I just bought this house, and the circuit in the garage was functioning fine. I have a GFCI and one downstream receptacle on a certain branch. There are other GFCIs on this circuit, but not in line with these two (as far as I can tell).

After coming back from a trip, I found that two GFCI branches would not hold load. After replacing the GFCI on one branch, it is functioning well.

I replaced the other GFCI and the downstream still won't take load. I removed the downstream outlet and replaced it. In the process, I am finding that whenever I hook the ground up to the downstream receptacle, it will not take load. If the ground is NOT connected, it will take load.

I can't figure out what changed, or why this is ocurring.

I don't want to just wire nut the ground wire off, but it is tempting.

Any help is appreciated.

  • 3
    Something is leaking current from hot to ground. This is tripping the GFCI. When the ground is not connected, there is no path to ground for the leakage. I assume there's nothing plugged into the downstream outlet. If you haven't already, try replacing that outlet.
    – DoxyLover
    Jun 27, 2016 at 23:54
  • My apprentice had the same problem a few months back, he skined the wires in a metal box and thin it started tripping , something to look for, I missed it the first time.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 28, 2016 at 2:12
  • Thank you, all. I will check in the panel. I just bought this house, but I seem to remember from the inspection that the ground and white wires are both wired together in the panel. Jun 29, 2016 at 0:42

2 Answers 2


I was thinking the same as user19141. You can have more than one GFCI on a single branch circuit. But only if they are wired correctly. If we pretend we are electrons traveling down your circuit, It would leave the panel and go to your first GFCI at some point. If than at that first GFCI you leave that box on the load screws on your GFCI and run to a couple more plugs, than another GFCI. It will not work properly. The point being that another GFCI can not be ran off the load side of another GFCI. Perhaps this is the case? And it just started acting up because thats the way it goes sometimes!


Okay, if what you described is correct, then the first problem is that you have too many of GFCIs on the same circuit. Now, that is only if they are wired to connect in series(line/load). enter image description here They can also be wired to only function only at the point where it is installed(line/line) and not impact any other subsequent device. enter image description here

Check to insure that, if you do have more then one, they are definitely not wired in series or this can cause issues with tripping.

If this is not the case, then there definitely an issue that needs to be corrected and that will require a bit more work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.