I have a GFCI outlet in my kitchen where I would like to plug in more than two things. I was thinking I could just add a multi-outlet adapter to one of the outlets, or maybe a short 1->3 plug extension cord for my purposes. I'm assuming this is probably frowned upon, but would it be functional?

Specifically right now in the GFCI outlet we have a bottle warmer plugged in; I would like to add to it a small fish take filter, LED light, and a fish tank heater.

6 Answers 6


You can absolutely plug in an extension cord to the GFCI outlet, and as long as the GFCI outlet was wired correctly, the GFCI protection extends to all the devices plugged into it.

However, I would advise you to stay away from this kind of multi outlet adapter, since it might cover the GFCI buttons making it harder to test and reset:

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  • 3
    While one can plug an extension cord, power strip, etc. into a GFCI outlet it is normally a really bad idea because of where GFCIs are normally required: bathrooms and kitchens. Two places with water and high-draw appliances where safety is a big concern. Furthermore, those rooms normally require outlets every three feet near countertops, alleviating the need for extension cords and multi-outlet adapters.
    – user4302
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 23:47
  • 7
    @Snowman: It's not uncommon for kitchens to have a number of appliances which are used frequently but intermittently and not simultaneously. My kitchen has four appliances plugged "full-time" into an outlet using three-way splitters: a grinder for regular coffee, a grinder for decaf, a can opener, and a coffee maker. Having to switch cables whenever grinding coffee or opening a can would be rather a pain, but the next nearest outlet is on the other side of the sink.
    – supercat
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 23:57
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    @darthcaniac is there any way to attach something like that securely though? The screw in the middle is perfect for a normal (non-decora) outlet, but on a GFCI the buttons are where the tapped hole for the screw would be. Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 10:58
  • @DavidDoria you are correct. You cannot use one of those firestarte--- err outlet adapters on a gfci. Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 11:28

I suggest a side outlet tap such as the following product. Unlike the previous answer that suggested a six outlet cover with the screw in the middle, the project I provide below would actually fit into a Decora-style receptacle (outlet) such as a GFCI. The GFCI protection would extend to the devices that are connected.

Side Access 6-Outlet Tap


The distance between the 2 sockets of a GFCI outlet are different then for a plain outlet, so a multi-plug adaptor won't fit.

  • Hi and welcome to DIYSE I don't know if your statement is accurate but anyway try "You could get an adapter with one set of prongs" we promote positive answers.
    – Joe Fala
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 3:38

Legal in your house. Not a business. Is it safe? Not necessarily. That's considered temporary. Has nothing to do with common sense as someone put as an answer. You are changing the design of the electrical engineer's plan. If he wanted six outlets there, he/she would have designed six there.

You decide to plug in two heaters, it's melting and GFC is a false security.

Extension cords in a business are not legal because it's temporary use only. That means unplugged and wound up. Christmas tree lights are not an exception.

Fire inspector...

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    IFC 604 provides no basis for a residential/commercial distinction here... Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 23:02
  • If you plug in two heaters, your breaker (not GFCI) should trip. The same issue as if you have a duplex receptacle and plug a heater into each one. Or two separate receptacles in different rooms. Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 19:33

GFCI outlets (and breakers) are required to be tested monthly. Not everyone does that, but nonetheless, it is a requirement if you read the instructions that came with them. So covering the Test and Reset buttons with an adapter will become a burdensome step, likely leading to the tests NOT being performed as required. Out of sight, out of mind.

I use a power strip. Yes, it can get wet on a kitchen counter, but... it's plugged into a GFCI!

Also; yes, there are NEWER requirements for spacing of receptacles that might make this unnecessary, but that was not always the case. In my house built in 1910, there was only one receptacle for 15 linear feet of counter space.


I have 2 concerns: 1) Most kitchens appliances operate at about 15 amperes. In some cases they may draw a couple extra on startup, and back off when they reach their potential. If too many appliances start at the same time?? 2) Kitchen receptacles are split. Does the multi-plug tap connect the top and bottom back together again? Then there is the GFI function? Just to be safe, I would just plug the coffee grinder elsewhere, or run another 12/3 line to the panel.

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