GFCI Question

At todays inspection I had GFCI outlets on both sides of the kitchen sink. Each had it’s own test/ reset buttons. Using my tester, I tested the one on the right and it worked fine. When I tested the one on the left, it tripped the one on the right. Seems like it would have tripped itself. Is this a common setup or is it a defect? When I think about it, it doesn’t seem to be a problem. First time I ran into this one.

As long as one tripped somewhere I wouldn’t be concerned.

Thx Joe. It did its job;-)

I’ve run into similar situations in the past. The trouble seems to be in resetting them.

Probably just a brain-fart when they installed it. They just slaved a GFI off another GFI. Could’ve saved $10.00 and installed a regular receptacle.


Yep, second one is redundant. Either one could trip first when the downstream device is tested.

How old is the house? With modern homes there are supposed to be 2 small appliance circuits. If there are only 2 GFCI’s and they are both on the same circuit, does that mean there is only 1 circuit or is the 2nd circuit not GFCI protected or is there a 3rd GFCI in the kitchen protecting the 2nd circuit?

A tip I have learned the hard way:

If you trip a GFCI and it won’t reset, there is a chance that you tripped a second, redundant GFCI upstream. If they both trip at the same time, the downstream one won’t reset until the upstream one is reset.
That is one reason it is best to use the test button on the receptacle instead of the one on your tester.

Sorry to disagree.

Although most manufacturers say that this is how it should be done, I have run across many GFCI’s that will “trip” with their test button, but will remain energized.

Will these same GFCI’s de-energize when tripped with the external tester? I always try my tester if it doesn’t trip with the test button, but I can’t recall one that worked with one and not the other.

My main point in using the test button on the receptacle was to avoid tripping a redundent GFCI, which you may not be aware of, then trying to chase it down. I have had that happen a few times.

No, they don’t de-energize even though the test button “trips.” I understand the nuisance of redundant GFCI’s, and I report them as a “nuisance.”

I’m saying, make sure you’ve got a tester plugged into the receptacle to check for voltage - just because the internal tester trips, doesn’t mean the GFCI is functional.

I agree.
I always have my tester/indicator plugged in when I push the receptacle test button. It can make it difficult to get to the button.