Gfci outlets are generally highly reliable. However, that does not mean that you take them for granted. Like other outlets, they can also develop a snag over a while.
At times, you might need to test the gfci outlet. The question is, how to test the gfci outlet?
Today, I will share with you the procedure to test a gfci outlet. Not only that, I will share with you all other associated information related to testing a gfci outlet.
How to test a gfci outlet?
There are essentially 2 ways to test the gfci outlet. These include using the test button as well as the gfci tester.
I will highlight both these procedures below.
1. Use the test button:
The gfci outlet consists of a test button. The procedure to test the gfci outlet is simple. You have to press the test button with the load connected.
If you can hear the snap sound and the power to the gadget turns off, it is clear that the gfci outlet is working appropriately.
If you do not want to test it on a gadget, that is another option. After pressing the test button, you can use the voltage tester to check the output. Ideally, the output should be nil. If the output is nil after pressing the test button, it indicates that the gfci outlet is in perfect shape.
There is another way in which you can test the gfci outlet. I will highlight that procedure below.
2. Use a gfci Tester:
Did you know that you can buy a gfci outlet tester as well?
It is a device that consists of 3 LED lights. The 3 LED lights indicate different results. They are labeled.
The tester can let you know whether the outlet is wired appropriately or any leakage current. It lets you know about the reverse polarity, as well as open ground.
The way to test the outlet using the gfci outlet is to 1st connect it to the outlet. After that, it consists of the test button. When you press the test button and the gfci tester, it should trip the outlet. The light in the tester will let you know the status of the gfci outlet. If it is showing the outlet as off or no output, the outlet is fine.
Even if after pressing the test button on the gfci tester, still the right light does not turn on, it indicates the outlet is malfunctioning.
You can perform only one of them to know the status of the outlet.
Before you test the gfci outlet, it is crucial to understand how often you should test the gfci outlet.
How often should you test the gfci outlet?
It should test the gfci outlet at least once a month. Some consumers might think that that is too frequent. However, you need to understand the gfci outlet can start malfunctioning at any time.
When a gfci outlet starts malfunctioning, it can increase the risk of electrocution. To avoid that risk, it is a good idea to test the gfci outlet at least once a month.
The good news, is that the testing takes a couple of minutes. That is why you will not have to devote a lot of time to testing the gfci outlet.
The next question which you will, of course, have is what you should do when a gfci outlet malfunctions?
Is it always a good idea to replace the gfci outlet in that case?
I will answer this question below as well.
When should you replace the gfci outlet?
In case you find that the gfci outlet is powering the gadget even after pressing the test button, it indicates that it is malfunctioning. When it starts malfunctioning, it is better to replace the gfci outlet.
Repairing the gfci outlet is not a good idea. Firstly, for that, you will need to hire an electrician. The electrician will cost you more than the gfci outlet.
To avoid all this trouble and extra cost, it makes perfect sense to opt for a new gfci outlet.
Another problem with repairing the gfci outlet is that you never know when it might malfunction again. In that case, you will again be faced with the same choice of repairing or replacing it.
To avoid all this trouble, it is a good idea to replace the gfci outlet if you detect the fault.
Now that you have the information on testing the gfci outlet, it is time to understand what you should keep in mind before testing one.
What should you keep in mind before testing a gfci outlet?
I will highlight the same.
1. No need to test a new gfci outlet:
If you have installed a brand-new gfci outlet, there is no need to test the same. Generally speaking, in the 1-year gfci outlet does not suffer from any snag or fault. In that case, you need not test them every month.
2. Avoid using expensive gadgets while testing:
In the testing method above, you have to connect a gadget to the gfci outlet. Only then will you realize whether it still powers the gadget after pressing the test button or not.
Instead of using an expensive gadget to test, it is a good idea to use something like a bulb. In that case, even if the gfci outlet fuses the bulb or damages it, you will not lose a lot of money.
On the other hand, when you connect an expensive gadget and it malfunctions, it will cost you dearly.
To avoid the same, it is a good idea to use something inexpensive like a bulb.
So, with my guide above, it will become easier for you to test the gfci outlet. With the guide above, you will know exactly what you need to do in case the gfci outlet is faulty. The next time around, instead of guessing whether it is faulty or not, it is good to choose one of the above 2 methods that I have highlighted.
In case you discover a faulty gfci outlet, it is a good idea to buy one which comes integrated with light. In that case, you will not have to worry about replacing that light fixture after a while. My post here will help you buy the best outdoor light with gfci outlet.