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GFCI Outlet Red Light Blinking [6 Reasons & What to Do]

Concerned about the safety of your home? You’re thinking right! GFCI is the key to all your problems. But sometimes the red light flashes even without any visible problems. 

Why is your GFCI outlet red light blinking?

Faulty wirings and a bad outlet is what you should look out for. Sometimes the circuit can trip as a result of overload and cause the red light flashing. Another nearby GFCI switch that has tripped can make the new one trip too. You can fix the problem by resetting the GFCI. 

Are you still a little perplexed? Don’t worry! We have prepared all possible scenarios and their solutions. 

Now let’s find out why the red light on your GFCI might be flashing!

What Activates the GFCI Red Light

You know something’s wrong when the lights on your GFCI start blinking red. This indicates that the system performed as expected and did not cause a shock to occur. However, figuring out what produced the shock is far more critical.

We’ve identified a few possible triggers for GFCI outlets:

Reason 1: Bad Wirings

A GFCI may trip because there are bad GFCI wiring problems.

Is bad wiring the thing that’s causing the system to trip? 

Then the circuitry is what needs to be inspected.The device is probably fine, it’s just not hooked up to reliable equipment.

You’d need to change any wires that look like they’re getting worn or broken. There are so many different types of wire to choose from. Consider the following options:

Product 1
Product 2

These are the best wires for GFCI outlets. So these will last long. We can guarantee that you won’t be let down if you use these wires.

Reason 2: Ground Fault

As soon as the ground fault is detected, the system will shut off. Bad wiring or other malfunctions can lead to ground problems. Ground faults are caused by a variety of factors including frayed wiring, poor installation, and moisture.

Reason 3: Faulty Outlet 

Sometimes the fault could be with the outlet itself. If the new GFCI starts blinking as soon as you turn it on, there’s an issue. 

The fault is most likely a malfunctioning outlet rather than the gadget. It’s unusual that these devices are defective right out of the box.

Try restarting it.

Reason 4: Circuit Overload

There is a limit on how much electronic equipment can be connected to the same circuit. This can lead to overload. 

Keeping track of what’s plugged in and where is one approach to avert this. Overloads can also be caused by malfunctioning electrical equipment.

Reason 5: Tripped GFCI Switch Close by

Watch out if GFCI in the immediate vicinity has been blown. If that happens, other GFCIs on the same circuit may be triggered.

However, this isn’t a typical occurrence. Two or more GFCIs may share the same circuit at times. When one of them trips, the others are likely to respond due to a circuit failure.

Reason 6: Worn GFCI

GFCIs have a 25-year average lifespan. If your equipment is subjected to unusual conditions, like power surge, it will wear down faster. Then its longevity may be drastically shortened.

These are all the reasons why a GFCI outlet could start blinking. The GFCI will disconnect electricity to the outlet if it becomes too hot. Subsequently, the outlet will lose heat and also the red light will flicker.

GFCI Red Blinking: What to Do

Sometimes GFCI will occasionally start flashing red, and this will not go away. There really are two options in this situation. 

On another note, you may also see another phenomenon like this. Such as, your smoke detectors’ light blinking continuously.

Fix 1: Activate the GFCI Manually

The first step is to deliberately trip the GFCI outlet. You can do it by pushing the ‘test’ switch on the plug. If the red light dops blinking then you’re good to go. 

You can connect GFCI to multiple outlets. In that case you’d have to trip them all manually.

Fix 2: Reset the Outlet

Press the ‘reset’ button to reset the outlet. If the socket resets and re-energizes the circuit, the red light mustn’t illuminate again. Rather than that, a green light should replace the red one. This means that the system is back to normal operation.

Fix 3: Change the Outlet

After the system has been reset, the red signal may appear again. This indicates that the system has ceased to function properly. As a result, it must be replaced with a new one.

Fix 4: Check and Replace the Wires

Worn out wires could cause your newly attached GFCI to blink yellow or red. Usually, a simple swap will solve the problem. However, there are occasions when the wires in the circuit must be changed.

You should not attempt to self-replace a GFCI. Rather, employ a qualified electrician to complete the task. After all, you’re working with your condo’s electrical system. Even if you’re experienced, it may be dangerous work.


Question: How long can a GFCI outlet last?

Answer: Normally a GFCI outlet lasts for about 10 to 15 years. All electrical outlets wear out eventually, but GFCI outlets can last longer. But you’d have to be careful about faulty wires and circuit overload. 

Question: Can I wire GFCI outlets in series?

Answer: No you can not wire GFCI outlets in a series. You’d have to wire them in parallel. You wouldn’t receive the appropriate voltage at other outlets if they’re in series.

Question: Is there a difference between GFCI and GFI?

Answer: Yes, they are both different things. GFI is a general-purpose interrupter. On your electric utility panel, there’d be a GFCI breaker. It would safeguard a lot of different outlets. GFI is located at the outlet, rather than on the panel.


Now you know everything about why your GFCI outlet red light is blinking. When either of these things happens, it’s wise to review the owner’s manual.

Diagnosing the problem in the simplest and perhaps most device-specific way is the way to go.

Best of luck fixing your switches!