Ask Any Hour - Buttons on GCFI Outlets


Dear Any Hour,

What are the buttons on this outlet for? And why are they different from other outlets in my home?

- Jill K.

gfci outlet

Those outlets are called GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) and are most commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, unfinished basements, garages, and the exterior outlets around the house. They’re designed to protect you from electrical shock and are put where there’s a high likelihood of a person having contact with water and electricity at the same time.

The buttons on the GFCI outlets do have a purpose. GFCIs need to be tested periodically because they can wear out or go bad and you want to make sure they are working properly in your home to protect you and your family. It’s easy to test them -- here are some basic instructions.

  1. Push the TEST button, which will cause the RESET button to pop out, making a sharp click sound.

  2. Next, press the RESET button. This should restore power to the outlet. If you don’t hear the click, or if the outlet isn’t working, you might have a faulty GFCI outlet. 

As long as the RESET button pops out again, you are good. If you can’t get the outlet to reset (RESET button does not pop out again), then the outlet has gone bad and you need to replace it.

Here’s one of our more popular videos on Tiktok talking about GFCIs and how to test them.


GFCI outlets are an effective and inexpensive way to keep your family safe from the risk of electrical shock where electricity and water could potentially mix. And it’s important to make sure to test that these are working periodically so they can continue to keep your family safe.


woman with question marks above her  What Do You Want to Learn More About?  We want to share tips and information to help you understand the systems in your home. Is there a topic you'd like us to talk about? We'd love to hear from you! Click the button below to submit your question or email it to: [email protected].


Author: Tammy Nelson
Copyright © 2020 by Any Hour Services


Apr 28th 2020

All Posts