I bought a new construction home in 2005 in Calif. I have a total of 4 GFI or GFCI's. For the past couple years every morning when I get up at least one of the GFCI's is tripped. One of the GFCI's has nothing plugged into it or any of the sockets it controls and it even pops off sometimes. It started with just one doing it and now all 4 are tripping. It's usually very early in the mornings when they trip. Had an Electrician come out and he just took 2 of them out and put back in and another one he replaced and said all is good. But still every morning I wake up to at least one that's tripped. Any idea what's causing this?

  • If you called a Electrical Company to come out to fix this problem then call them back to do it correctly. All reputable companies should have a warranty. – WarLoki Sep 23 '15 at 10:46
  • Have you had any of the existing GFCI outlets replaced with a new, known, working GFCI outlet to see if they are faulty? It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume, if it was new construction, that all your GFCIs came out of the same pack, and thus could all share the same malady. – BrownRedHawk Sep 23 '15 at 11:51
  • Is it always the same GFCI that trips, or could it be any of the four? Do the GFCIs that were replaced trip? What type of devices are on the circuits with the GFCIs? Are all the GFCIs on the same circuit? Does your area have brownouts? Do you ever experience dimming/flickering lights? – Tester101 Sep 23 '15 at 13:54
  • It was home warranty co that sent the Electrician and I think he's a 1 man operation and he really doesn't know what he's doing. Plus he wanted to take one GFI out because he said it was not needed because more than 6 ft from water. I told him there's a water valve 3 ft away behind fridge for ice maker. That doesn't count he said. – Mark Sep 23 '15 at 20:22
  • I could replace all the GFI's. That would tell me if it was a bad batch the builder had. – Mark Sep 23 '15 at 21:04

If the receptacles are in the kitchen and they serve the countertop they are required to be protected by a GFCI. Whether they are within 6' of the sink doesn't matter since around 1987.

Are they all on the same circuit?

You would not need more than two (normally) to feed the two small appliance branch circuits in a kitchen. Then you feed normal receptacles off the load side of the GFCI.

If they are tripping all by themselves without plugging anything in I would suspect they are miswired. Someone fed one GFCI off the load side of another or fed the receptacle itself by the load wires instead the line wires.

Second, you have a pinched hot wire on the load side of some of them causing enough current to leak to ground to trip them.

The third possibility would be they are really junk and should be replaced but even the cheapest GFCI's have worked for me. And since you already had an electrician replace at least one of them and check the other two I would say this possibility is remote hence I listed it last.

If you have a warranty keep calling for service until they fix the problem.

Happy Monday!


I noticed when doing a remodel that it was expedient to trip a GFCI for the circuit I was about to work on by touching the neutral to the ground wire. This saved a trip to the breaker box and also eliminated any chance of switching off the wrong circuit breaker leaving me with live wires.

There wasn't anything wrong with the wiring nor with the circuit breaker. This worked equally well on all six new circuits.

Touching these wires together induces a very low voltage change of very low current produced by inductance with the universe of magnetic fields caused by everything. A 10 ma current for 0.05 seconds is enough to trip the GFIs.

From this experience, I would start by looking for loose connections. Begin with the breaker panel, then look at the connections inside every outlet and wall switch box. Especially in the ground and neutral wiring. Particularly look for possible areas for the white and bare wires to touch.

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