GFCI outlet tripping


My son has 2 regular outlets the second leads to the first of 4 GFCI outlets in the kitchen. When he uses either regular outlet it trips the GFCI. We changed both outlets although there was no apparent defects or damage. It still trips the GFCI. We then changed the GFCI. Again it trips when either of the two regular outlets are used. He can use the GFCI (the one that trips) with no problems and the three after the one that trips are fine. Which makes me believe the problem lies before the GFCI outlets begin. It drives me nuts when I can figure things out. Anyhow here's a list of the order of the outlets.

Regular - Regular - GFCI( the one that trips) - Switch for above sink light - GFCI - GFCI

How GFCI is wired below:

Left side one 3 whites Right side 2 blacks Bottom ground

GFCI outlet wiring drawing...

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We have a GFCI outlet in our kitchen that has been tripping pretty regularly (4+ times a day). We first noticed it when our fridge would go out. (Breaker Box Circuit "A") We assumed the problem was the fridge. I unplugged it, dusted it and plugged it back it. That did not solve the problem. So we plugged it into another outlet in the kitchen using an extension cord. The GFCI continued to trip.

Also on the GFCI circuit is the computer in another room. (Breaker Box Circuit "B"). We took the computer off the outlet and plugged it into another. Since then we haven't have any tripping issues.

We have had this setup for 4+ years and never had issues until about a month ago. I initially plan to replaced the GFCI outlet.

Unfortunately, I do not have schematic diagram of the wiring.

My questions are as follows:

Why / How do the GFCI's cross breaker circuits? Does the problem seem worse than a bad...
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Most likely, your outdoor GFCI outlet is tripping due to one of these 3 problems:

There’s a ground fault somewhere in the circuit. Moisture invaded the receptacle box. The GFCI outlet is faulty.

So, how do you know which one is your problem? Don’t worry. We’ll show you how to determine what’s tripping your outdoor GFCI outlet and what you can do to fix it.

Live in the Phoenix area and need help from an electrician right away? Just reach out to us now. We always respond quickly.

If the outlet resets but trips again after appliances are plugged in...

...then you most likely have a ground fault somewhere along the circuit or you have overloaded the circuit. A ground fault means that some amount of electricity flowing through the outlet circuit has found an alternate route and is “leaking” or escaping its proper path.

And a GFCI is designed to trip in less than 1/10 of a second when it detects even tiny amounts of leaking current.

What to...

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About A GFCI Outlet That Keeps Tripping

If your GFCI outlet won’t reset or trips repeatedly there is a problem either somewhere in your wiring system or with something that is plugged into your GFI protected circuit.

Something plugged in somewhere in the protected circuit is leaking electricity or shorting out

Here is the one thing that you can try before scheduling our Mesa AZ electricians for an appointment. Unplug everything that is plugged into the protected...

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The "newly installed GFCI outlet a couple of times" wording tells me that you (or somebody) has in, effect, installed a new GFCI receptacle. If this is a correct "assumption", the the first place I'd be looking is at the way this receptacle is wired or how it's installed into the device box. Since the problem stared after it was installed. GFCI's do not wire up like other receptacles. Yes, they do have five screws, one in which, is the ground screw. (green) There are two hot screws, yes, However, they are divided up as either "LINE" or "LOAD". Same with the neutral. If you get these wrong, the receptacle will not work till you have it right. Whenyou first got it, there was a piece of yellow tape across two of these screws. These are the "LOAD" screws. Both hot and neutral. Hope this helps. Good luck in all you do and may God bless.
As a side note, the National Electrical Code does allow #14 gauge wire.

Source(s): Electrician since...

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I put my outdoor Xmas lights up the day after Thanksgiving. I have them connected to the GFCI plate we've used every year. The first connection is a solar sensor and then thru an extension with multiple plug-ins. It is the same setup as years past. Last evening they stopped working. Today I tried removing 2 strings of lights, which were attached end to end from the main extension cord.

I also have four other strings connected end to end from the main extension cord. Removing the first two I mentioned worked, for about 4 or five hours before the GFCI outlet went out again. The power to the outlet is still there, but it won't stop tripping. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

December 9, 20150 found this helpful

Best Answer

Electricity works on a loop. Current flows out on the hot and back on the neutral. A standard breaker trips when the flow in the loop is too great. A GFCI trips when the current flowing out exceeds the current flow returning by...

