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This box was wired with one GFI and one regular plug. I replaced the regular plug with a second GFI.

I followed the diagrams and the green lights are on on both GFI plugs, but neither work.

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    Why did you do this?
    – Matthew
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 21:06
  • I want two GFIs next to the stove. One for air fryer. One for coffee grinder. Tester indicates “open hot” - no lights. Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 21:08
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    Unless the regular outlet is on a separate circuit, the old GFIC was protecting it.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 21:08
  • Should I install a regular outlet again in series after the GFI? Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 21:09
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    @crip659 "the old GFCI was protecting it" -> "the old GFCI should have been protecting it". There's no accounting for improper DIY...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 14:34

2 Answers 2

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There are some exceptions - e.g., an MWBC or two totally separate circuits in order to provide double the total power. But most of the time two duplex receptacles in one box, one with GFCI and one without, is simply to provide more available receptacles, with the assumption that some will be low-power items (phone charger, clock, radio, etc.) and that high-power items (toaster, coffee maker, blender, etc.) will not all be used at the same time.

The key to making this all work is line and load. The terminology may vary by GFCI brand. But basically power comes in to the GFCI on a specified set of screws (that's screws, never backstabs...) and goes out to regular receptacles (whether in the same box or elsewhere in the house) via a second set of screws. If done right, a ground fault on the regular receptacle will trip the GFCI in exactly the same way as the receptacles that are together with the GFCI. If done wrong, things don't work - as you have found out the hard way.

Using two GFCIs where one will do wastes some money. It can also cause problems because a ground fault on the second GFCI may trigger the first GFCI, the second GFCI or both - unpredictably.

When it comes to trouble-shooting this type of problem, simplify it by adding one piece at a time.

  • Disconnect the "second" receptacle - whether GFCI or regular.
  • Make sure there is only one set of wires (hot and neutral) on the first GFCI on the line side. No wires on the load side.
  • See if the first GFCI works - TEST/RESET correctly, able to power plugged in devices, test with a plug-in tester if you have one.
  • If the first GFCI does not work, check the wiring, etc.
  • Once the first GFCI is working, add the second receptacle to the load side of the first GFCI.
  • See if the second receptacle works - TEST/RESET on the first receptacle (GFCI) should turn the second receptacle off/on, able to power devices, if you have a plug-in tester then it should be able to trip the first receptacle GFCI when tested in the second receptacle.
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  • Thanks. I connected the jumpers to the line side and it works. But the first outlet does not. I’ll go get a regular outlet. Thanks! Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 21:25
  • I can’t get one to work alone attaching the hot and neutral wire to the load side. Green light is one, but plug tester show open hot and the test reset buttons don’t work. Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 21:53
  • Sorry - added clarification - setup for just one is line only. Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 22:23
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Most GFCI receptacle devices have both a "line" and "load" terminal.

When you connect other devices to the "load" terminals of the GFCI device they will be protected by its GFCI circuitry. This is very common in kitchens or other areas where multiple receptacles are chained together.

You can test this by pushing the "test" button on your gfci device and noticing that other receptacles have also lost power.

I suspect this is how yours were wired. You should use a standard receptacle and connect it to the "load" the terminals.

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  • Wire the standard outlet to the wires from the breaker box and then wire to the GFI outlet from the standard outlet? Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 21:19
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    No! Panel -> line-GFCI-load -> regular Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 21:22
  • @Tom you really are not grasping how the Load lines work. It's a little complicated, but look more into it. It will make sense. Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 21:24

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