There's more than one type of GFCI
Aside from the ubiquitous GFCI receptacle, there are also
- GFCI circuit breakers
- GFCI standalone devices (called "deadfronts" as they look like a GFCI recep with no holes)
- GFCI switches (the GFCI is the switch; it's a deadfront rated for daily switching)
- GFCI switch-receptacle combos (a plain switch and a 1-socket GFCI receptacle)
All of them have "LOAD" terminals. Any load attached to them is in a protected zone that protects the entire downstream circuit (as well as any sockets on the GFCI itself).
Here's how to get rid of that redundant "Yo Dawg" daisy-chaining and get those GFCIs back.
- Reset (turn back on) every GFCI device in the house (switch, recep, breaker, deadfront, any of them).
- Put some sort of appliance on every GFCI receptacle; that will show you if it's powered.
- Push "Test" on any GFCI device.
- Did any other GFCI receptacles now lose power? If so, they are in the protected zone of the GFCI you just tripped. They are redundant. Replace them with plain receptacles and a "GFCI Protected" sticker.
- Repeat all this for each GFCI device.
A lot of people install unnecessary GFCIs because the last guy failed to install the sticker. First, they didn't know the outlet was GFCI protected. Second, the sticker actually is mandatory, and that's why the inspector wrote it up. (if you don't want a blue sticker, mark it any way you please; I use white outlet covers and white tape from a P-Touch label maker).
Sometimes you need to have multiple GFCIs on the same circuit because you can't protect the downline, e.g. if the last receptacle on the circuit is a refrigerator, radon pump, furnace in the snow belt, or other safety system where a nuisance trip would cause serious problems. In that case, attach all wires to LINE.
In fact, you should never use LOAD at all, unless you actually intend to protect the downstream circuit. Most GFCIs have screw-and-clamp which will allow 2 wires on LINE.
If one is giving you problems, stop. Break it into two sub-problems.
Hook up one cable to only the LINE side of the GFCI, turn the breaker back on (I assume you turn off breakers when changing wires) and test it. If the GFCI powers up, tests properly, successfully powers loads etc., then you have the LINE wiring right. Lock it down. and don't disturb it again.
Power off the breaker again and attach LOAD. If doing so breaks it, there is a problem on the LOAD side wiring. Most likely a multi-wire branch circuit, crossed neutral, or imbalanced (hot or neutral in the GFCI protected zone, but not the other). The latter is especially a problem in bathrooms with a plain switch next to a GFCI. Work the problem as best you can; you might have to inspect the next downline circuit. Crossed neutrals or imbalance are genuine defects that endanger your house. Multi-wire branch circuits are safe and legal if done correctly, but are a special snowflake that doesn't play nice with GFCI receptacles.
If you are forced to give up, then attach all wires to LINE and fit another GFCI at the next receptacle. Unfortunately this is one case where you might wind up with a GFCI at every outlet on the circuit; that's par for the course for MWBCs.
Why do you need the sticker?
Think about it. Why did you (or the last person) overinstall the GFCIs in the first place? Because the person who installed the upline GFCI (the one you are keeping) didn't use the stickers. (no one does). Your inspector quite correctly red-tagged the outlet. If the stickers had been used properly in the first place, none of this would have happened.