GFCI outlet Keeps Tripping: Causes and How to Resolve It.

GFCIs protect you from electric shock. If your own continues to trip, call an electrician to find the source of the problem.

A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) trips when it detects a ground fault, or leakage of currents even as little as 5mA between the hot wire and the ground.

When the gfci detects the leakage current, it trips to protect you and the appliances being plugged into the outlet.

The National Electrical Code recommends GFCI installation in every home, mostly in the bathroom and kitchen, to prevent electrocution and damage to appliances.

Main reasons why your GFCI keeps tripping and how to resolve it.

Ground faults

Ground faults occur when currents take an unintended path to the ground. Or when a hot wire touches the earth. When the ground fault occurs, currents leak to the ground.

The function of the GFCI receptacle is to detect when currents flow through an unintended path, which may be water or human.

Once the receptacle detects the current leakage, even as little as 0.005 amps, it shuts down.

This ground fault protection from the GFCI device helps protect us from electrical shock.

Related post: Circuit breaker keeps tripping without load. Causes and how to resolve them.

Causes of ground fault

  • Faulty wiring
  • Water touching the outlets or any naked cable.
  • Worn out insulation.

Consult a qualified electrician to find the cause of the outlet trip.

Overload Circuit 

Circuit overload occurs when you plug more appliances into a circuit than it can carry. Normally, a GFCL outlet handles between 15 and 20 amps. When you plug-in devices that draw much current than required, it trips the gfci.

Many things can cause circuit overload, including defective appliances, rusted wires, permanently installed electric motors, and others.

To see if the load is causing the tripping issues, do:

  • Unplug the appliances plugged into the electrical outlet.
  • Reset the gfci by pressing the reset button and wait for a few minutes to see if it will go off again. If it does, other faults may be responsible, but if it doesn’t trip, suspect the load.
  • Plug back the appliances and watch if it goes off again. If it is the load that is causing the tripping, reduce it.
gfci tripping

Wet receptacles

Since water is an excellent conductor of electricity, it can cause your outlet to trip. A wet receptacle can allow currents to flow through it to the ground, leading to loss of current.

This loss can vary the amount of currents going in and out of the circuit. Thus causing your GFCI to trip.

Electrical fault

If your GFCI breaker continues to go off, there may be an electrical issue arising from the wrong connection.

Faulty connections can cause a current to leak to the ground, leading to a ground fault.

Faulty GFCI outlet

If, after trying the above methods, the GFCI still trips, replace the receptacle box with a new gfci.

You can buy a new outlet [email protected] Amazon

Call a licensed electrician to replace the outlet to avoid faulty connections.

You can also contact us at mariaelectrical.com to troubleshoot and replace the outlets for you.

About mariaelectricals

Hi, I am Emmanuel Nwankwo, a commercial electrician and the founder of mariaelectricals.com. I established this blog to share my seven years of work experience in electrical installations and repairs.