With building codes requiring GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets, you probably have some in your home or are looking to replace old, outdated outlets with new code-friendly GFCIs. GFCIs have added safety features compared to standard outlets because they will trip when the flow of electricity is irregular. As a result of added safety, they are required by building codes in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor outlets.
Related Topic: What’s a GFCI Outlet?
GFCI outlets look and act differently. Luckily, Mr. Electric has the answers to all of your GFCI questions. Schedule an appointment online today if you need to have outlets inspected or replaced.
My GFCI Outlet Makes a Weird Buzzing Noise—Is It Dangerous?
GFCI outlet buzzing can be caused by a variety of reasons, one of the most common being a recent reset. GFCI outlets have two buttons located between the receptacles labeled test and reset. Performing a reset on your GFCI can be required for a few reasons, usually for benign things like the power has tripped. If you haven’t reset your outlet recently, or the buzzing won’t go away, it could result from a more serious cause, like improper installation or bad wiring connected to your outlet.
If your outlet is buzzing independently of a reset, you should reach out to a local electrician for a more thorough investigation.
What to Do if My GFCI Outlet Can’t Keep Plugs In?
Before doing anything, make sure the outlet’s circuit is turned off at the panel box. After that, you’ll be able to check why your outlet might not be allowing plugs in. One common culprit is a tamper-resistant GFCI outlet, which is designed to keep debris and foreign objects out. Sometimes the covers inside the outlet will jam and push out plugs. If the outlet is brand new, it might be difficult to plug items in initially, but this should improve over time.
My GFCI Trips Randomly—Do I Need to Replace It?
Your GFCI is designed to trip if there’s a fault in the circuit. However, tripping for no apparent reason can be a sign of a more serious issue. Some common causes of “random” trips include moisture/water in the outlet box, defective appliances overloading circuits, and faulty wiring systems. If moisture is in the receptacle box, the solution may be finding a way to prevent water from entering the box. However, suppose the issue is an overloaded circuit or faulty wiring. In that case, it’s more likely to be a serious issue that may require the replacement of either the outlet or the appliance.
Related Topic: GFCI Outlet Won’t Reset: What You Can Do and What You Shouldn’t Do
What Should I Do if My GFCI Keeps Tripping When It Rains?
If the outlet is outdoors, then you’ll probably need to replace the outlet cover. Outdoor outlets are required to be covered to keep moisture out. If moisture is forcing your outlet to trip, it’s probably a sign that the seal on the cover is not doing its job.
If your roof has a leak or if your wiring has been damaged in any way, this moisture can impact your wiring, overloading the circuit, and cause your GFCI to trip. Although you might need new wiring, it’s also a good idea to have your roof inspected to avoid a similar issue in the future. Your local Mr. Handyman can inspect your attic to determine if water is coming in through the roof and fix the problem.
Is Your GFCI Outlet Tripping with Nothing Plugged in?
If you GFCI consistently trips, even when nothing is plugged into your outlet, there’s a good chance the issue is a defective GFCI outlet or a serious wiring issue. If the issue is related to your wiring, it should be addressed immediately by a trained electrician.
Can a GFCI Outlet Go Bad?
Yes. Because outlets have metal parts, there is always a chance of corrosion, especially on exterior outlets. All outlets, regardless of whether they are a GFCI, should be replaced over time. To ensure the job is done safely and correctly, we recommend utilizing the services of a local professional to ensure proper installation. Improper installation can lead to electrical hazards and be more costly in the long run.
Trust Mr. Electric for All GFCI Issues
Although trying outlet replacement on your own is tempting, incorrect installation can lead to more serious electrical problems. Contact the pros at your local Mr. Electric to save yourself time and hassle. We can install your new outlets, inspect your system, and suggest upgrades to ensure you and your family stay safe. To get started, call (844) 866-1367 or schedule an appointment online today.