Ground fault circuit interrupter, also referred to GFCI, GFI, or a residual-current device. This devices detects a leak in current, or an imbalance between the current on the hot and neutral wires. This is used to prevent electrical shock.

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7answers
112k views

How do I install a GFCI receptacle with two hot wires and common neutral?

In my kitchen, I want to replace a regular 120V receptacle with a GFCI-protected receptacle. The instructions describe what to do with a regular 2-wire + ground feed, with and without daisy chaining ...
14
votes
4answers
66k views

Which Kitchen outlets do NOT need GFCI?

I have the 2 circuits in the kitchen with GFCI outlets, but I'm not quite sure which other ones do NOT need GFCI. Other circuits in the kitchen include Microwave, Fridge, and Dishwasher. It makes ...
13
votes
4answers
41k views

When to use holes instead of side terminals to wire an outlet

This question comes from Shirlock's comment on this GFCI wiring question. When and why should you use the holes on the back of an outlet rather than the side terminals? I always assumed the holes on ...
13
votes
4answers
83k views

How do I properly wire GFCI outlets in parallel?

I have two countertop outlets in my kitchen that I am in the process of replacing with new, GFCI-protected outlets. These two outlets are on a circuit together, and they are the only loads on that ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Can a GFCI receptacle protect other receptacles?

My contractor has wired one GFCI receptacle in the main bathroom on the same circuit as a normal receptacle in our en-suite bathroom (it is less than a foot from the sink). he says that since they are ...
10
votes
1answer
25k views

Can I add a standard receptacle on a GFCI circuit

So, I want to add a receptacle in the bathroom (I tend to run out of batteries on my phone while crapping at the end of the day). There's a GFCI outlet on the other side of the crapper wall that ...
10
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2answers
9k views

How should I address my bathroom's flickering lights and GFCI tripping mysteriously? (Schematic included.)

So I inherited a bit of a nightmare for wiring in my bathroom. I'll be calling in an electrician, but wanted to have an understanding of the problem first, as not to be ripped off, lead astray, etc.. ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it possible to be electrocuted from a properly functioning GFCI circuit?

It's my understanding the the purpose of a GFCI circuit is to prevent shock by tripping the circuit if there is an imbalance in current in vs. current out. So my question is, if you have a functioning ...
9
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3answers
3k views

Is an ungrounded GFCI outlet safer than a plumbing-grounded non-GFCI outlet?

I'm in the United States. I have a handful of three-prong outlets that have been grounded to the underground water main just as it enters the crawlspace. All of the ground wires are home runs to the ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Must outdoor GFCI power outlets be covered?

I have outside the regular (i.e. non-GFCI) power outlet that you see on the left. It has a nice double-cover that will keep water out. I am about to replace it with a GFCI outlet (right of the ...
8
votes
3answers
708 views

Is a GFCI receptacle device a circuit breaker? [duplicate]

I have been told that a GFCI receptacle is a "circuit breaker" in the sense that it will trip under overload. Everything I know, have been told, and have read from experts to manufacturers says this ...
8
votes
1answer
601 views

Is it worth it to replace old style breakers with GFCI or AFCI breakers?

I have older wiring on my house (2-wire) BX. And while it's all in good condition, and I do check the outlets monthly to make certain it's still grounded, I'm wary of the BX sheathing as the ground. ...
8
votes
1answer
734 views

Can I have multiple GFCIs on one circuit?

I have a 70s kitchen with a very long countertop. I understand that I only need one GFCI to protect the downstream outlets (for example near the sink). However, I decided instead to install 3 separate ...
7
votes
1answer
27k views

Why doesn't my GFI receptacle reset?

I have a GFI receptacle in my kitchen that feeds four other receptacles. It tripped the other day and I cannot get it to reset. All of the other receptables on the circuit are not functioning which ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Should switches in a kitchen area have GFCI protection?

Do the switches on the wall and over the counter areas have to be on a GFCI protected circuit? As there is live power at the switch all the time, I would think this to be true, but I'm not sure.
7
votes
3answers
115 views

How to add a gfci and surge protector to pool pump line?

I want to add a gfci and surge protector to the 240v circuit for my pool pump. The 12 guage power wires (red and black) and ground (green) run from the corner of yard directly to the main breaker ...
7
votes
5answers
11k views

What could be causing AFCI breaker and GFCI receptacle nuisance tripping?

