None of the circuits breakers are tripped but when I try to reset the button it won't reset. It just pops back out and the red light stays on. There is no power coming through the outlet or any outlets downstream from it. It is on our screen porch and I sprayed the pollen off the porch last week. That is when I happened. This has happened before when I spray off the porch and after a day or so when things dry out it starts working again. But it has been 5-6 days of warm dry weather, so I would imagine everything is dry and it will still not reset.

  • 3
    Not a good idea to spray any liquid on an outlet, GFCI or otherwise or on any electrical fixtures. When it won't reset, there's a reason. There may be an unsafe condition it's protecting you from or it's just worn out. GFCI units have a finite life span. Yours may need replacing.
    – HoneyDo
    Apr 28, 2022 at 21:58

2 Answers 2


Sounds like you killed it with water, or you've created a persistent ground fault that's triggering it with water. I would guess that repeated wetting has just finally killed the GFCI itself.

This is one reason that most of us prefer to locate the GFCI indoors, not out. If you are going to continue with an outdoor location, put a full weatherproof in-use cover over the new GFCI outlet, and buy a WR (weather-resistant) GFCI for a few bucks more.


Turn the power off, pull the GFCI receptacle out. remove any wires off of its "Load" terminals, and cap them off. Put the GFCI back in the box, power back up and hit "Reset".

If it still won't reset with nothing plugged in and nothing on Load, then the GFCI is finished.

If it resets fine with the Load wires disconnected, then the GFCI is fine and there is a ground fault in the onward part of the circuit. Work the trouble tree for that, i.e. divide and conquer.

  • So I took off the Load wires and the GFCI is resetting w/o those connected, but when I connect them back it doesn't reset. So it sounds like the fault is downstream. How do I find the ground fault downstream?
    – Joe Eller
    Apr 29, 2022 at 18:37
  • @Joe figure out the route of the circuit, find a nice halfway point and disconnect hot and neutral there. See if the GFCI clears. Now you know which half the problem is in, divide that in half and repeat. Apr 29, 2022 at 19:45
  • Thanks! I did it and found it to be the ceiling fan with the fault. I'm sure it got wet when spraying off a week ago. Any thoughts why it wouldn't be working by now? I would imagine it has dried out. thanks again, you've been a big help.
    – Joe Eller
    Apr 29, 2022 at 21:46

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