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Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3663
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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I just installed a new GFCI outlet outside and wired it into

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I just installed a new GFCI outlet outside and wired it into an inside outlet. The GFCI trips and resets with the buttons, It trips and resets with a tester. My problem is once I try to plug in anything the outlet trips and wont reset with a plug in the GFCI. I dont know if this is a symptom but my GFCI tester has 3 lights (Red, Yellow, Yellow). When I plug the tester into the GFCI the 1st yellow light is strong but the second yellow light is very dim. This is not the case in other outlets name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!


1) Can you clarify how you wired the exterior GFCI receptacle into the inside receptacle?


In other words, did you extend the hot and neutral wire from the inside receptacle and extend that out to feed the GFCI receptacle or is the inside receptacle wired as a downstream receptacle off of the GFCI where the another feed originates into the GFCI and extends back into the interior receptacle?


Does the GFCI have both the LINE and LOAD screw terminals with hot and neutral wires or only the LINE side of the GFCI?


2) Any chance that you have a 2-prong AC voltage tester (contact type) or an AC voltmeter?


3) What is your wiring scheme? Is the gang box wired with Romex cable or EMT metal conduit or another type of wiring? If wired with Romex, is there a bare copper ground wire that is terminated to a green grounding screw on the back of the gangbox?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I ran Romex type 12/2 with ground to the outside outlet.


The inside outlet wires are all connected to a pigtail with about 4 hot and neutrals tied in each pigtail. I wired the outside wires into that pigtail.


2) The tester I have is a 3 prong GFCI tester. I do not have a 2 prong or ac voltmeter with me.


3) I ran the bare copper wire to the GFCI outlet to a green screw in the back of the gangbox. Should I electrial tape the ground wire as much as possible?



Thank you for the replies Jason!


1) So to confirm, you tapped into the interior receptacle and you extended the 12/2 to provide the power feed into the exterior GFCI, correct?


2) If correct, then you do not have any other downstream receptacles connected to the LOAD side GFCI screw terminals, only the LINE side, correct?


3) Did you splice the bare copper from the new 12/2 onto the bare coppers at the inside receptacle box?


4) I assume that both the interior and exterior boxes are both metal and not PVC plastic?


5) There is no need to tape the ground wire. However, I always wrap a few pieces of electrical tape around the entire body of the GFCI to make sure the hot brass and/or silver neutral screws do not come in contact with any ground wires or metal sides of the box.


6) When you plug-in the GFCI cube tester without intentionally using the trip button on the tester, what do the colors of the tester indicate? An open ground or something else?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1) Yes

2) I believe I have The neutral in the top and the hot in the bottom. I mimic'd the inside outlet setup and it seems to be the only way the outlet lets me trip and reset it.


3) I did not run the cooper inside.I just connected the copper to the outside gangbox.


4) The inside receptacle box is PVC and the outside is metal.


5) When I plugin the tester it reads normal. When I press the trip button is says hot/neutral reversed and trips the outlet.

1) Double check your connections at the GFCI. The LINE side screws are for the incoming power feed into the GFCI. The LOAD side screws are for any downstream connected receptacles leaving the GFCI and protecting those receptacles. Make sure the LINE and LOAD connections are not reversed. The Hot wire lands on the brass screw and the neutral wire lands on the silver screw. The bare copper wire lands on the GFCI green ground screw.


2) Inside the PVC interior box, you should have some bare copper ground wires. Splice the new 12/2 bare copper ground wire onto the existing bare copper grounds. The bare copper ground needs to be contiguous from the interior to the exterior box. You need a complete ground path at both boxes and not just on the exterior box.


3) Turn the breaker to OFF and check the connections I mention here...... let me know how it goes.





Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.


Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at:



Kevin and 3 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I will try this tomorrow. Its 10pm here so working in the dark is not easy. Thank you for the suggestions and I will try this tomorrow

No problem Jason. Just reply back to me with any questions and I will be logged on here late tomorrow afternoon and evening. No need to create a new question, just reply back to me on this question.


Thank you for the excellent service rating...........much appreciated!


In the meantime, have a great evening........Thanks......Kevin!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I ran the added ground to the inside outlet ground and the outlet works without tripping however the GFCI tester wont trip the outlet.


I thought maybe the GFCI was bad so I went and purchased a new GFCI outlet. The GFCI says it ships tripped and will only reset if wired correctly. I have tried every single wiring combination and I cannot get the new GFCI to trip.


I replugged in the old GFCI and That works and I tested the line and theres definiately power going to the outlet.

Hello Jason............thanks for the replies


1) You mention that you re-installed the old GFCI and that it works. Does this mean you can intentionally trip the GFCI using the GFCI test button or are you only trying to test it via your GFCI cube tester or both?


2) What is the LOAD that you are plugging into the GFCI and it won't reset?


3) Do you have the GFCI wired correctly? How many wires do you have connected to the exterior GFCI receptacle? Just 3? 1 hot, 1 neutral and 1 bare copper?