I have a very unusual set of electrical issues that have proven difficult to troubleshoot. I live in a newly constructed house. Each bedroom has AFCI breakers. In the past 3 years living there, the ...
6
votes
3answers
21k views

What could be causing GFCI breakers and receptacles to trip?

I have a two wire system and after installing GFCI outlet in kitchen I realized there is a problem with some type of inconsistancy causing the GFCI to trip as soon as power is sent to it. Thinking the ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

GFCI outlet won't come on

I have a couple recently installed (By a professional licensed electrician) GFCI outlets outside a barn, both on their own circuit. Both have water trough heaters plugged into them - 1500 watts each. ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does my GFCI outlet trip as soon as the breaker is turned on?

I have an outlet feeding other outlets about 50 feet away. All the outlets are outdoor enclosed in a protective weather cover. Today I wanted to replace one of the receptacles with a GFCI so all the ...
6
votes
3answers
16k views

Are non-GFCI outlets that are downstream of a GFCI outlet ground fault protected if they are fed from the GFCI outlet's load side?

Are non-GFCI outlets that are downstream of a GFCI outlet ground fault protected if they are fed from the GFCI outlet's load side? If those non-GFCI downstream outlets were not fed from the GFCI ...
6
votes
4answers
41k views

Why is GFCI tripping on refrigerator circuit?

My refrigerator is tripping the GFCI on the socket into which it is plugged. Searching about this topic seems to indicate that this is a reasonably common complaint. However, I can't find any ...
6
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4answers
8k views

GFCI outlet hot when nothing's plugged into it

Using a thermal camera (coolest thing in the world, by the way), I discovered that a GFCI outlet in my bathroom is hotter then the surrounding wall when nothing's plugged into it: It's not boiling ...
6
votes
1answer
18k views

How should I wire a GFCI outlet and a switch to isolate the switch but provide GFCI protection further in the series?

I am replacing the outlets for my garbage disposal/dishwasher circuit in my kitchen. Currently on that breaker there is one non-GFCI outlet with a pigtailed switch controlling the garbage disposal and ...
6
votes
1answer
36k views

How do I wire a GFCI/Switch Combo?

I'm replacing an old GFCI/Switch combo. In the old one there are two wires coming into the line side, a hot wire and a neutral. On the load side there is one wire leading up to the lighting fixture. ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What problems could occur if I plugged a 3-prong plug into a receptacle labeled “No Equipment Ground”?

I have several old, ungrounded outlets in my house which are protected with GFCI, which is allowed per code as the GFCI will protect a person in the event of a ground-fault. These outlets are ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

What could be tripping multiple GFCI breakers?

I have 14 ground fault circuits split 7 on each side of my panel. I have recently had 5 or six trip on the left side and 1 or 2 on the right. It happens at all hours. It appears I have some kind of ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there any advantage to using a weather resistant GFCI in a bathroom?

I'm replacing an old GFCI in a bathroom, and for a little more money, I could buy one rated for weather resistance. This bathroom has no fan (only a small window), so it can get pretty steamy with ...
5
votes
4answers
14k views

Why does my circuit breaker trip with any small load, even after replacing the breaker?

I have a 20A 240V GFCI breaker in my main breaker box going to a conduit to another breaker box outside. All worked well last summer. Now, when I put any load (weed-eater, light, etc.) on an outlet ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

Where *shouldn't* I use GFCI/AFCI?

There is a lot of information out there about the benefits of GFCI and AFCI and the places where they must or should be used. But are there any circumstances where you're better off without them? If I ...
5
votes
2answers
122 views

What is the *interrupting rating* of a GFCI receptacle?

Say, we have a UL943 compliant 15A GFCI receptacle on a garden-variety 15A grounded branch circuit. Some nitwit comes along and wirenuts the receptacle's load-side hot to the branch circuit ground, ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Is GFCI protection required for a dedicated exhaust fan circuit?

I'm considering installing an exhaust fan in my bathroom which includes light and heat, and requires a dedicated 20 amp circuit. Would this circuit need GFCI protection? The instructions for the unit ...
5
votes
3answers
582 views

What is a UFCL brand circuit?

