Our bathroom outlet is not a GFCI. There is an AFCI/GFCI at the panel which trips way too much. I want to replace the regular outlet with a GFCI outlet and put a regular circuit breaker instead of the AFCI at the panel. Is this a fairly easy task? I've wired into the panel with regular circuit breakers and installed GFCI 's before without any problems but never replaced an AFCI. Thanks very much for your help

  • 4
    Are the "trips way too much" GFCI trips, AFCI trips or overcurrent trips? If they are overcurrent, your plan won't help. If they are AFCI, you may have fewer trips and more standing outside in the cold watching the house burn down. If they are GFCI using a local GFCI will make it simpler to reset. Generally "trips way too much" indicates a fundamental problem either in wiring or in use.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 27 at 21:33

1 Answer 1


Virtually all AFCI/GFCI breakers have some means of communicating why they tripped.

If the trips are from overcurrent, replacing it will not help at all. The breaker will still trip.

If the trips are from an AFCI detection, there's probably an arc fault. That should be fixed. Replacing with a non-AFCI breaker will allow the arc fault to continue until it finally causes an overcurrent trip or a fire. If you are required to have AFCI protection on this circuit and you removed it, that might cause your insurance to not be liable to pay for the burnt house. It's possible that removing it, once you have it, would be enough for their lawyers to make that case even if you are not required to have it, but in most cases people only have it because it's required.

If the trips are from GFCI, either someone drops electrical things in the tub a lot or there's a problem with the circuit wiring or one or more devices, and those problems should be addressed. You could replace the breaker with an AFCI-only breaker, and move the GFCI protection to the bathroom, or both bathrooms if it feeds more than one. You'll have to verify that everything on the circuit now that requires GFCI protection is still GFCI-protected when you are done.

GFCI/AFCI breakers have both the circuit hot and the circuit neutral connected to them, and most AFCI-only breakers are the same. A few AFCI breakers don't use the circuit neutral, so that would move to the neutral bar. I don't advise using a non-AFCI breaker as it's most likely that you are required to have that protection here, or you would not have it now.

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