GCFI's

(Ian Coates) #1

In a garage, situation where there are numerous outlets. Do all the outlets need to be GCFI or will one GCFI on the circuit protect all the other regular outlets? I was under the impression that one protects all the others, is that not the case?

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #2

All need to be GFCI protected…
However, one at the first of the circuit is fine if not overloaded.

(Joe Funderburk, CMI) #3

The only way to know if they are all protected is to test them all.

(Ian Coates) #4

Thanks guys, I have yet to see an overloaded circuit in a garage situation. Contractors seem to think one outlet in a garage is plenty!

I’m only asking because an electrician told me that having more than one on a circuit can mess up a circuit if there is a fault. Basically he said you have to change them all until you find the faulty GFCI

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #5

That is his problem.

(Christopher Currins, CMI) #6

If there is a fault causing one of the GFCI’s to trip why would you need to “change” any of the receptacles, let alone all of them? Think about it.

You need to find a better electrician to get advice from.

As far as the garage All of the receptacles need to have GFCI protection. There are different methods to accomplish this.

(Ian Coates) #7

The problem was a circuit that went dead and had several gfci’s on the circuit. It wasn’t that the GFCI was tripping, it was just one faulty GFCI. Once he had found the outlet that was faulty he replaced it and everything worked again. He said it wasn’t an uncommon problem.

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #8

That’s the problem.

(Robert Meier) #9

There is no problem with multiple GFCI’s on a single circuit beyond it being a potential waste of money. I’ve heard people say that they won’t work correctly which is completely false.

(Christopher Currins, CMI) #10

So there was a “faulty/defective” GFCI, not a “fault” causing the GFCI circuit to trip. Two completely different scenarios. Which could make it a little harder to locate the defective outlet.

To your original question: “Do all the outlets need to be GFCI or will one GFCI on the circuit protect all the other regular outlets?”

One GFCI receptacle Or breaker, when properly wired, will protect all of the outlets that are wired downstream on that circuit. This is true on any circuit (bath, kitchen, exterior, etc) not just garages, But there is no code preventing All of the receptacles on a circuit to be a GFCI receptacle; But they must be properly wired.

(Ian Coates) #11

Thank you

(David Wigger, CMI) #12

Personally I find having multiple GFCI’s on the same circuit VERY annoying! I inspected a new construction home that had a GFCI receptacle in each of 3 bathrooms. It was a real pain in the ash to reset each one in the proper order, especially since one of the three bathrooms was on the second floor.

(Robert Meier) #13

Although code compliant from a practical standpoint they weren’t wired correctly. Each one should have been independent of the other, that’s the reason you use multiple devices on the same circuit in the first place. Also testing with the test button on each device would have solved the problem.

(Christopher Currins, CMI) #14

Exactly. When wired correctly each GFCI should trip and reset independently.