I moved my old bathroom exhaust fan to shower area, I need to install GFCI switch as per code.

I also want to replace old toggle switch with digital countdown timer switch.

Can I have blank face GFCI receptacle between my digital timer switch and my bathroom fan? Power will first come to my timer switch.

Timer | GFCI

  • Does your bathroom have receptacles? Does the circuit which powers those receptacles power ONLY receps in THIS bathroom? There might be another way to do this. May 14, 2021 at 4:05
  • @Harper - Reinstate Monica - actually I did consider tapping into existing GFCI earlier ( diy.stackexchange.com/questions/223143/…) but after your suggestion (in that same post) that I should not do it because circuit which powers receptacle in this bathroom serves receptacle in other bathroom and many other things in home, I am now planning to add blank face GFCI only for bathroom fan. May 14, 2021 at 22:52

2 Answers 2


No, the GFCI won't appreciate having its power interrupted.

Go the other way: put the GFCI in front of the timer, so the timer is after the GFCI.

Alternately, if the bathroom receptacle circuit powers only receptacles in this bathroom, you can tap the "LOAD" side of that GFCI and feed it to the timer.

  • Thank you @Harper - Reinstate Monica, I will do GFCI--Timer switch--Fan. May 14, 2021 at 22:57

I'd go GFCI->switch->fan if you can, but if not you should be fine. Most GFCIs are made to stay on even if the input power is turned off.

We have a GFCI in our garage on a switch for some lights and over 3 or 4 years it only tripped once or twice.

  • "Most GFCIs are made to stay on even if the input power is turned off" can you explain how that works?
    – FreeMan
    May 14, 2021 at 13:02
  • A GFCI is made to trip if there is a current difference between the hot and neutral lines. They accomplish this by passing both wires through a current transformer. If the current on the two lines is the same, they cancel each other out and the transformer creates zero volts. If there is a difference, the current transformer creates a voltage. That is then connected to some type of latch that releases disconnecting the power when a current is passed through it. If no power is supplied to the gfci, it is impossible for any current to be generated, thus the GFCI doesnt trip and stays connected.
    – Randomaker
    May 14, 2021 at 13:37
  • 1
    Ah, gotcha. thanks, I see what you mean now.
    – FreeMan
    May 14, 2021 at 14:23

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