No GFCI near bathroom sink

Hi Guys, I am the new guy here. I was doing a practice inspection on the rental house I live in. I plugged in my GFCI tester into the wall outlet and the lights did not light up. I then hit the GFCI test button. The lights came on then off. It tripped a protected GFCI outlet in my garage on top of my work bench. I know its obvious that the outlet in the bathroom is not GFCI protected but why did it trip the breaker in the garage? Was it the closest outlet GFCI protected?

Just because a receptacle doesn’t have a test and reset button on it doesn’t mean it’s not GFCI protected. A properly installed GFCI device will protect downstream receptacles.


Hi Chris, Welcome to the forum! Your description of the process is slightly confusing, but, if the test tripped a GFCI in the garage, then that outlet you were testing is, in fact, GFCI protected by means of being ‘downstream’ of the garage GFCI outlet. If properly wired, several outlets are able to be protected by a single GFCI outlet. This is commonly seen in kitchens.

I’m not sure why the tester didn’t show power at first “the lights did not light up”. Are you using a 3-light tester, or some other device?

Best luck to you. There’s something to be learned every day.


GFI. Fun stuff. GFI’s circuits . If it is protected upstream, it is ok. Thus protects everything downstream Probably old install. I recently came across a fun problem. Upstairs bathroom closet has GFI. And fed main bathroom and downstairs bathroom. Meets code .Sucks for home own because if it trips and they don’t know about it . . everything is out. Best practice install Cadillac install “My opinion” is to have pigtails to GFI off of the circuits and thus GFI doesn’t go down stream. Circuit is protected by breaker and outlet is protected bye reciprocal gfi device in outlet Just services that particular out-let requirement costs 20$ more Easier for home owner reset-test

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Agree. If not, may not meet current standards or local AHJ mandates.

Ignore all this. It will only confuse you, and you should never attempt to prescribe any method of repair.


Thank you all for the great information. Would I recommend a sticker stating GFCI on receptacle.

If the instructions supplied with GFCI-protected receptacle state that the enclosed “GFCI-protected” labels be placed on all GFCI-protected receptacles [110.3(B)]

If the circuit has no EGC, then they need to be labled with “GFCI-protected” AND “No Equipment ground” [406.3(D)(3)(b)]

Thank you! So much to learn!

I wonder if anyone ever reads those stickers…
I doubt it.

Nope! And I don’t call out unlabeled GFCI’s or GFCI protected receptacles. I do, however, call out unprotected 3-prong receptacles that are on ungrounded circuits if they don’t have “No Equipment Ground” labels

No. And the painters shuffle the locations anyway.

I read through the thread and I don’t think anyone mentioned this yet - if the lights didn’t turn on when you first plugged in the tester, but then turned on and tripped off along with the garage receptacle, then as others have stated, yes it’s tied in to that GFCI, however the fact that it didn’t have power in the first place (before it was tripped) is something to be concerned with. I would mention that specifically, and that it may be wired improperly from the GFCI it is piggybacking off of, and that an electrician should come have a look at it. Not a safety hazard per se, as it does trip, but if it doesn’t work in the first place, certainly an inconvenience and something to be looked at more closely.

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Many don’t even have stickers in our area.