You are checking all the electrical outlets as it’s home electrical inspection day. To test the GFCI outlet you push the test button on it. But it won’t push in!
Why GFCI test button won’t push in?
Several issues can prevent the test button from pushing in. Another upstreamed GFCI can be the culprit. Then there is the issue of the corroded spring of the button. The test button won’t push in due to a lack of power in the GFCI. Loose connections will also stop the button from pushing in.
This is just a short explanation. There are more details to this problem. Please keep scrolling to know it all!
GFCI outlets are designed to ensure complete safety from electrical damage. For doing that they come with several switches and light to sensors. The yellow GFCI light and test button on the outlets are very handy.
But the test button sometimes gets stuck in its place. There are different causes behind this issue. Let’s see the reasons at first to find the solution.
Another GFCI Outlet Upstreamed
The test button on the GFCI can get stuck due to problems in another GFCI outlet. Sometimes the second GFCI is wired upstream of the first one. If the second GFCI gets damaged, it will hinder the work of the other GFCI.
Then the test button becomes stationary and can not be pressed. This situation can also prevent you from resetting your GFCI outlet.
No Power in the Outlet
The GFCI outlet needs the power to run. If power is not provided, the outlet becomes useless. Lack of power can disable its button functions too. The test button stops working when the outlet is crippled.
Corroded Spring inside the Outlet
The buttons of the GFCI outlet work on a spring mechanism. Springs are fitted behind the buttons. Once the reset or the test button is pushed, they come back by the spring energy. This spring is made of metal.
When the GFCI outlet ages and becomes old, the metal spring gets corroded. It becomes stiff and does not want to move easily. In that type of condition you will get it tough to push the button. The corroded spring will make the job harder.
Bad Electrical Connection
Another important cause behind the stiffened test button is the GFCI wiring issues. The wire that completes the GFCI circuit goes a long way. If this wire is faulty in any place, the power supply will be interrupted. This will make the outlet dysfunctional.
Old weak wire, wire touching the ground, damaged circuit, moisturized area, etc. issues affect the GFCI. For that the electrical connections must be tested to sort out any GFCI problem.
Damaged GFCI Outlet
The last but not least cause is a damaged GFCI outlet. GFCIs are well known for their long-lasting performance. But they get damaged too with time. And then the test button also stops working.
Besides aging, GFCI outlets can break for some other reasons too. One of the prime reasons for damaging the GFCI is daisy-chaining the outlet. Overloading the outlet is very dangerous for the appliances, outlets, and users.
Above I’ve mentioned the probable reasons for which the test button might not get pushed in. Now I will show you the ways to fix all these issues. By following them you can make the test button work again.
The solutions to the GFCI test button that won’t push in are very easy. But you will need to follow appropriate procedures. Below I have discussed all the required steps of fixing the button.
Solution 1: Check Other GFCI Outlets
First you’ve to check other upstreamed GFCI outlets. Observer if there is any warning red light on the GFCI. If yes, you have to reset that GFCI outlet. The resetting method is pretty simple.
Press the reset button present on the GFCI. Keep pressing it for some moment then release it. The outlet will get reset now. Now check the first GFCI. The test button should work now.
Solution 2: Push with More Force
As mentioned earlier, sometimes the GFCI test button gets stuck because of corrosion. At that time applying more force can solve the problem. Push the button slowly and use strength on it. But don’t break the GFCI outlet.
The outlet is made of plastic. It will break easily if you apply excess power to it. So push the button subtly with little to medium force. If the issue is corroded spring, this measure will solve it.
Solution 3: Check for Bad Connections
If the problem is not in the spring or the upstreamed GFCI, you have to check the connections. Checking the connection is kind of a tough process. The complete length of the cable is to be examined.
Getting help from a professional is better. If you’re inexperienced on the matter, you might fail to find the problem. Sometimes the cables need to be replaced too. An electrician will be able to do it without any hassle.
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Solution 4: Replace the GFCI Outlet
If all the above measures were unable to fix the GFCI test button, the GFCI might be damaged. In such situations, you have to replace the GFCI. There is no other way to make the test button functional again.
You can replace the GFCI outlet by yourself or get an electrician. Make sure that the outlet is compatible with your circuit board. Once the GFCI outlet is replaced, you will be able to push the test button.
Follow these methods to fix the test button of your GFCI outlet. Make sure that you follow my methods appropriately. Only then the problem will be solved in a minimum time.
Question: How do I fix a stuck GFCI outlet that won’t reset?
Answer: You can fix a stuck GFCI outlet that won’t reset by disconnecting all the appliances. The reset button used to fix the GFCI sometimes doesn’t work with loads. So you’ve to remove the loads.
Question: How can you understand if a GFCI outlet is bad?
Answer: You can discover whether a GFCI outlet is bad or not by pressing the test and reset button. These two indicate the health of the GFCI. If the reset button trips frequently, the GFCI is broken.
Question: Do GFCI outlets wear out?
Answer: Yes, GFCI outlets eventually wear out. GFCI outlets come with a huge lifetime. They can last for 25 to 30 years. But this outlet can also break after 5 years due to unwanted situations.
This is all I have on the GFCI test button won’t push in.
The GFCI outlets work very well to prevent the electrocution of a person. But electrical injuries can be fatal. Always be very careful at the time of working with these outlets.
That’s all. Best of luck!