I have a 20 amp type QO GFCI circuit breaker (12 GU wire) that is tripping under load. My home is about 5 years old and the breaker provides power to half of the kitchen outlets and part of the dining room. The breaker just started tripping few weeks ago. We use a air fryer on this circuit and it trips about a minute after it has been on. I tested the amps while on and it reads 12.5 max. I’ve tested a different appliance on the circuit with the same results. Additionally, I tested the air fryer on a different 15 amp circuit, no issues. Do I have a bad breaker? If not, what else could be the issue? Thank youenter image description here!

  • 2
    I rechecked the wiring and I made a mistake on identifying the correct wire. It is actually a 12 GU. Apologies!
    – Jtuned
    Feb 13, 2020 at 16:02
  • 1
    Are you absolutely sure there is nothing on the circuit but the 12.5A/1500W heating appliance? If you plug the appliance into the other kitchen receptacle circuit, does it trip that GFCI? Feb 13, 2020 at 21:02
  • Yes, if you plug the appliance into a different GFCI circuit, does that GFCI trip? Feb 14, 2020 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


GFCI breakers are prone to fail earlier than traditional breakers. I would swap the breaker with another functioning GFCI breaker from the electrical panel to see if the problem follows the breaker or continues on the existing circuit.

  • 1
    I don't like GFCI breakers. Can somebody tell me the (economic) logic of using a $40 breaker instead of a $5 breaker and a $15 receptacle? Other than creating the need to call an electrician to troubleshoot a simple gfci failure. Feb 13, 2020 at 16:32
  • $20 bucks more to the company, likely for the same $10 worth of parts. I certainly take the "first device is a GFCI" approach to this issue personally. Non-economically, I guess it means you'll find the GFCI trip and the overload trip in the same place. And you don't have to live with the horror of having a Decora device if you have some attachment to the appearance of "olde-fashioned outlets with little rounded faces." I suppose some electricians installing them might appreciate the built in service calls...
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 13, 2020 at 16:43
  • @ nosparksplease, this would make a good question but it is off topic here. Code requires GFCI or AFCI breakers in almost every circuit today. I disagree with some reasoning as they never recalled FPE stablock panels and they have been a cause of many fires. I have heard bad things about zinsco but not experienced the issues that others have with the buss bars as I always have used deox on all aluminum clamps and fitting since just after getting my license in the 70’s
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 13, 2020 at 16:45
  • @NoSparksPlease Because you're thinking of idealized situations where exactly one recep placement can protect the whole circuit. Lots of circuits are not like that, now you're into 2+ receps and all that cost savings just vaporized. Also if you need an electrician to troubleshoot a simple GFCI failure, well, don't quit your day job :) Feb 13, 2020 at 16:54
  • Just finished up wiring up a home for my son (new build). Just about all circuits required AFCI breakers at the panel. Then GFCI in places like kitchen and bathrooms, etc. We decided to go with dual function (AFCI & GFCI breakers) because the cost diff between AFCI and "dufies" was so small, then we didn't need GFCI recps. Can be inconvenient to have to go to main panel to reset a GFI trip, but my son was OK with that. We'll see. BTW, when with Square D QO plug on neutral panel & breakers, makes for a very clean panel: No pigtails! Feb 13, 2020 at 17:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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