While cleaning, my niece sprayed my GFCI outlet causing it to go out. I attempted to reset it but came up with negative results. I purchased another one, hooked it together (green light came on showing that the outlet was good) but no power is coming through. The plug is also connected to an additional outlet which doesn't have any problem.

What is causing this and how do I fix it?

  • 5
    I have some GFCI receptacles where the light means everything's okay and some where it means there's a problem. Aug 25, 2014 at 20:03
  • Thank you for this answer. It is exactly what happened to me and I was able to find the tripped one! In a nutshell, after completing the installation check to see if other plugs also don't work that were working prior to the I startup. It means that one of the GFIC in the line is tripped and so electricity is not continuing on down the line.
    – user46332
    Dec 6, 2015 at 20:04

5 Answers 5


Use a voltage tester like a "Wiggy" or a neon tester to test the presence of voltage at the wires. (not just in the socket of the GFI) If there is current in the wires, double-check that you have connected the power to the line side of the GFI, not the load side. Be sure that the neutral (white wire) and hot (black) are connected to the correct terminals and not reversed.

Remember: GFIs are designed to protect from ground faults (where current is being shunted to ground). They are not circuit breakers and they do not protect against over load of current like a fuse would.

If there is no power at the wires then the problem it outside the scope of this question and you may wish to hire an electrician.


For GFCI outlets, the lights are questionable and can only best be used for tripped/not tripped status. Best to use a circuit tester (you can purchase from a hardware store) that you plug into the socket and it will tell you the wiring status. Note, this isn't 100% either but it is the first place to start when dealing with wiring problems.


I have a simple solution. After my initial failed installation, i removed it and realized my lines needed to be reversed. When I compared the old to the new leviton gfci I noticed the load and line positions were reversed. I had installed the new one assuming the positions were the same. After reinstalling the new one with the lines reversed,it worked! Funny thing was that little green light was on regardless of whether the recep works or not. It is green now and it works. The only time it was off was when it was in test mode. In installed leviton 20 amp model gftr2-kt.


Just had a similar problem in my house. Was changing a regular outlet in the bathroom for a GFCI one and lost power in all bathrooms. Apparently, the breaker didn't trip but a GFCI outlet in the garage did. When I installed the GFCI in the bathroom and reset the GFCI in the garage the one in the garage was working fine but in the bathroom I saw a green light on the leviton receptacle, but there was no power in the wires! Very odd I thought, so assumed some other outlet was either burnt, not passing the power to the next in circuit or there was a loose wire connection. But why would it happen somewhere if I just replaced an outlet? Anyway, to cut the story short, as the garage outlet was the only operational one to be still regulated by a breaker (all in the same circuit), I uninstalled it (took it completely off) and wired it back again to see whether it would do anything and what do you think? Everything is working again! So, the bottom line, GFCIs can be operational but only receive power. If it is not a terminal outlet (last in the line - having only one black and one white wires) - it should receive and pass power on to the next one in the circuit. These GFCIs would receive, could be reset but yet did not pass on. Could be fully reset only by completely uninstalling and wiring back!

Hope it helps! Good luck!

  • I'm lost in the details of your story, and I don't understand the solution you came away with. Can you clarify?
    – CivFan
    Oct 5, 2015 at 0:40

gfci outlets don't like to be wired in series aka power passing form one posers another and so on. they will always phantom trip creating a royal pain in the ass. i see you added a gfci in the bathroom when the one in the garage was already protecting the bathroom outlets.

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