How often do you test your GFCI?  My what!?  Yeah, that’s the problem…. and why UL changed things.

Starting June 29, 2015 Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has announced a revision to standard UL 943.

This revision requires that all UL certified Class A residential and commercial grade box-mounted GFCI have:

a) An auto-monitoring function that will allow for periodic automatic testing (self-test) of the GFCI device and its ability to respond to a ground fault. If a problem is detected the GFCI will disconnect power to anything connected to it or indicate that there is a problem using visual or audible means.

b) Provisions to ensure that receptacle type GFCIs that contain separate line and load terminals, and that is powered through its load terminals, shall not reset and supply power to its receptacle face or line terminals if miswired. This applies both during its initial installation and after reinstallation following a correctly wired installation. If the device is provided with special instructions for removal and reinstallation, the instructions shall be followed during testing.

Why Do We Need A Revision?

Raise your hand if you tested your GFCI this week?  This month?  This year?  Yeah, that’s why.  Testing a GFCI is a good way to verify that it is providing protection.  This revision to the UL standard improves safety for the end-user by confirming that the GFCI can respond to a ground-fault and, if not, indicating to the user that it needs to be replaced.

Do I Have To Change All My Receptacles?

No.  This revision applies to all Class A residential and commercial grade box-mounted GFCI receptacles as well as GFCI circuit breakers.  Panel mount, in-line and portable GFCIs will not be affected.
This is where the Leviton SmarTest GFCI comes of age.  Actually Leviton has offered a Self-Test GFCI for years.  Leviton SmartlockPro® Self-Test GFCIs feature a patented RESET/LOCKOUT for added safety.  TheRESET/LOCKOUT feature prevents reset if a SmartlockPro GFCI is damaged and cannot respond to a ground fault.  Some older style GFCIs may allow reset even if the GFCI is no longer providing protection.  Here’s Leviton promo piece for the SmartlockPro Self-Test GFCI.

The SmartlockPro RESET button will not engage if:
  • The GFCI is miswired due to reversal of the line and load leads
  • There is no power being supplied to the GFCI
  • The GFCI cannot pass its internal test

The Leviton SmarTest GFCI also feature:

  • Terminals withstand high torque
  • Back and side wire capable (External back wire clamp)
  • Tamper-Resistant shutters
  • Dual Function Indicator Light
  • Standard self-ground clip

The Leviton SmartLockPro Self Test GFCI is available at a variety of resellers as well as Amazon.

Likely you do not have the Leviton SmarTest GFCI in your home so Leviton has produced this great video to help you know how to test a GFCI: