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Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4279
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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Cant get the GFCI outlet in the bathroom to reset. I know

Customer Question

Can't get the GFCI outlet in the bathroom to reset. I know this is connected to the outdoor outlet, and it's very wet here today with lots of melting snow. Should I wait until things dry a bit, just replace the GFCI outlet, or call an electrician?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Jason replied 8 years ago.
HiCustomer Do you know if anything is plugged in to the circuit downstream of the GFI outlet?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Not sure I understand your question - I'm really an idiot at this stuff. Here's what I do know. There are two bathrooms, both have outlets. In one bathroom there is an outlet with a red reset button. When this goes out, neither outlet in either bathroom will work. I found out last summer that this is also somehow connected to the outdoor outlets right outside the front door, but not the front porch lights. We had some work being done outside and when they tried to plug in, they got nothing until my sister suggested I check the button in the bathroom - made no sense to me, but that corrected the problem. So I have nightlights plugged into both bathrooms (which of course won't work now) and an electric toothbrush in the bathroom without the GFI outlet - also doesn't work now.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Just tried it again - I push the red reset button and it just pops right back out at me.
Expert:  Jason replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Jason - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"

Thank you for the additional information. By asking about the circuit downstream of the GFI outlet, I was trying to determine if something was plugged in to another outlet that was being protected by the GFI outlet. You can consider your outlet with the buttons to be a "master" over the other bathroom outlet and the outdoor outlet.


Your first step is to unplug everything from all 3 locations, then try to reset the GFI outlet. If it still won't reset, the next step is to replace it. There are some other troubleshooting steps that could be taken first, but since you mentioned calling an electrician, I assume you don't want to troubleshoot this yourself. If you do, let me know, and I will tell you what steps you should take.



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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sure, I'll try to troubleshoot it. If I can correct this without calling an electrician, that would be great.
Expert:  Jason replied 8 years ago.

Okay, good. I am always happy when my customers end up not having to pay for an onsite electrician.


First, make sure all connections are tight for the affected circuit. This would include the connections in the electrical panel (hot and neutral), as well as the connections at each of the 3 outlets. Lastly, make sure the bare ground wire is not touching anything (other than plastic parts or the metal box) in any of the boxes. Obviously, this wire should be connected to the ground screws on the outlets.


If the GFI outlet still won't reset, it needs to be replaced. As you asked in your original question, it's possible that water has gotten to something unseen and it needs to dry out.


I have covered all of the steps you can take. If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to ask. Best of luck getting this repaired on your own.