New Build with no GFCI protection?

I am new in business with maybe 75 inspections under my belt. I inspected a new build today where there were no receptacles anywhere with GFCI markings or test buttons on the receptacle. Assuming they were GFCI breakers, I tested the locations with my basic 3 light tester but nothing tripped. After removing dead front panel, the Eaton breakers had the test buttons on them. I assumed those with the test buttons were AFI breakers. How do I determine if those are AFI/GFCI breakers? There was no wording on the breakers except the letters “TL”. If this were an older house, I would write it up with no GFCI protection and move on. But this new construction has me second guessing myself. Any help is appreciated.

Welcome Jason! Do you have any pictures of the breakers in the panel? Also, where are you located?

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If you get stuck.

Exterior electrical receptacles did not trip when tested with a receptacle testing device, which indicated the GFCI receptacle protection was either faulty or not provided. Recommend evaluation for correction by a qualified electrical contractor for safety reasons.


It sounds like the receptacles we’re “protected” by a faulty GFCI circuit breaker. You shouldn’t have to remove the dead front cover to test a test button on a GFCI circuit breaker.

As mentioned above request repair by a licensed electrical contractor.


I’m sure the breaker’s “test button” is visible without removing the dead-front.

Typically, locate the manufacturer info on the breaker or panelboard and research the specs.

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Thanks, guys. I didn’t push the test buttons once removing the dead front cover. I just thought it very odd that not a single receptacle in the house had a “traditional” receptacle with the test/rest button on them. AND, that my little tester didn’t trip a single receptacle, anywhere. Like I said, I am second guessing myself because it seems so obvious and it’s new construction.
Yes, I do have photos but I need to figure out how to get them on here for you to see.

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Jason the majority of my work is new construction and you would be surprised how many times I find receptacles in the garage that are not GFCI protected. Exterior receptacles that are not GFCI protected. My pet peeve is one GFCI receptacle in a bathroom covers three bathrooms and I’m running all over the house resetting :slightly_smiling_face:


A couple of other things to consider, and this is why it is good to identify and test at the panel.

One. Some receptacle testers are slow. I will hold the button down a good 3 seconds before I make the determination the GFCI is bad.

Two. Your tester is bad.

Three. The breaker/wiring is faulty.


That’s a good point Brian I always bring a circuit analyzer along with a digital three light tester. If the cheap three light tester fails I will test it with the circuit analyzer to verify the GFCI receptacle is faulty. The circuit analyzer stops testing after six seconds.

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Hey Martin, thanks for the reply. What you mentioned really wouldn’t even surprise me that much, sadly. This house didn’t have GFCI receptacles ANYWHERE. Not in the kitchen, bathroom, garage, or exterior. That’s why I’m writing here. Am I missing something? I’m attempting to include the pictures here.

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Looks like the receptacles are protected by the GFCI circuit breakers. It appears the kitchen circuit breaker has been tripped.

Keep up the good work Jason and keep asking the good questions.


Or an error code


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I saw the light and will note that on my report. It was a solid red light and I haven’t been able to find any information other than it has been tripped.
As far as my tester goes, it seems to working fine when I use it to test a circuit at my house. So, I suppose you could be correct that I am not holding the button down long enough.
I just don’t know how confident I am that this is the case. If I go with that hypothesis, then that means I don’t call out any issues with the GFCI’s??

Martin and Brian, Many thanks to both of you for the great inputs. Good info here. Keen eye on the red light.


I personally would follow my original narrative and add in the red light.

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Thanks for that. It’s very helpful. But. I still can’t reconcile in my mind (with confidence) why I couldn’t get any of those circuits to trip.

Well, did you test them at the panel?

In a vacant home I always push every test button in a panel

(you can go back out there, it is not the end of the world)

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Best money you’ll ever spend and will answer a lot of your questions. The wires have been improperly installed would be my guess. The circuit analyzer will tell you what is going on with the wiring.

IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC. 61-164 SureTest Circuit Analyzer, CATIII for 300v

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Always like to read when I see you guys on a feed. Valuable and productive information. Thanks guys