Blogs from November, 2021

A person pressing the TEST button on a gfci outlet

Breaking Down GFCI Outlets

When it comes to installing outlets, there are certain requirements that you must follow in order to stay up to code. One of those requirements is installing a ground fault circuit interrupter. Not only does this keep you up with the latest requirements, but it also ensures you and your home are safe from electrical issues.

We’re breaking down GFCI outlets so you can stay safe and have functioning outlets in your home.


GFCI outlets are usually required in areas where water is frequently used, like kitchens and bathrooms. They are also usually required for outdoor outlets.

Areas with water are more prone to electric shock, so GFCI outlets are built to reduce your risk and protect your home from damage. The outlet will automatically cut power at that location when it detects an electrical fault.

Consult your local building code to see if GFCI outlets are required in your home. Newer homes are built to comply with these rules, but older homes may not yet have this protection.

The Buttons

What distinguishes GFCI outlets visually from standard three-prong outlets is that there are two buttons: one TEST and one RESET. These buttons are crucial to operating a GFCI outlet.

To ensure the outlet is working properly, plug in an appliance, like a lamp or radio so it’s easy to monitor. Press the TEST button - the appliance should stop working (the lamp would turn off or the radio would go quiet). This means your outlet is functioning properly! RESET restores power to the outlet after a fault or test. If pressing reset doesn’t restore power, contact an electrician to see if there is a deeper issue.

Outlet Repairs & Installation

The Sylvester Electric, Inc. team is highly trained in all aspects of home electrical work, especially updating homes’ outlets to safe, efficient models. Contact us today at (978) 910-0021 for more information on how we can help you.