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[Summary]What, Why does my GFI keep tripping? Explaining common problems of GFI receptacles, and how to wire correctly on line and load size. you will have better understanding after watching this. Can't Reset a GFCI Outlet? GFCI Outlets in Homes Info and Tro


What, Why does my GFI keep tripping?

Explaining common problems of GFI receptacles, and how to wire correctly on line and load size. you will have better understanding after watching this.

Can't Reset a GFCI Outlet?

GFCI Outlets in Homes

Info and Troubleshooting

There are often special looking electrical receptacles in bathrooms or kitchens that have "Test" and "Reset" buttons -- often black and red -- on them. Video. These are ground-fault circuit interrupters -- GFCIs or GFIs. Their purpose is to protect people from electrocution. They do not prevent shock altogether, only deadly shock. And they do not prevent overloads on the circuit....

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“WHY” GFCI Outlet Trips

Hello, I’m Ken with Power Source Electric Unlimited Inc. My web-site is and my goal is to save you money.

Don’t pay to have your button pushed! GFCI Outlets are designed for our safety, so when they trip, that is an indication that there is a problem within your electrical system. These outlets are scattered throughout your home. It is a good idea to understand what may cause a GFCI outlet to trip as a matter of proper home maintenance and saving money.

GFCIoutlets are located any place water may come in contact with electricity like the kitchen, bathroom, garage, laundry room as well as outlets outside your home. Although all the outlets in those rooms may not have test and reset buttons located on the outlets, the outlets should be protected by a GFCI device. In this case, a GFCI breaker may be located in your electrical panel or a GFCI outlet will be located in the immediate area. Of course, there are...

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Guide to Troubleshoot and Repair a GFCI Outlet Problem
GFCI Electrical Question #1 What is causing a GFCI outlet to trip off?

I need help with a GFCI receptacle problem. I have a 120 VAC circuit in our basement that was installed when the house was built. As it was in an unfinished basement, it was terminated to a GFCI receptacle. While finishing the basement it would trip from time to time when we had multiple work lights and an air compressor plugged in. Once we started finishing this area we connected about 3 additional outlets to the GFCI circuit as well as 2 can lights, 2 down bar lights and a fan and light. While testing the lights, turning off the 3 way light it tripped. Was able to reset with the GFCI button. The GFI doesn’t always trip, just like it originally did when only the GFCI receptacle was on the dedicated circuit. Putting a tester in the GFCI outlet shows solid/good connections. Could it be the GFCI outlet or the 15A breaker in the electrical panel? This...
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If I remove the GFCI (not replace yet) and test the rest of the outlets, is there a worry of overloading? The circuit breaker in the circuit box should trip if the GFCI is not the problem and something else is, right?

If removing the GFCI fixes the problem, then the GFCI is the problem.

If removing the GFCI still causes the problem then it's one of the other outlets or the actual circuit breaker in the circuit board.

How does on replace the breaker? Am getting over my head on this and should just get an electrician? (I'm fairly handy, but don't want to mess with high voltages)

The Wizard - the breaker trips IMMEDIATELY on resetting the GFCI outlet. However, before the GFCI is reset, none of the other outlets will work (so it's like having two switches on the...

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Video: How to Connect Wires to Terminal Screws

Troubleshooting the outlet

When an outlet goes dead, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst. But more often than not, the problem is something simple, and you can save the cost of a service call just by taking a few steps to trace the cause. Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable doing electrical work. Better than half the time, you’ll solve the problem without even lifting a tool. We’ll show you how to start your search for the problem by checking in the most likely places. If that doesn’t work, we’ll show you where to look for loose connections that may be to blame, and how to fix them.

Of course, there will always be problems that are best left to an electrician. But if you take these steps first, there’s a good chance you’ll find the solution.

Check for Simple Solutions First

Shortly after moving into our house, we had an electrical problem. The exterior outlets and bathroom...

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I'm having an issue with the GFCI outlet tripping in the power circuit for the pool pump motor. I have a 20A breaker in my power panel, a 20A GFCI wired between the panel and the pool plug in. The motor will run for about 15 min. and the GFCI outlet will need to be reset. The pump is a little over a year old. The motor number is 177803. Pump model is OPT-N2-1-1/2 HD3 STD. I removed the GFCI and wired the connections together and the pool ran for a few hours without tripping the 20A breaker in the panel. I'm using a GFCI outlet that I purchased form my local home center. I don't remember the manufacturer. This is not a permanent install so the motor isn't bonded. Not sure what going on. I had no issues last year. Any help will be...

