I have a GFCI in garage that protects one receptacle in the garage and one in the yard. The GFCI receptacle itself feeds the sprinkler timer. The other receptacle in the garage is hardly used. The receptacle in the yard is used for a small water feature pump.

Occasionally, the pump trips the GFCI. I am looking for a safe solution. First I thought, maybe I could change the yard receptacle with a GFCI (two GFCI in one line), but I read that is not a good idea. Any safe solution?

  • 1
    GFCI's in series will probably not work the way you imagine as it is unknown which GFCI will trip first and an auditor may frown upon it and take a close up look at the rest of your installation. You can however have GFCI's in parallel feeding separate groups. Use a GFCI connected from the main fuse box for the pump and a GFCI also directly wired from the main fuse box for the rest. Also: Get the pump and its wiring inspected as it shouldn't trip the GFCI.
    – jippie
    Jul 10 '13 at 7:00
  • Is the GFCI a combination circuit breaker GFCI device, or a receptacle GFCI?
    – Tester101
    Jul 10 '13 at 14:09
  • The GFCI is not a combination GFCI circut breaker, so I think this solution is perfect. Also as advised by jippie, I will check into the pump. Thank you!
    – user13927
    Jul 10 '13 at 17:39

You can use multiple GFCI devices on a single circuit, you just cannot connect them inline with each other. If your current wiring looks like this, where the yard receptacle is connected to the load side of the GFCI receptacle in the garage.

GFCI protecting downstream device

You can change the way the second receptacle is supplied, by connecting it in parallel with the existing GFCI receptacle. Then you can swap the receptacle in the yard, with a GFCI receptacle.

GFCI not protecting downstream device

In this configuration, the GFCI in the garage will only trip if a ground-fault is detected in any device plugged in to it. While the GFCI in the yard will trip if any device plugged in to it, has a ground-fault.

If the GFCI protecting the circuit is a combination GFCI/circuit breaker, you'll have to swap it out for a regular circuit breaker. Then you'll have to protect individual outlets appropriately, using other GFCI devices.

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