GFCI Tripping: The Causes, and How to Resolve It.

GFCIs protect you from electric shock. If your own continues to trip, call an electrician for troubleshooting and repairs.

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

When the breaker senses the current leakage, it trips to protect you and the appliances plugged into the outlet.

The National Electrical Code recommends GFCI installation in every building to prevent electrocution and damage to appliances.

Reasons 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 a ground fault occurs, currents leak to the ground or any conductor around.

The function of the GFCI outlet is to detect when currents are flowing via an unintended path which may be water, humans, or any other conductor.

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

This ground fault protection from GFCI 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 wires.
  • Worn out insulation.

Consult a qualified electrician to troubleshoot the cause of your outlet box tripping.

Circuit overload

Circuit overload occurs when we 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 more current than required, the circuit breaker trips to avoid overheating.

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

To see if it is circuit overload that is causing your GFCI tripping,

  • Unplug the appliances plugged into the outlet.
  • Reset the breaker and wait a few minutes to see if it will trip. If it does, other faults may be responsible, but if it does not, suspect circuit overload.
  • Plug back the appliances, watch to see if it trips. If it is circuit overload that is causing the tripping, reduce the load.

Wet receptacles

Since water is an excellent conductor of electricity, it can cause your outlet to trip off. If your receptacle is wet, the current can flow through it to the ground or any conductor around. This variation between the incoming and the outgoing current can cause your GFCI to trip OFF.

Electrical fault

If your GFCI outlet continues to trip, there may be an electrical fault resulting from poor wiring.

Faulty wiring 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, change the receptacle, it has gone bad.

You can buy a new outlet here@ Amazon

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

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