Are there any big downsides to Daisy chaining GFCI outlets? I understand that protection would be redundant. I have an outside outlet that's protected by an upstream GFCI that's located inside the house. I am replacing the outside outlet and am thinking of replacing it with a GFCI. My thinking is that when it trips I'll be able to reset it outside rather than inside. I understand that if the inside outlet trips I won't be able to use the outside one until the inside is reset.

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    Receptacles located outside tend to get beaten up by the weather and need to be replaced sooner than those located inside. I'd much rather replace a dollar receptacle than a $15 GFCI receptacle.
    – mmathis
    Jun 20, 2018 at 19:16
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    Is the inside receptacle hard to get to? If your GFCI is tripping, there's a reason and you should correct that reason before continuing to use it.
    – mmathis
    Jun 20, 2018 at 19:16
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    My .02 cents: if daisy chained, multiple GFCI’s will all trip simultaneously. Additionally they must be reset in a specific order, because there must be power present to reset the GFCI, an unpowered GFCI reset button won’t engage. Regarding trips: does the object being powered trip other GFCI’s if you plug it in elsewhere? If so the device has a ground fault and the GFCI is doing it’s job. If on the other hand there seems to be random multiple trips on one certain GFCI by multiple appliances the GFCI itself could be reaching the end of its life. It will trip more and eventually not reset.
    – Tyson
    Jun 20, 2018 at 19:58
  • .... OR, re-wire the circuit and replace all outlets in required locations on the circuit with GFCI’s. In this case, the “Load” terminals won’t be used, so you’ll likely need to pigtail all except the last outlet on the circuit.
    – Tyson
    Jun 20, 2018 at 20:15
  • As @mmathis wrote don't put a GFCI outside. Just use the inside one for protection after you make sure the connection is with the load terminals. You would be anticipating a problem which will probably never occur. Jun 20, 2018 at 21:16

3 Answers 3


That won't work

You're trying to manage sequence of breaker trip, for your convenience of resetting them, and that's tough to do generally.

Especially it isn't going to work with GFCI, because they don't work that way. When there's a ground fault, they all will trip by design. And then, you will have to fight to reset them.

I fail to understand the core problem that you are attempting to solve. They shouldn't be tripping at all. If you have a device that is tripping GFCI, fix it. It's broken.

  • The core problem is that my outdoor outlet is old and needs replacing, and I wonder if I should put in GFCI while at it or not (if I do it would be Daisy chained to one inside).
    – John
    Jun 20, 2018 at 19:51

If you want to make the two GFCIs independent, then connect the inside one by pigtails to the line. If the outside receptacle is not the terminal one, then connect it also by pigtails. Don't use the "load" connections which are usually sold taped over.

If I understand this correctly, this way each GFCI receptacle would only trip if there is a ground fault in something plugged into that receptacle.

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    Personally I’d use this method, but before doing anything “test” the GFCI and don’t reset it. Check all plugs in required locations, if additional off outlets are found, change that location to a GFCI as well. Simply jumping in and rewiring the first GFCI and adding a second might be eliminating a location in the middle or further downstream. Understand the circuit before changing it.
    – Tyson
    Jun 20, 2018 at 20:52

It may not work the way you think it will

You could have any of:

  • Outside outlet trips and inside outlet does not trip - which is what you want
  • Inside outlet trips and outside outlet does not trip
  • BOTH outlets trip

I don't think there is any safety problem with this configuration (Harper or one of the other experts can answer that) but I wouldn't count on it working as you expect.

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