I'm shopping for a combination vent fan/light for a bathroom, and some of the ones I've found state this: UL Listed for use over bathtubs and showers when connected to a GFCI protected branch ...
5
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1answer
440 views

Does it matter if my newly installed GFCI reads “open ground”?

I just replaced a few two-prong outlets with GFCI outlets so we can plug in things built this millennium. Two of them outlets read "correct" on my circuit tester, but one reads "open ground." None of ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

Should I use a GFCI or AFCI circuit breaker with knob and tube wiring?

My American house was built in 1942, and much of the wiring is still knob-and-tube wiring (2-wire, no ground). Over the years new modern wiring has been added to the house, but we still have some KnT ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Can I connect two load lines to a GFCI receptacle?

I just bought a leviton GFCI and the instructions say if there are two load lines in the box, do not connect the GFCI in that box. I can't understand why this is a problem, especially since the ...
5
votes
5answers
369 views

Hot Tub Disconnect Location

I have a concrete slab which can fit a hot tub approximately at a distance of 8 feet from the main breaker panel (located outside on my porch). I assume that I will still need a separate disconnect ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Does big current draw make GFCI outlets go bad?

About 2 years ago during a kitchen update, I replaced a GFCI outlet with a new one, 20-amp (both pass through and the GFCI outlet itself). Branching downstream from it are two more outlets, one on the ...
4
votes
4answers
696 views

Why are GFCI systems typically in the receptacle instead of in the breaker?

Since the breaker box contains all the other electrical safety equipment it would make sense to put GFCI systems here; and GFCI circuit breakers are available which do this. But GFCIs inside ...
4
votes
2answers
19k views

Do gfci's have to be on a 20 amp circuit, or can they be on a 15A?

Do gfci's have to be on a 20 amp circuit? Also if you use the receptacle type gfi do you just need one in a circuit or do all receptacles have to be gfi?
4
votes
3answers
115 views

Why are ungrounded GFCIs required to be labeled?

I discovered in my new house that someone had incorrectly connected grounded outlets (without any ground connected) to the knob and tube wiring. I have read that the outlets can be made safe by ...
4
votes
2answers
917 views

Can an outdoor receptacle be supplied through a GFCI in a bathroom?

My parents just bought a house that is still under the original warranty. There is a standard GFCI outlet in one of the bathrooms with outlets in the other two bathrooms connected to the load side of ...
4
votes
2answers
840 views

GFI reset is behind refrigerator, need to remove refrigerator from circuit and relocate GFI

I am looking at purchasing a home in Florida, built in 2005. Our home inspector was not the smartest cookie in the jar, but accidently discovered some strange things. So far, this is what I have ...
4
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2answers
2k views

How do I replace 4 GFCI receptacles on the same circuit?

The first GFCI has not worked in years. Today a hair dryer quit, and the remaining 3 GFCIs are not working. Replaced the first one and it seemed to be working properly. Went to the last in the series; ...
4
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3answers
9k views

Why does a GFCI trip when anything is plugged into the other outlets?

There is one outlet with the GFCI and several other outlets without. The GFCI outlet works fine, while anything plugged into the other outlets causes the GFCI to trip. How should I detect and fix ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Why does my GFCI trip when I plug things into load side receptacles?

I installed a new outdoor circuit. The line comes out of the house and into the LINE side of the GFCI outlet. I connected a wire to the LOAD side and ran it to two standard outlets downstream. My ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Why is this light fixture tripping the GFCI?

I recently replaced an outlet with a GFCI outlet in a bathroom in an older home (1960s), and added a light/bath fan. In the same box as the outlet I replaced was a single pole switch to a light over ...
4
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1answer
427 views

Should a GFCI interrupt the entire circuit?

I moved into a new house and never heard of this before, so I thought it was strange. On 2 circuits I've had a GFCI trip, and when they do, they trip the entire circuit. I thought they were just for ...
4
votes
3answers
264 views

What reasons are there to rewire an ungrounded circuit instead of adding GFCI protection?

The NEC allows replacing non-grounding-type (2-prong) receptacles with grounding-type (3-prong) receptacles by adding GFCI protection at the breaker or first outlet. What reasons might there be for ...
4
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1answer
716 views

Is it OK to have a GFCI downstream of a standard circuit?

I would like to extend a standard electrical circuit to the outside with a GFCI outlet. Can I install a GFCI downstream? This would be easier than running a new circuit back to the breaker panel.