The house we bought has both bathroom receptacles on one gfci circuit. Meaning that if you trip the circuit, you have to reset in the hall bath. Can I change out one of the receptacles in the master bath with a gfci to eliminate the footsteps to reset?

  • 1
    just how often does the receptacle trip? – jsotola Jul 2 '19 at 8:48
  • 1
    Just how many receptacles are on this circuit? Just the two bathroom receptacle locations in question, or are there more? Also, can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 2 '19 at 11:32

GFCI trips Are Not Normal

When a GFCI trips, that is a call to alarm. It is warning you of a dangerous appliance. Do not fall into the habit of "normalizing" this and just pushing the reset over and over.

Since they are not normal, "the footsteps" shouldn't happen very often at all. It's perfectly reasonable to wire GFCIs so that one device protects many outlets, since trips are supposed to be almost unheard of.

Replace the appliance because it's trying to kill you

People get fuzzy on this; they think GFCI trips are just a nuisance. No. If not for the GFCI, lethal electrical current would have flowed. In fact, it did flow. The GFCI stopped it fast before it could do serious damage. Otherwise, you would have gotten the full brunt. This appliance is trying to kill you. Really.

In North America it's best practice to use layers of safety, not bet your life on the performance of one safety system. Look at anything from nuclear reactors to airplanes, and you see "defense in depth". Here we use a competent double-insulated appliance (2 layers) plus a GFCI (1 layer).

If it only happens when you plug in or use an appliance, that's the one. For confirmation, take it into the kitchen and plug it into one of the GFCIs there. If it trips, then into the trash it goes.

If it refuses to trip there, there's a small possibility that other appliances left plugged in to the circuit are also contributing to the leakage. If so, unplug them. Otherwise it might be a wall wiring issue. Or longshot possibility, I am reluctant to mention this because everybody wants to jump straight there -- it might actually be a faulty GFCI, but that is unlikely!

"Oh, but I don't want to spend money replacing the faulty appliance". Except you're about to "treat yourself" to an expensive electrical-system upgrade. Instead, treat yourself to a new appliance! Most plug-in bathroom appliances are cheaper than a GFCI to say nothing of labor.

Yes, it's possible

Yes, you can rearrange the circuit wiring. If you discontinue use of GFCI LOAD terminals, then you need a separate GFCI receptacle anywhere you want GFCI protection, and only that receptacle will trip. But as discussed, this is good money thrown after trying to save a bad appliance.


Assuming you mean the receptacle in the hall bath is a gfci and not the circuit breaker in the panel

Yes you can. Basically, connect each gfci receptacle via the line side of the upstream gfci receptacle.

  • On the gfci in the hall bath, move the NM cable going to the owner bath to the line side (It should be connected to the load side now). Anything on the line side will not be protected by the gfci. You can only have one wire on each screw, so you will need to add a short wire (pigtail), connect that wire to the screw and connect the original line wire plus the formerly-load wire to that wire using a wire nut.

  • In the owner bath, replace the receptacle with a gfci receptacle and make sure that any other receptacles in the owner bath are connected to the load side of that gfci (or alternatively, connect to the line side and use gfci receptacles everywhere).

Also note that a single 20A circuit can supply multiple bathrooms as long as the circuit only supply receptacles in the bathrooms.

  • Stacked GFCI outlets may not trip in any particular order, though, right? This might not resolve the issue. – isherwood Jul 2 '19 at 13:08
  • 2
    @isherwood - the only gfci that would trip if all gfci receptacles are connected on line sides is the receptacle that experiences the ground fault. Any upstream receptacle would not offer any protection for any downstream receptacle. – Britt Jul 2 '19 at 13:21
  • I'm not sure I understand. I've witnessed this happening in my own home. The upstream (more sensitive, apparently) GFCI tripped regularly when it rained and the downstream GFCI got wet. Why would the outlet care where in the circuit the ground occurs? – isherwood Jul 2 '19 at 13:36
  • It depends on how the gfcis are connected. Any downstream gfci that is not connected to an upstream gfci's load side is not protected by the upstream gfci. In your case, I think if you looked at the upstream gfci, you would find the downstream is connected to the load side and is therefor protected. – Britt Jul 2 '19 at 13:53
  • 1
    @isherwood GFCIs only care about ground faults downstream of them. There's no sense to connecting a GFCI to the load side of another GFCI, in that case anything can happen... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 2 '19 at 14:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.