My current setup is one GFCI receptacle and three regular receptacles downstream that are protected by the one. Everything had been working fine (it even tripped recently and I reset it, so I know it works). Today I decided to swap the three downstream from cream to white colored ones. I swapped two of them and now I cannot get any of the outlets in the series to work. I have tried resetting the GFCI while breaker is on, I have rewired the outlets four times each now, three times with screws and once with the push-ins. I am at a loss. Only thing that is different is the color and the new ones are “tamper resistant”. Looking for ideas.

  • 1
    Are any of them controlled by a switch? Were the tabs broken off on any? Are you matching wire insulation color to screw color? Pictures would help. Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 20:38
  • No switch. No broken tabs. Each outlet has one white coming in (connected to silver), one black (connected to gold) and a ground (connected to green.) can’t get photos to attach (iPad)
    – Wichitamsu
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 20:43
  • Two more pieces of information - they are all wired to the same breaker, and the CGFI outlet itself is also not working. But all outlets were working before.
    – Wichitamsu
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 21:01
  • Oh!!! Did you manage to short any wires out while doing any of this? Even an instant would explain a lot. Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 21:10
  • How would I know? How could I check?
    – Wichitamsu
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


Trouble shooting is about isolation of a problem. With that in mind and using safe procedures (never try and connect or disconnect while the breaker is on) you need to start at the GFCI and work your way down.

First disconnect all of the replaced receptacles and check the GFCI. This may be a rare occasion were the GFCI went bad. If it does work then connect each receptacle down stream until the GFCI trips and will not reset. Now we have an isolated problem and we need to figure out what is wrong with that particular device.

Once we have identified that problem proceed right on down the line one at a time until the circuit is complete and in working order.

I know this doesn't give you an exact answer to your problem but you can now narrow down the problem(s) and if the problem is not obvious then stack exchange can give you a more specific answer to your problem.

Hope this helps.

  • I agree with the method , make sure the GFCI is good first but I regularly get calls to troubleshoot older GFCI's that have failed. Many of the newer ones have internal self test features and LED's that show if the unit is functioning correctly. The quick verification of pulling the load off the GFCI and seeing if it will reset would be my first step also.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 13:12

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