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My Outlets Are Dead – Should I Replace The GFCI?

Fully explained wiring instructions complete with a picture series of GFCI installations and wiring diagrams can be found here…


Electrical Question from David about GFCI Wiring.
Background: David, a Handyman from Amherst, NH
Question: I had a GFCI with downstream outlets. This morning, I noticed the downstream outlets were dead. However, the GFCI outlet was working. I found that when I pushed in the reset button, the downstream outlets went hot.

Is it normal for a GFCI to “trip”, cut off the downstream outlets, yet keep the GFCI outlets hot? Or should I replace the GFCI?

Additional Comments: Great site.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question David. No that is not normal. The GFCI outlet should be replaced. The manufacturers are making the newer GFCI’s much better. Make sure to purchase a name brand GFCI with a genuine UL Listing, never buy a generic.  Fully explained wiring instructions complete with a picture series of  GFCI installations and wiring diagrams can be found here in the GFCI area here in this website. Just click the GFCI Outlet Wiring link below.

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:

For more information about GFCI Wiring
GFCI Outlet Wiring

This link is helpful as a Handyman
Do-It-Yourself Electrical

Make sure not to miss these Resources for: More about Outlets
Wiring Outlets

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Wiring Home Electric Circuits
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Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “My Outlets Are Dead – Should I Replace The GFCI?”
  1. Cynthia says:

    Hello, I appreciate any assistance you can give. We recently discovered that all electrical outlets in the 2 1/2 bathrooms in our house are not working. The lights and fans work. The bathrooms are not all on the same floor and are on different sides of the house. My husband checked the circuit box but it does not seem to be the problem. Is there a dedicated line that goes throughout a house that is only for bathrooms? He checked inside two of the outlets but could not detect what the issue was. We believe we will have to call an electrician but we would like to know what we are dealing with first. The house was built in 2005. Thanks.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Yes – typically the bathroom outlets are on a dedicated circuit. There may be one GFCI outlet that is tripped off which supplies the power to the rest of the outlets. Check all the affected outlets for a GFCI and if it is found simply reset it.

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