I installed a new 20-amp GFCI in the kitchen which has two aditional download receptacles running off of it. When I test it with a separate “Commercial Electric” tester the GFCI trips immediately. All appliances plugged into the circuit work. Thinking it might be a defective GFCI, I swapped it out with another and it does the same thing. I checked and rechecked all wiring and connections and everything is wired as it should be. Bottom line is, only the tester trips that one particular GFCI despite it not tripping any of the others in the house. Any suggestions?

Edit: Maybe I didn't explain myself clearly. The GFCI is wired correctly, incoming feed wires are connected to the LINE terminals and the outgoing wires feeding two sockets downstream are connected to the LOAD terminals. The test button on the GFCI trips the unit as it should. It's the tester itself that is tripping the GFCI.

  • Does the TEST button on that GFCI trip that GFCI, or just the tester? Nov 25, 2016 at 18:35
  • The test button on the GFCI works as it should. The problem is that the tester is what causes the GFCI to trip, but the tester doesn't trip any of the other GFCI's in the house, only that one. Nov 25, 2016 at 19:54
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    "All appliances plugged into the circuit work." Does this mean after the Commercial Electric Tester has tripped the GFCI?
    – DJohnM
    Nov 25, 2016 at 21:53
  • One explanation is that circuit has a small constant leakage current (hot to ground) which is insufficient to trip the GFCI. The tester causes a small leakage current which is then sufficient to trip the GFCI on that circuit. Try another brand or model of tester. Nov 26, 2016 at 13:20
  • The 3 light tester trips the gfci immediately when plugged in, or when its test button is pressed?
    – mmathis
    Nov 26, 2016 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Many times people think they have GFCI outlets wired correctly and they are not. If the Outlet is tripped and the additional outlets are live the additional outlets were not wired on the load side. This has been the case for almost all the mis wired GFCI's I have been called in to repair. If a GFCI fails it usually will not power the down stream devices. With 2 devices not working I would verify the "line" and "load" connections.

  • Once the Commercial Electric Tester trips the GFCI the power is cut off and no appliances work. I depress the Reset Button and power returns. It's only when the tester is plugged into that one GFCI circuit that the unit trips. The Tester is not faulty since I've used it to test all of the other GFCI's in the house and even in another house to be sure it's not a faulty Tester. It's bad chemistry between the one particular GFCI and the Tester. Nov 25, 2016 at 23:02
  • Maybe the other GFCI's just aren't sensing the tester, and the tripping GFCI is sensing the tester correctly. If the GFCI detects a circuit, from hot to ground - it should trip.
    – tahwos
    Nov 26, 2016 at 2:15

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