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Since there is nothing plugged into any of the outlets, the type of cover is not as significant as if one or more had a cord plugged in.


Joed is right on this, if you can't visually find


, then it is time to start with the garden hose spray test.

Start with the GFCI Location with a medium 5 minute spray. If no response, wait 10 minutes and go to the next outlet and repeat until the GFCI trips.

Remember the GFCI is looking for a leakage path that might be very close or at the end of the run. The leakage can be at any point downstream from the GFCI.

What would be your estimate that the total length of all the wiring downstream from the GFCI? Could it be up to 150' ?

Last edited by PaliBob; 05-26-2009 at 02:53 PM. Reason:...
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HOME SitemapInfo and Troubleshooting

There are often special looking electrical receptacles in bathrooms or kitchens that have "Test" and "Reset" buttons -- often black and red -- on them. Video. These are ground-fault circuit interrupters -- GFCIs or GFIs. Their purpose is to protect people from electrocution. They do not prevent shock altogether, only deadly shock. And they do not prevent overloads on the circuit. That is the job of a circuit breaker at the main panel. See my GFCI article. (What is the little light on some GFIs?)

Why Can't I Reset? Is GFCI Bad or Is There a Ground-Fault?
GFI Outlet Diagram -- Hooking Up
Is an Unknown GFCI the Cause of an Outage?
Finding a Tripped GFCI Receptacle
Confusing Terms: GFCI, GFI, Load, etc.

Bad GFCI or a Ground-Fault? -- Troubleshooting

Is a GFI tripping for a ground-fault? If you are pretty sure you need to troubleshoot a ground-fault itself, you may want to go to

Tripped GFI -- Why?


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Harsh Winter Fish Kill?Raising Koi: Facts and Myths


Unfortunately I get this question all the time. Once water has seeped through the seals and gets into the motor, the GFI will trip and shut-off the electricity. When I told our customer today that her pump was “Fried” she responded:

The Customer responded:

“If the pump is fried, why does it work like a champ when plugged into a different gfi outlet?”

Not being an electrician, I forwarded her question to the Tech people at Aquascape who answered with the following:

Aquascape Tech responded:

I have attached two links that I hope will help this customer understand.

Basically if they value their life and the life of their loved ones they will use a GFCI breaker. Choosing not to do so places them at risk of electrocution in the event of an electrical malfunction. Which is exactly what they are doing by bypassing the GFCI. This has been required in outdoor...

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I have an HVAC system that has a GFCI plug on it. It has tripped pretty frequently, every week or so, the last several weeks. The HVAC technician said it is it is an electric problem not HVAC problem. He said it should have been a regular plug anyway and he doesn't understand why the electrician used an GFCI. When the GFCI tripped the HVAC shuts down but it comes back when I reset it. The only thing that is plugged into it is the condensation pump. My questions are: 1) Could the the tripping be caused by a bad pump, or a bad GFCI ? 2) should that plug be a regular a regular plug w/o ground fault? and 3) Is this an HVAC issue or electrical problem?


Electric motors have current requirements that exceed many GFCI capabilities. An electrician may need to run a dedicated circuit for the pump in that wet location. Also, a GFCI protected pump may be required. This is certainly an electrician question. I can tell you our Inifinites will trip a GFI...
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Dave is right to a point, This is what the National code says. Still confused??? Your bes bet is to call a qualified electrician in your area. Greg

Where do you put G.F.I.'s?...
Any bathroom or garage outlet within 6' of a sink must be GFCI protected. The code also requires all kitchen outlets for countertop use to be GFCI protected. GFCI outlets must be installed in any area where electricity and water may come into contact, including basements, pools, spas, utility rooms, attached garages and outdoors. At least one GFCI outlet is required in an unfinished basement and for most outdoor outlets.
The are two types of GFCIs in homes, the GFCI outlet and the GFCI circuit breaker. Both do the same job, but each has different applications and limitations.
The GFCI outlet is actually a replacement for a standard electrical outlet. A GFCI is not dependent of a ground to function. It does not measure shorts to the ground, it measures the current difference between the...

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