GFCI outlets can certainly make lights and gadgets safer. In fact, I’ve been covering such lights previously on my blog as well. (Read my post on Outdoor light with gfci outlet – Top 5 best outdoor light fixture with gfci outlet reviews, Buying Guide & FAQ). However, GFCI outlets can develop problems, as well. In many cases, GFCI keeps tripping. It is, however, a sign of a problem. Under normal circumstances, the GFCI outlet won’t keep tripping.
If you are facing this problem, I will share with you the reasons for the same but a solution to each of those problems below. Once you go through this article, you can easily tackle the problem of GFCI tripping.
Reasons Gfci keeps tripping:
I will 1st highlight six reasons why the GFCI outlet keeps tripping. Once I cover the 6 reasons, I will share the solutions for the 6 reasons section below.
1. Ground fault:
The GFCI outlets are certainly much more secure than the normal ones. However, at times tripping can occur due to ground faults as well.
If you’re not aware, a ground fault occurs when the live wire gets in contact with the ground wire. When that happens, current from the live wires starts moving into the ground through the ground wire.
In that case, the outlet detects the current leakage through the ground wire. When that happens, it will trip to protect your gadgets. It is one of the most common causes of GFCI tripping.
2. Faulty load:
When you connect any load to the GFCI outlet, the outlet becomes susceptible to the load’s faults (if any). In many cases, a single faulty load can affect the entire circuit as well. It can damage other gadgets in the loop as well.
In case there is a short-circuit in the load, then too, the GFCI outlet will trip itself. That is to ensure that the circuit and the gadget do not get damaged.
A GFCI outlet has this mechanism to contain the damage.
When you install the GFCI outlet outdoors like in the lights above, it becomes susceptible to weather conditions. While many lights are water-resistant and weather-resistant but moisture can still affect them.
If there is excessive moisture in the GFCI box, it can lead to shorting of the circuit.
In that case, GFCI will protect the circuit by tripping.
When the attached load to the outlet has a higher rating than the specification, the current ampere rating flowing through the circuit increases beyond the average threshold. In that case, the outlet will trip itself to protect the entire circuit.
5. GFCI fault:
In some cases, the tripping might be due to the fault of the outlet itself. That is because the GFCI circuit inside might have undergone significant wear and tear.
Of course, such outlets’ life span is higher than normal but still wear, and tear does occur.
6. Electrical problem:
Many times, it might be a problem with the wiring, which can cause tripping.
The problem can be with the internal wiring of the GFCI outlet, the load, or the circuitry powering the outlet. Such issues can also result in tripping.
These are the common problems due to which tripping of such an outlet can occur. I will now highlight the solution to each of these problems below.
Solutions for Gfci keeps tripping:
I will now highlight the solutions sequentially so that you can quickly fix the problem.
1. Solving ground faults:
The way to detect and fix the ground fault is to turn off the power to the outlet and disconnect all the devices.
After that, you have to inspect the wear and tear; any loose wires or accidentally interconnected wires.
If you find any of these, they are the cause of the ground fault. In that case, depending on the exact problem, you can either reconnect the wires or replace that part.
2. Tackling faulty load:
If the load is faulty, first of all, you have to disconnect the load.
After that, you have to examine it for short-circuit, current leakage, and other such problems.
If you cannot detect the problem with the load, you can either keep it disconnected or replace it.
3. Eliminating moisture:
In case of excessive moisture, you have to disconnect it and leave it for an hour or so before blow drying it.
If you do not want to do that yourself, you can call an electrician to fix this problem.
However, if you plan on blow drying it yourself, you have to let it dry completely and use all the protective gear like rubber gloves and rubber shoes before tackling the issue.
4. Reducing circuit load:
When experiencing overloading, it is crucial to detect which appliance is causing the overload. There are a few steps that can help you detect that load. These include:
• You have to disconnect all the appliances and the gadgets connected to the outlet.
• You have to reset the outlet.
• After that, you have to wait for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
• Only after that, you have to connect the appliances one by one and turn the outlet on.
That will help you understand which appliance is causing the overload. In between, you have to turn it off to connect the next device.
Doing so will help you find the load which is overloading the circuit. Once you discover it, you can disconnect that load and use the outlet for other gadgets.
5. Handling GFCI fault:
If the GFCI outlet is faulty, you have no other choice but to replace the outlet itself. Many times, the years of use causes the GFCI outlet to malfunction. In that case, the protection which such an outlet typically provides is eliminated.
6. Eliminating electrical problem:
In case of an electrical problem, you have no other alternative but to call the electrician. Only the electrician can diagnose and fix the problem in that case.
So, if your GFCI outlet keeps tripping, it does not mean that there is no solution. You can go through my list of reasons and solutions above to fix the problem.
In case you’re looking for some other type of lights, you can read my posts on Brushed nickel outdoor lighting – Top 5 best brushed nickel outdoor wall lights reviews, Outdoor recessed lighting – Top 10 best recessed outdoor light reviews to buy the best.