I need to replace a gfci plug that won't reset. That is with nothing plugged into it. It has a regular duplex about 8 feet away that won't work because the gfci is bad. I had this circuit added about 7 yrs ago to plug in my freezer and other items on a temp basis, like an extension cord or drill and so on. Can I just replace the gfci plug with a duplex and just make both regular plugs. If so , do I just put reg. plug in or do I need to wire it different.

  • GFCI's can wear out. If you're willing to give up the protection then yes, you can switch back to a normal grounded outlet and the wiring should be basically the same. You'll need a new face plate, of course, unless you get a duplex that has the same rectangular outline.
    – keshlam
    Oct 13, 2014 at 1:02
  • It was one I had a electrician to install several years ago for the freezer. I don't know why he put in a gfci. Thank you for your help. There's a big price different between the 2. Oct 13, 2014 at 2:35

2 Answers 2


It would help to know where this outlet is located (garage, basement, kitchen, etc.). Certain locations in the home now require circuits to be GFCI protected.

The fact the the current GFCI will not reset concerns me. It could simply be that the current outlet is worn out and replacing it with another GFCI will fix the problem. It could also be another underlying issue such as a ground current leak. This could potentially turn into a larger problem. Stray ground current leaks can come from a variety of sources.

First, does the outlet not reset at all, or does it not reset when something is plugged in? If it doesn't reset with something plugged in, that implies there is something wrong with the device that is plugged in. If it doesn't reset at all, that implies something is either wrong with the GFCI outlet or the circuit.

The circuit could have a stary ground leak from a variety of sources. Wire insulation could have been melted, burned, eaten by rodents, or a number of other way to remove it causing a leak to ground. If it truly is a leak to ground, this should be investigated and fixed. Not only is it wasting money by sending electricity to ground, but it could also become a fire hazard if the issue became large enough.


If the GFI was installed originally it is almost certain that it was required by code. Otherwise why put it in?

By removing it you will be creating a code violation and almost certainly have a less safe installation.

Just replace the GFI with another GFI.

  • 1
    I guess it would be safer but it's for a freezer. I didn't know you wasn't suppose to plug freezer in gfci. I was told that at Home Depot when I went to get replacement. He's the one who told me to put regular duplex in there. I don't want to be unsafe, I just need a place to plug my freezer in. Thanks for your advice. Oct 13, 2014 at 2:42
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    Home Depot is the LAST place you want to get electrical advice from! I have heard some horror stories about what they have told people. If this is a garage or unfinished basement GFI protection is mandatory in this case. Oct 13, 2014 at 11:25
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    While I agree in general, refrigerators and freezers are often exempt from GFCI requirements because a trip on a GFCI, if unnoticed for hours or days (you're on vacation) can cause food safety issues. Check your local rules and regulations to find out.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 22 at 14:41
  • Exempt or not, Don't put your fridge on a GFCI.
    – Mazura
    Feb 23 at 1:17

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