My GFCI Outlet Light Is Green but No Power – Surprising Truth

Using a GFCI outlet can help protect both people and appliances from hazards that come with the use of electricity. When using your GFCI receptacle, you might be worried to find that there is no power even when the outlet’s light is green.

Why Is There Is No Power When My GFCI Outlet Light Is green? Your GFCI outlet has no power when the light is green when there is an error in the wiring. You should re-examine the connections so that the outlet will receive power.

In an article by Popular Mechanics, it is explained that if your GFCI outlet does not have power when its light is green, then it has been incorrectly wired. You need to rewire the GFCI outlet correctly for it to function properly.

I decided to verify on various Electrical forums the GFCI brands that many electricians are recommending. These brands did not seem to have the green light and no power problem. Here are the results.

Brands of GFCI Recommended by Forum UsersPercentage of total results
Leviton (click to get yours)63%

How To Reset A GFCI amber Light?

You can reset a GFCI outlet amber (yellow) light by simply pressing the RESET button on the outlet. This button restarts the GFCI outlet, restoring the flow of current.

In most households, there are a lot of appliances and devices that are powered by electricity, and these devices are crucial to the overall running of a home. However, an appliance can develop an electrical fault, or for there to be a power surge.

When there is an issue with the current being supplied to a device or a faulty connection, some risks that can arise include overheating, electrical shocks, burns, and even a fire. Engineers developed a solution to these issues – a GFCI outlet.

GFCI is an acronym for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. A GFCI outlet constantly tracks the flow of current in a circuit and when it detects an interruption in the flow of electricity, it will automatically trip off, cutting off the power supply.

GFCI outlets do not only protect your devices, but they also come with a color-changing light that gives off assorted colors to represent different situations. The common light colors that you might see on your GFCI receptacle are green, red, orange, and amber (yellow).

Each color has its meaning, and when you see an amber (or yellow) light, it means that you need to reset your GFCI outlet. The need to reset your GFCI outlet occurs when the outlet has detected an issue such as a ground fault or a short circuit, causing it to trip off.

It is easy to reset the amber light on your GFCI outlet since there is a reset button that you simply need to press. Pressing the RESET button restores the electric circuit and revives the flow of electricity to your device.

While some GFCI outlets can simply be reset by pressing the RESET button, some more advanced models might require that the receptacle must be self-tested before going ahead to reset it. Also, before you reset the receptacle, you should ensure that the issue that caused the outlet to trip off in the first place has been resolved.

What Are Some Reasons That A GFCI Outlet Will Not Reset?

Your GFCI outlet might not reset because the problem that caused it to trip off has not been resolved. The outlet may also not reset if it is faulty or if there is a wiring issue.

The main function of a GFCI receptacle is to protect you and your devices from harm since a current surge or short-circuiting wires can cause overheating, damage your devices, and expose you to the risk of burns and electric shock.

Considering how important a GFCI outlet can be, you should pay attention to details regarding its setup, operation, and maintenance. If an electrical issue alerts your GFCI outlet and causes it to trip off, you will need to reset the receptacle, and this can be done by pressing the RESET button.

However, the GFCI outlet may refuse to reset even when you push the RESET button. Here are some reasons why your GFCI outlet might not reset and viable solutions for a quick fix.

  • Faulty GFCI outlet

Like any other appliance, your GFCI receptacle does not have an endless lifespan and can develop a fault after being used for a long while. Some of the best GFCI outlets have a lifespan ranging between 15 and 25 years. However, there are cases where a GFCI receptacle lasts only about 5 years.

The lifespan of a GFCI receptacle can be shortened if it trips very frequently due to consistent electrical faults or if there is improper ground wiring. If your GFCI outlet is old or faulty, then you should replace it with a new one. Also, this change should be carried out as soon as possible because there is a chance that a flawed receptacle can affect other outlets in a building.

  • Fix the tripping issue

When a fault is detected by the GFCI receptacle, it trips off, eliminating the risk of danger. When the receptacle trips off, you can simply reset it with the RESET button. However, it is possible that the issue that caused the outlet to trip off in the first place has not been resolved.

For instance, if some wires are getting short-circuited, the GFCI receptacle might not come on when you try to reset it, protecting you and your devices from hurt or damage. In cases like this, you should ensure that the problem has been fixed before trying to switch on the receptacle again.

If you are unsure where the fault might be coming from, you should check out the wiring, or hire a qualified technician to do that for you.

You should note that the GFCI outlet might refuse to reset because it is undergoing a self-test to ensure that the initial problem that caused it to trip off has been resolved. If this is the case, all you need to do is wait for a while before attempting to reset the receptacle.

Also, your GFCI outlet might be showing either a yellow or red light while refusing to reset. If the light is red, you might need to press both the TEST and RESET buttons to get it functioning once again.

How Do You Troubleshoot A Dead GFCI Outlet?

