Clarification on GFCI/AFCI

@steague Reread the question. The answer may be yes depending on location.

“GFCI receptacles must be in readily accessible locations, ensuring there is easy access for resetting the receptacle if it trips.”

Panel is not always the answer. At the receptacle is not always the answer. And yes, he may do a great job inspecting my home. This was a deeper dive question over and beyond the “is the damp/wet area GFCI protected”. That was already determined. It was about access to the reset.


Stuart, sadly there are 100s of HIs out there that have no schooling, no certification, and no knowledge of what they are looking at. Alot of them make a damn good living at it being a BS artist and have no conscience. Knowing the basics is the most important thing, but keep in mind, in any forum whether it be here or elsewhere, the help you receive can be directly proportional to your own conduct. Rub someone the wrong way that knows a boat load about specific things, and you won’t get the help you may need someday. Just food for thought…


I’m a relatively new home inspector. When my prior career became unreliable early last year because of covid, I took the 90 hour AHIT course as well as the full NACHI course then scored high on my NHIE.

Even so, I have no ego about this and I know I have so much to learn. I’m more than willing to ask a stupid question on this forum to make sure I don’t make a mistake. I pay my membership just like you and spend the time between inspections eager to learn, both here and on YouTube.

The house I was inspecting today was a new construction which had some but not all receptacles with GFCI protection on circuits which also had GFCI/AFCI protection at the breakers. It seemed strange.

The reason, as has kindly been explained, was a little tricky and I’m glad I asked the question before sending the report to my client.

I’m sorry for whatever has happened in your life that makes you feel the need to belittle strangers online, especially here. I truly am, that must suck. But I am a qualified home inspector and I’ll only get better with help from those that have been doing this longer.


Morning, Matthew.
Hope this post finds you well.

To answer your question, when operable, no. Knowing what circuit and receptacles are protected is another story all together.
As well, at times, a GFCI device might be slaving receptacles/outlets upstream.

Personally, I test every receptacle I can pernitrate with my EXTECH CT70 AC Circuit Load Tester.

When you encounter a panel GFCI breaker the GFCI, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters Test Procedure goes as follows. 1: Test the breaker at the source.
1: GFCI panel Breaker: Re-Set a Circuit-Breaker Type GFCI.
A: The first thing you do is toggle the breaker lever to the OFF position. On some models past the OFF position. B: Then reset the GFCI breaker by moving the toggle lever to the ON position.
2: GFCI Receptacles: Press the TEST button in order to trip the GFCI device.

As well, Trip Times of GFCI’s, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters is important. A GFCI will “sense” the difference in the amount of electricity/current flowing into the circuit to that flowing out, even in amounts of current as small as 4 or 5 milliamps. A GFCI should react quickly. in less than one-tenth of a second, to trip or shut off the current flowing on the circuit outlet.


did you test for GFCI function? buy pushing the button on your GFCI tester in the kitchen outlets and such? to make sure the breaker would actually trip?

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Yeah always, tested with the GFCI tester and on the receptacle itself

Yep always, tested with the GFCI tester and on the receptacle itself.

Sorry Matthew, I honestly wasn’t trying to put you down, my post might have seemed harsh but wasn’t meant to be. Being a new inspector myself I have loads still to learn and these guys here have great knowledge and I learn from them literally every day. I was just kinda saying to obtain the CPI certification knowledge of the GFCI protection both at receptacles and breakers was needed, well I felt so anyway. Again sorry didn’t mean to piss you off. Happy learning.

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Is there a level or designation lower than CPI? I am under the impression that if you are a NACHI member you are CPI or higher?

I’m pretty sure you can join and pay dues as a “member” but you still have to be InterNACHI course certified to earn your CPI designation.


The only UL recognized method to test is the built-in test button.

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Jim has it correct.

I’m trying to really understand the question…

Are u saying you have a GFCI breaker feeding outlets to a required GFCI location and are wondering if a GFCI outlet is still required on that same circuit?

Unfortunately things always seem to get derailed here
The OP asked a simple question.
The answer is simple
And also it could be added fairly succinctly that

  1. if such a condition is found it should be pointed out that there is redundant GFCI protection on this circuit which can lead to nuisance tripping, and
  2. yes, you really should have known that, but good luck with your career.
    There are truly in this business no stupid questions

Thanks Alan, an inspector should know this right!!! I was not trying to be an arse just saying it should be a given.

What if the receptacle is upstairs bath and the panel is in the basement? You think GFCI at panel only is ok? It’s not.

Why do you think it will create nuisance tripping?

If the receptacle is downstream of a panel gfi it is protected. Where is the issue?

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Done that way all of the time. You could still install a GFCI receptacle if you like with the GFCI breaker at the panel.

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Because of 2 things.
1 Someone I know who would know told me
2 and you’ve never experienced causing one GFCI to trip during an inspection and it won’t reset cause the another GFCI on that circuit also needs resetting. That’s nuisance tripping

Am I on Candid Camera?