GFCI circuits did not reset after power outage!

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Old 07-13-16, 06:07 PM
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GFCI circuits did not reset after power outage!

Hi Guys- I just built a new home and have a concern about it and was hoping you could help. Today the power company was working on something in the neighborhood and turned power off to all of the homes to do so. When I arrived home I was surprised to find out that ALL of my circuits with GFCI protection were tripped and not reset when the power came back on! I had to reset 4 separate ones throughout the house. My biggest concern was the fact that my sump pump/water heater/softener/chest freezer/etc were not running when I arrived home because of this. Is this normal? Why wouldnt they reset automatically when power was restored? Forgive me for not knowing a thing about electricity. I would greatly appreciate any input or advice you can offer to me. Thank you very much!!
 
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Old 07-13-16, 06:51 PM
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I rarely lose power, but when it does happen the GFI's don't trip.
 
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Old 07-13-16, 06:54 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

If everything thing is working correctly in your home, other then the GFCI's, it is possible that something happened and your house was hit by a power surge. If that is the case you may have a claim with the power company.
 
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Old 07-13-16, 07:25 PM
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The GFCI's still all work fine but I did have to reset them manually after the power came back on. Do you think they were permanently damaged?
 
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Old 07-13-16, 07:32 PM
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I doubt they were permanently damaged but current GFI receptacles need power to reset. Once they're reset they don't trip when the power is turned off.

You may want to turn the power off to your GFI receptacles and then back on. If they tripped.... replace them for newer ones that don't do that.
 
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Old 07-13-16, 07:54 PM
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Thank you. Followed your advice and they turned back on just fine. Is it safe to assume that when the power came back on they were hit with such a strong surge that it tripped them? Do you think this will happen every time there is a power outage? Ugh...I sure hope not. I'm out of town a lot!
 
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Old 07-13-16, 08:24 PM
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I've never heard of a power failure to cause them to trip so it's very hard to answer your question.

I cannot make a recommendation against code but my fridge is not protected by a GFI device.
When I had a deep freezer.... it wasn't either.
 
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Old 07-15-16, 05:31 PM
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My biggest concern was the fact that my sump pump/water heater/softener/chest freezer/etc were not running when I arrived home because of this.
I have never heard of a water heater being GFCI protected unless this is one of the newer gas models with electronic ignition or a power vent. Just turning the power off and later back on shouldn't have sent any surges, but if the power company did some switching after the power was restored it is very likely some voltage surges hit your home. That being said, I have never heard of a voltage surge tripping a GFCI device. You should consider installing a whole house surge protector at your main panel.
 
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