a “Test” and a “Reset” button. Pressing the “Test”

button will trip the outlet and break the circuit. Pressing the “Reset”

will restore the circuit. If pressing the test button does not work, then

replace the GFCI outlet. If the outlet does pop when you press the

“Test” button, but the outlet still has power, the outlet is miswired. A

miswired outlet is dangerous and it should be fixed immediately.

Preston Sandlin and Home Inspection Carolina have providing thorough quality home inspections in the Charlotte NC area for over 15 years.  Preston has a masters’ degree in Education and has taught Home Inspection classes for years.  He also is a certified infrared thermographer.  Home Inspection Carolina has  been on TV many times and has a Charlotte Home Inspector radio show .  So you are in need of a home inspection in Charlotte NC, Gastonia NC, Weddington NC, Mooresville NC, Fort Mill SC or Rock Hill SC call Home Inspection Carolina (704) 542-6575.


Preston Sandlin

Home Inspection Carolina

Ask the Charlotte Inspector


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