How To Bypass Gfci On Generator

How to Bypass GFCI on Generator

Generators are incredibly useful when it comes to providing power during outdoor events, emergencies, or when camping. However, if you’ve ever tried to use a portable generator, you may have encountered the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) which can trip and interrupt the power supply. In some situations, you may need to bypass the GFCI to ensure a steady power flow. In this article, we will discuss how to bypass the GFCI on a generator safely.

What is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)?

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is a safety device designed to protect us from electrical shock. It monitors the flow of electrical current and quickly interrupts the power if it detects a ground fault or a leak of current to the ground. GFCIs are commonly found in electrical outlets, and many portable generators also have built-in GFCIs.

When should you bypass the GFCI on a Generator?

In certain situations, you may need to bypass the GFCI on your generator. Here are a few instances where this might be necessary:

  • Using tools or equipment that require a higher power demand than the GFCI can accommodate
  • Experiencing frequent GFCI tripping issues due to temporary power fluctuations
  • Using the generator in a location where the GFCI protection is unnecessary

It’s important to note that bypassing the GFCI on a generator should only be done if you fully understand the risks involved and follow the necessary safety precautions.

Steps to Safely Bypass the GFCI on a Generator

Before proceeding, ensure you have the required tools and follow these steps to bypass the GFCI on your generator:

  1. Turn off the Generator: First, make sure the generator is turned off and disconnected from any power source.
  2. Remove the GFCI Outlet Cover: Locate the GFCI outlet on the generator and remove the cover which protects the outlet and wiring.
  3. Identify the Line and Load Terminals: The GFCI outlet has two sets of terminals – the ‘Line’ terminals where the power enters the outlet, and the ‘Load’ terminals which extend the power to additional outlets. Identify which terminals are connected to the GFCI.
  4. Disconnect the Line Terminals: Using a screwdriver or pliers, carefully disconnect the wires connected to the ‘Line’ terminals of the GFCI outlet. Ensure each wire is well insulated to avoid any contact or short circuits.
  5. Reassemble and Test: Once you have disconnected the Line terminals, reassemble the outlet cover and ensure it is securely fastened. Test the generator to ensure a steady power supply and check if the GFCI bypass has been successful.

Important Safety Considerations

While bypassing the GFCI on a generator may be necessary in certain situations, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Here are a few important considerations:

  • Understanding the Risks: Bypassing the GFCI removes an essential safety feature, so it is vital to understand the potential hazards associated with doing so.
  • Consulting a Professional Electrician: If you are unsure about bypassing the GFCI on your generator or have limited electrical knowledge, it is recommended to seek guidance from a professional electrician.
  • Using Protective Equipment: When working with electrical components, always wear insulated gloves and take necessary precautions to protect yourself from potential electrical shocks.
  • Regular Maintenance: Ensure your generator undergoes regular maintenance checks to minimize the chances of electrical malfunctions.

Remember, bypassing the GFCI should only be done as a temporary measure and in situations where its protection is unnecessary or impractical.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Bypass Gfci On Generator

How Can I Bypass A Gfci On A Generator?

To bypass a GFCI on a generator, you can use a GFCI bypass plug specifically designed for this purpose. Make sure to prioritize safety and only follow proper instructions.

Is It Safe To Bypass The Gfci On A Generator?

Bypassing the GFCI on a generator may pose risks and compromise safety measures. It is crucial to consult a professional to assess the situation properly and ensure all necessary precautions are taken.

What Are The Potential Hazards Of Bypassing The Gfci On A Generator?

Bypassing the GFCI on a generator can lead to electric shocks, fires, or even fatalities. It is highly recommended to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and consult an electrician to avoid any potential hazards.

Can I Cause Damage To My Generator If I Bypass The Gfci?

Bypassing the GFCI on a generator without proper knowledge and precautions can result in damaging the generator or its components. Seek advice from an expert before attempting to bypass the GFCI to prevent any unwanted consequences.

Are There Any Alternative Methods To Bypass The Gfci On A Generator?

It is recommended to use the generator with the inbuilt GFCI for safety purposes. Instead of bypassing it, consider using a separate source of power or consulting an electrician for alternative options to meet your specific needs.


In situations where bypassing the GFCI on a generator becomes necessary, it’s important to prioritize safety and take the necessary precautions. Understanding the risks involved, following the correct steps, and consulting a professional if needed are key to ensuring a safe bypass process. Always prioritize the well-being of yourself and others when working with electrical devices or generators. Remember, safety should never be compromised.

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