Testing Electrical Outlets

A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is designed to prevent electrical shock. GFCI protection outlets are located in areas near water sources (i.e. bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages, outdoors). If there is an imbalance in the current, the GFCI “trips” the current, meaning it cuts off the electricity of that outlet. GFCIs can also prevent some electrical fires, electric shocks and burns.

You should test your GFCI outlets every month to see if they are in working order.

Be safe and be smart. To test the outlet:

  1. Plug a night light or lamp into the GFCI outlet.
  2. Turn on the light.
  3. Press the “TEST” button on the GFCI outlet.
  4. The light source or appliance should turn off and the “RESET” button should pop out.
    • If the light doesn’t go out, your GFCI should be rewired. Contact an electrician to replace it.
    • If the “RESET” button doesn’t pop out, the GFCI should be replaced. Again, contact an electrician.
  5. Press the “RESET” button to restore power to the outlet.

    WHN TIP: Know your appliances/lamps

    Be sure to read the instruction manuals of all small appliances and lamps and the content relating to GFCIs.

    To make monthly GFCI testing a breeze, print out the test tracking sheet below. Write location directions like “near north window” or “by sink” to help you remember. Also, fill in the test results and the date to help you keep track.

Bathroom #1

  • GFCI Location #1:__________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #2: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #3: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #4: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________

Bathroom #2

  • GFCI Location #1:__________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #2: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #3: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #4: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________

Kitchen

  • GFCI Location #1:__________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #2: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #3: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #4: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________

Basement

  • GFCI Location #1:__________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #2: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #3: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #4: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________

Garage

  • GFCI Location #1:__________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #2: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #3: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #4: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________

Outdoors

  • GFCI Location #1:__________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #2: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #3: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #4: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________

Other

  • GFCI Location #1:__________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #2: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #3: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________
  • GFCI Location #4: __________________________
    Passed test? (Y/N):_____________________
    Date:___________________

Updated: 5/2009