Two GFCI on the same circuit

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TonyL

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Mar 9, 2014
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Hey folks,

I know are many active and retired electricians here (and don't want to Google it), but I was wondering if the above is ok/safe. If anything, I think it would be over kill (make the circuit too sensitive). I can easily replace the second GFCI. Had a bathroom remodeled and the contractor put two on the same circuit (separate his and hers vanities). He may have installed two because I wasn't sure how many I needed, so I bought too many and he thought that is what I wanted.

Thanks for reading and your expertise.
 
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I'm not an electrician, but i think it depends on how they're installed. If they're in series, I'm thinking it should be an issue (like Ray above says). But if they're installed in parallel, I think it shouldn't cause the issue. (Or- the reverse - again, I'm not the electrician).
 

MRDucks2

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Washington, IN
If wired properly individual GFCIs on the same circuit are fine and sometimes done for convenience since, as noted above, one GFCI can protect multiple outlets on a common line, again, when wired properly.
 

monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Saratoga Springs, NY
As Ted and Mike said - it depends.

If they are wired in parallel, there is no difference between two GFCIs on one circuit and GFCIs on separate circuits, so that arrangement would not be a problem.

But if they are wired in series, there could be issues. Certainly, if they are in series, both will trip for problems beyond the downstream device. It's not immediately clear to me what would happen for problems between the upstream and downstream devices - the upstream device would operate, but I'm not sure what the downstream device would do. But as a minimum, that arrangement would confound the ability to infer where a problem is based on which device operates, and that's enough of a problem to make it unappealing to me.
 

randyrls

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Harrisburg, PA 17112
Yep; The advice above is good. Try this. Make sure both outlets are working. Plug in a light, hair blower, anything that will tell you if you have power at the outlet. GFCI outlets should have a "test" button. Press the button. There should be a click and whatever you plugged in will stop working. Plug whatever you are using into the other outlet and verify it still works. If so you are good to go. If not, then replace the second outlet with a standard outlet. Repeat the test and verify that both outlets are dead when you trip the GFCI.
 

donstephan

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Jul 24, 2016
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Cincinnati Ohio
Execute Randy's test first on one of the GFCI's and note results, then repeat the entire test on the 2nd. If they are in series, you don't know which is downstream of the other.
 
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