I recently had an issue with the outlets on a couple of circuits not working. After testing, I was able to determine that the issue was a faulty GFCI and replaced it. The outlets were working with no problem.

A couple of days later, the same outlets stopped working. When testing them this time, I was able to find that one of them was causing the GFCI to trip. I fixed that and that outlet works now, but the others still didn't.

I checked the GFCI outlet to make sure everything was still connected and one of the load wires had come out, so I put that back and tested it, but the outlets still don't work.

The GFCI outlet tests, resets, and works when something is plugged in. Testing with a non contact voltage tester doesn't register anything, but I haven't tried a multimeter yet.

I checked the circuit breaker to make sure that it wasn't tripped and that it was turned completely on.

What's the likelihood that the next outlet in the circuit is causing the issue? It's not showing anything with the voltage tester either, but since the GFCI isn't either and still works, I'm not sure how much weight that holds. Any ideas about what to check next?

Edit: Thanks for the quick responses. I replaced the GFCI because it flat out wasn't working. It wasn't that it would reset immediately, the buttons just didn't do anything

  • Looks to me as though your original GFCI was working just fine and doing the job it's intended for - protecting you and alerting you to the fact that one or more of your downstream 'LOAD' devices has a ground fault (and, it seems, still does)...
    – brhans
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 17:59
  • Are you clear on what the purpose of a GFCI is? It can really muddy the normal troubleshooting path if you aren't. It is after all, a fault detector. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


Non-contact voltage tester can be squirrely but assuming it's working I would do the following.
Make sure the GFCI is reset. With the faceplates removed start at the GFCI and carefully contact the hot lead on the line side of the GFCI. If it shows hot go to the load sign and do the same. If that is hot continue downstream checking each outlet until you isolate the problem area.
Once you do shut down the breaker and check the connections. Since you've had several issues with wires disconnecting make sure that you're not using backstabs - they are unreliable. Use the screws and always wrap the copper around the screw in a clockwise direction. I would also suggest that you pigtail your outlets. Don't through-wire them.
That should help you zero in on the problem It could be a bad outlet but it's probably a loose connection.

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