You can troubleshoot a dead GFCI outlet by checking that the wiring is accurate, pushing the RESET button, and ensuring that connected appliances are not faulty.

Using a GFCI outlet in your home is a terrific way to stay safe from hazards that might be caused by electrical faults. As useful as a GFCI outlet is, operating and maintaining it can take some doing since there are a lot of factors to keep in mind.

If your GFCI outlet seems to be dead – if it is not powering an appliance – there are some steps to take that can help you find out where the issue is coming from and find a way to fix it. Below are a few procedures that you can follow to troubleshoot a dead GFCI receptacle.

  • Check The Circuit Breaker

In most buildings, there is a circuit breaker panel that contains several switches, with each switch being responsible for the power supply to all the electrical connections in a specific part of a building. With these switches, you can decide to switch off the power supply to just one section of a building. Also, these switches trip off when there is a power surge in their specific region.

If you notice that your GFCI receptacle is dead, then the issue might just be from the circuit breaker switch that controls the region that the GFCI receptacle is connected to. Locate and open up the circuit breaker panel and look for a switch that has tripped off.

  • Reset the GFCI Outlet

The most basic form of troubleshooting for a dead GFCI outlet is to reset it. This applies to not just GFCI outlets, but a lot of other electronic devices too. The most straightforward way to reset your GFCI is to press the RESET button on the outlet. The RESET button is usually colored red and is placed beside the TEST button which is often colored black.

Some GFCI outlets require you to press both the RESET and TEST buttons for them to be properly reset. One way to know if the receptacle needs to be reset is if the RESET button is pushing out further than usual.

  • Check the Connected Appliance

Sometimes, the problem might not be from the GFCI receptacle but from the appliance that is connected to it. Before assuming that the GFCI outlet is faulty, you should test the appliance at other outlets to ensure that it is working properly.

You can also check this by plugging another appliance into the outlet that is being tested, helping you isolate the source of the issue.

If none of the above steps have found your problem, I recommend that you purchase a Leviton GFCI outlet that is available on Amazon. Click here to get yours delivered.

Should The GFCI Light Be Off or On?

The light of a properly functioning GFCI outlet should be on, and the color depends on the status of the outlet. If the light is off, then the outlet is either tripped off or does not have access to power.

The function of a GFCI outlet is important, and as such, it needs to be monitored consistently. To ensure that you can pay attention to your GFCI receptacle, these sockets are designed with color-coded lights that signify what is going on with the outlet at any point in time.

The common colors that are often found on a GFCI outlet are red, green, amber (yellow), and orange.

When the outlet is showing a green-colored light, then it is functioning properly and has an adequate power supply, both into and out of the receptacle.

When the outlet’s light is red, then there is a fault that needs to be attended to. The problem can as a result of overheating, short-circuiting, or a ground fault. It can also be because the GFCI receptacle performed a self-test which failed.

When the outlet is giving off an orange light, it means that the outlet is receiving power but has tripped off. You should note that the orange, yellow, and amber colors of a GFCI receptacle are often the same thing. The variation in the color names is because people tend to mix up color names.

If your GFCI outlet is showing either orange, yellow, or amber, then you can either reset it using the RESET button or by pressing both the TEST and RESET buttons.

When you consider how useful the colors of a GFCI light are, then you realize that a properly functioning GFCI receptacle should have a light always turned on. If the light of the outlet is off, then it is not receiving any power. In this case, you might need to either check the circuit breaker controlling the GFCI outlet or the overall power supply.

Why Does GFCI Flash red?

If your GFCI outlet is flashing red, then it is either carrying out a self-test or indicating that the self-test has failed and there is an issue with the receptacle or power supply.

As mentioned above, the color of light given off by the GFCI receptacle is important since it indicates the state of operation of the outlet. A green-colored light means that all is good, and an orange (or yellow or amber) light means that you need to reset the outlet. However, a red light is another case entirely.

For modern brands, when a GFCI outlet is turned on, it will perform a preliminary self-test to ensure that there is no issue, before going ahead to supply power to your connected appliance. When this test is being carried out, there will be a flashing red light that lasts for a brief period.

If everything is fine, the flashing red light should turn green before long. However, if the light keeps flashing for a long while, or stops flashing and becomes steady, then the outlet has failed the self-test, indicating that there is a problem.

The presence of red light can indicate that there is a fault with the wiring, that there is an overload or any other issue. A red light can also show that the outlet has been damaged and needs to be replaced.

How To Reset GFCI red Light?


To reset a GFCI red light, you should press the RESET button on the GFCI outlet. If this does not work, you should first press the TEST button, followed by the RESET button.

The GFCI red light will turn red if there is an issue, and in some cases, the fault can be addressed by resetting the outlet. If the light turned red because the receptacle was tripped, you can get back on track by simply pushing the RESET button.

If the outlet is not tripped, then you can trip it manually by pressing the TEST button, then the RESET button. If the red light issue can be solved by resetting, then these steps should be enough to get things working.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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