How To Reset An Outlet Outside

How to Reset an Outdoor Outlet: A Comprehensive Guide


Outdoor outlets play a crucial role in powering various devices and tools, from lawnmowers to string lights. However, like any electrical component, they may encounter issues that require a reset. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of resetting an outdoor outlet. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a homeowner looking to troubleshoot, this guide has you covered.

Understanding Outdoor Outlets

Before diving into the reset process, let’s briefly understand outdoor outlets. These electrical receptacles are exposed to the elements, making them susceptible to issues like tripping, short circuits, or water damage. Knowing the basic components of an outdoor outlet will help you troubleshoot effectively.

Key Components

  • Outlet Cover: Protects the receptacle from rain, snow, and debris.
  • GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter): Monitors the flow of electricity and shuts off power if a ground fault is detected.
  • Weather-Resistant Outlets: Designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Reasons for Resetting

Several reasons may prompt you to reset your outdoor outlet. Common issues include tripped circuit breakers, GFCI trips, or general malfunction. Identifying the specific problem will guide your troubleshooting process.

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Step-by-Step Reset Guide

Follow these steps to reset your outdoor outlet safely:

1. Safety First

Always prioritize safety. Turn off the circuit breaker associated with the outdoor outlet to avoid electrical shocks.

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2. Inspect for Damage

Check for visible damage, loose wires, or signs of water ingress. If you notice any issues, consult a professional electrician.

3. Reset GFCI

If your outdoor outlet has a GFCI, locate the reset button and press it. This step often resolves common issues.

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4. Reset Circuit Breaker

Head to your electrical panel and find the circuit breaker labeled for the outdoor outlet. Reset it by flipping the switch to the “off” position and then back to “on.”

5. Test the Outlet

Plug in a small device or use a voltage tester to ensure the outlet is functioning correctly.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Understanding what not to do is as important as knowing the correct steps. Avoid these common mistakes during the reset process:

  • Ignoring Safety Measures: Always turn off the power before attempting any reset.
  • Overlooking Visible Damage: If you see damage, consult a professional instead of attempting a reset.

FAQs – Your Questions Answered

Q1: Can I reset an outdoor outlet without turning off the power?

A1: No, it’s crucial to turn off the power to ensure your safety during the reset process.

Q2: What if the GFCI keeps tripping repeatedly?

A2: This may indicate a wiring issue. Consult a licensed electrician to identify and fix the problem.

Q3: Are all outdoor outlets GFCI-protected?

A3: Not necessarily. While GFCI protection is recommended, some outdoor outlets may not have it. Check the outlet for a built-in GFCI.


Resetting an outdoor outlet is a manageable task with the right knowledge and precautions. By following these steps and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure a safe and effective reset, keeping your outdoor electrical system in top-notch condition. Remember, if in doubt, always seek professional assistance.

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