Odd GFCI reaction

I was testing outlets in a kitchen when I ran across an odd thing.

When I plugged my 3 light tester into the GFCI outlet it tripped instantly. This also happened in a second GFCI farther down the counter. The test button, on hand held, was not depressed. Both GFCI’s functioned normally with the internal test buttons and downstream protected outlets showed normal and did trip the GFCI’s on the hand held tester in the normal fashion.

I tried this a few times always with the same result. Other GFCI outlets in the home all tested normally with the 3 light and with their internal testers.

Do any of you have ideas about what is going on here? I wrote them up as I found them and recommended replacement.


no. It did its job.





Barry, Thank You for the information.


Easy to mistake as a defect without all of the facts and I would absolutely advise you have a spare (back up) tester if in fact you intend on relying on them for reporting. I personally would not!

Proper testing of GFCI and AFCI is done with their integrated test buttons

Check your testers on a known properly functioning GFCI receptacle before using in the field.