Are the hot and neutral connected to the LINE side? Is the hot connected to the brass screw and the neutral connected to the silver screw? And nothing connected to the LOAD side screws?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If I install the hot and neutral to the load side everything works on the old outlet. If I do the same to the new gfci there is no power to the outlet and I cannot reset it at the receptacle.

The old gfci resets and works fine. I don't want to use the old one because the hot wire touched the metal box and made a burn mark on the receptacle so I prefer not to use it.

The new gfci wired every way won't reset

I've tried

Hot and white load
Hot and white line
Hot line white load
Hot load white line

And yes only 3 wires going into the gfci box

On the otherwise I have 4 black and 4 white. If I add the gfci there is 5 pig failed together plus the groundS

1) Power to the GFCI originates from the interior receptacle, correct?


2) The GFCI does not have any LOAD side or downstream receptacles, correct? In other words, the new GFCI is an end-of-the-run receptacle and not a middle-of-the-run, correct?


3) The only way the GFCI will work is if the hot circuit feed to the GFCI is wired on the LINE side only and NOT on the LOAD side. The hot wire needs to land on the LINE side brass screw and the white neutral wire needs to land on the LINE side silver screw. The bare copper lands on the green grounding screw. This is the only wiring combination that will work on feeding power to a GFCI.


If you don't have any downstream receptacles, nothing gets connected to the LOAD side screws.


4) Where are the 4 black and 4 whites located? On the interior or the new exterior GFCI receptacle?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am unsure if the outlet is an end or middle. The hot on the inside outlet is on the line and the white on the load. The 4 wires joined together are on the inside outlet
1) Lets start over, you are mentioning the inside outlet hot is on the LINE and the white is on the LOAD. A normal duplex receptacle does not have a LINE nor a LOAD designation. Only GFCI's have LINES and LOADS. On a GFCI, the hot LINE is only mated with the neutral LINE. The hot LOAD is only mated with the neutral LOAD. These 2 are never mixed. Look at the back of the GFCI, 1 side is labeled as LINE and the opposite side is labeled as LOAD. The brass and silver screw near the LINE is the LINE side only. The brass and silver screw located near the LOAD is LOAD side only.


2) Originally, you had an interior duplex receptacle that worked and you added a GFCI receptacle to the exterior. You tap'd the hot circuit feed from the interior receptacle and you extended it out to the new GFCI receptacle using 12/2 Romex with a ground. At the GFCI, there are no other wires connected as downstream leaving the GFCI correct?


3) A middle-of-the run box has multiple hots and neutrals inside. An end-of-the-run only has 1 hot and 1 neutral? Which of these config's is the new exterior GFCI.... middle or end? I suspect the GFCI is an end-of-the-run and the interior receptacle is a middle-of-the-run, correct?

1) Jason..............I suspect this is the configuration you are trying to achieve. If not let me know. The diagram below illustrates an interior duplex receptacle that is connected to other receptacles and/or switches via pigtails. You are extending 12/2 Romex with ground to a new exterior GFCI receptacle. Thus, the interior duplex will now feed an exterior GFCI. The GFCI will not have any other receptacles connected to this. The interior duplex is a middle-of-the-run and the exterior GFCI is an end-of-the-run. If this config is correct, this is how it needs to be wired. DO NOT mix LOAD and LINE side. Only use LINE side and the LOAD side will not be used on this config. ...........Let me know how it goes...........Thanks................Kevin!


2) The best testing instrument to measure and test for proper voltage and grounds is the use of a 2-prong AC voltage tester (contact type) or an AC voltmeter. If you do not have a proper ground path contiguously back to the main electrical panel on this circuit, the GFCI will still work but it will not be grounded. If no ground is present or not properly grounded, the GFCI cube tester will not be able to trip the GFCI since the button on the tester requires a ground in the circuit. Thus, the use of a 2-prong AC voltage tester is the preferred testing instrument to use when performing any electrical work. I've also seen cube testers where the trip button and/or LED lights did not work properly, thus providing a false indication.


3) When wiring any receptacle and/or wall switch, always wrap a few layers of black electrician's tape around the exterior of the device body in order to prevent any of the screws from coming in contact with a metal box and/or bare copper ground wire. This will prevent accidental shorts from occurring when re-installing the device into the box.





Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Is there a way to send you an image?
Hi should have a paper clip icon and you can attach a pic using that. However, sometimes it does not work correctly. Best method is to go to and post your picture there. Once you post the pic, send me the URL link so I can view it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your help. I tried again with 14 gauge wire and everything worked fine. Not sure if it was the 12 gauge wire being to thick or if it was something else. Thank you for all your help

1) Hello Jason...........keep in mind that 14 AWG wire is only good for a 15 amp breaker. If the breaker is 20 amps, then the wire needs to be 12 AWG.


Glad to assist Jason!..............If you have any other questions or follow-up questions, just reply back to me at this question. No need to create another question.


Take care and have a great weekend.............Thanks..................Kevin!