I just purchased my first house and when the inspector was taking us through it he showed us that there are two or three remote GFCI outlets that control a number of outlets across the house. Example: There is a GFCI outlet in the kitchen with a gigantic button in the middle that is the remote for the master bedroom.

I have a friend that loves to talk like he knows everything, but I have known him long enough to know to take anything he says with a grain of salt. Anyway, his paranoid ass told me that I should replace all of the outlets in my bathrooms with GFCI outlets. I explained to him that they already have GFCI remote outlets that will trip pretty easily as demonstrated by the inspector.

My friend, of course, said that the remotes are not enough. That sometimes they don't trip when they should and that all of the outlets in the bathroom should be GFCI. I rolled my eyes at him, but figured I should at least look into it.

So which is it? Will having multiple GFCI outlets on the same circuit cause problems? Or are the remotes perfectly fine for protecting the bathrooms?


  • 2
    The only reason to change to individual GFCI's is the convenience of the individual reset buttons. (It's hard to remember to go to the kitchen when the master bath trips.). If you decide to take that route tho, I would not leave them as daisy chained, where one or the other can trip. Instead carefully identify all remote locations and rewire the current "main" location so that it no longer has anything on its load side and make certain each of the old "remote" locations gets its own GFCI. Again, the only reason to do this is the convenience of a reset button at each location. – Tyson Jul 14 '16 at 11:48

Your friend is out of his league here

A GFCI outlet has two sets of terminals on it -- LINE terminals for the power IN as well as LOAD terminals that connect to the GFCI's protected hot and neutral in addition to that protected hot and neutral being provided to the GFCI's face receptacles. Hardwired applications can use what's called a "faceless" GFCI which just has the LOAD terminals instead of having both LOAD terminals and receptacles on the front; there are also GFCI circuit breakers that integrate ground-fault, short-circuit, and overcurrent protection into a standard circuit breaker package.

However, series GFCIs won't break anything

However, it is possible and permissible to connect two ground-fault trips in series -- nothing is harmed by that configuration, and it's more common than most people think. The only problem you cause by that is confusion as it is indeterminate (i.e. not defined) which GFCI will trip in response to a ground fault.

| improve this answer | |
  • I have seen them on different floors, in the main breaker panel, one GFIC covering several required GFIC locations. Three Phase is correct, there is no harm in adding a GFIC in a location like a bathroom so the reset is handy. Usually the closest outlet to the fault will trip, but that is not a given. Older GFIC's that have been faulted many times can become over sensitive and a nuisance. If you are able to ID all devices on the load side of the GFI, it may be possible to remove the Bath from the load side of the existing GFI, tie it to the line side and install your GFI as a stand alone. – shirlock homes Jul 14 '16 at 18:50

To save $ we daisy chain outlets, 1 GCI outlet can cover others. If the first outlet in a string is protected and correctly wired,. All the outlets on the load side are just as safe, and will trip. With a cheap outlet tester with the GFCI test function you can test this out!! This is a case where you now know more than ha does!!!

| improve this answer | |
  • I generally do know more than him about most things. :) – Patrick Jul 14 '16 at 4:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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