If you rewire a GFCI outlet so that the downstream outlets are no longer GFCI protected (move the two upper wires down to attach to the same terminals as the lower two wires), then if there is still a GFCI circuit interruption downstream, will the light on the GFCI be illuminated, even though the circuit still provides electricity downstream? I have done this and the power stays on downstream, but the light illuminates and the GFCI trips internally. The load down stream is a refrigerator and a freezer in the garage.

There are two holes for each terminal connection. I moved the wires from the load to the line so to eliminate the GFCI capability downstream so that the refrigerator in the garage would not trip the GFCI. The GFCI still trips as the refrigerator is still connected thru the new downstream connections, but the power is not disconnected.

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    When you wire it like this the GFCI only knows about what is plugged into it. It doesn't know about anything downstream. Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 12:25
  • Your question is worded oddly. How can there be a GFCI interruption downstream if the downstream circuit is not protected?
    – isherwood
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:05
  • Your GFCI device may simply be faulty. Try replacing it. I don't think you'll get a clear answer to your question. You could call the manufacturer. I know Eaton has a pretty good tech support line. This one looks like Legrand? I haven't tried theirs.
    – jay613
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:16
  • Here is a similar question, though without a particularly good answer.
    – jay613
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:22

2 Answers 2


First, the outlet in your photo seems to have the good/safe type of "back wiring" where the side screw clamps a metal plate onto the wire end inserted from the back, making a very secure connection. Since it has wire holes on both sides of the screw, I would expect that it would indeed be rated for up to two wires per terminal, one in each hole.

Normally, the recommended way to wire your non-load setup would be to join the incoming wire, the outgoing wire, and a short pigtail wire with a wire nut. The pigtail end would then be connected to a terminal on the outlet. Connecting the incoming and outgoing wire by directly connecting both to the same terminal will work, but means that removing the outlet from the circuit in the future requires some sort of reconnection to keep the downstream outlet(s) working.

Effectively bypassing the GFCI outlet as you describe, I would not expect a downstream issue to trip the GFCI. Perhaps this GFCI outlet is not working properly? Or perhaps there is a wiring problem/short at this outlet? Good quality replacements are fairly inexpensive now -- I would just buy a spec/commercial grade or better replacement and install it in place of this one.


You seem to be asking about operation of a particular product. Some devices show a light when tripped. Some show it when not tripped.

In either case, the downstream power feed is completely independent. The terminals essentially act as a wire nut, so that there's continuity to downstream devices. The operation of the GFCI and the downstream feed are unrelated. The GFCI protection circuitry doesn't know or care about the passthrough wiring.

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