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Installing a GFCI Outlet

 

 

GFCIs help protect against electrical shocks. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires GFCIs in all wet or damp locations such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, garages and workshops.

 

GFCIs should be tested monthly to ensure they are providing protection. Press the TEST button, then RESET button every month to assure proper operation. If the indicator light does not go out and come back on or if the GFCI cannot be reset, it must be replaced.

 

Preparation

 

• Turn off the power before beginning your project.
• Make sure the amp rating of your GFCI matches the amp rating of the wiring and breaker or fuse.
• Take a picture of the wiring on the current outlet before disconnecting the wires in case you need to refer to it 
   later.
• Have a flashlight handy.

 

Safety

 

• Always turn off power to a circuit before working on it and place a note on the electrical panel to warn others 
  not to turn it on.
• Stay safe by wearing rubber-soled shoes and using tools with rubber handles.
• Don’t use a GFCI as a receptacle for a refrigerator, freezer or other appliance, as it could trip without your 
  knowledge.

 

Savings

 

• If you’re replacing multiple GFCIs, look for money-saving value packs.


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

Materials:


 

Step 1: Turn off power

Turn Off Power 1. Turn off power at the circuit breaker or fuse.

2. Remove wall plate.

3. Use the tester to verify power is shut off.
  

Step 2: Remove existing outlet

Remove Existing Outlet 1. Remove mounting screws and gently pull the switch out of the wall box.

2. If replacing an existing GFCI label the black and white wires on the Line and Load
    terminals.

3. Disconnect wires.
  

Step 3: Prepare wires for connecting the new GFCI

Prepare Wires for Connecting the New GFCI 1. Prepare wires by making sure they are straight. Cut if necessary.

2. Remove insulation so ¾ in. of the copper conductor is showing.
  

Step 4: Identify the line wires

Identify the Line Wires 1. Pull wires out of the wall box and position them so they can not touch each other.

2. Restore power and carefully touch the black probe to the metal box or bare
    copper ground wire. If installing a GFCI on an ungrounded circuit, please refer to
    the manufacturer's instructions.

3. Place the red probe to each black wire until the tester lights up. This is the black
    wire that will connect to the Line brass screw terminal.

4. Leave the red probe on the black Line hot wire and place the black probe on each
    white wire until the tester lights up. This is the white wire that will connect to the
    Line silver screw terminal.

5. Turn power off.
  

Step 5: Connect the wires

Connect the Wires 1. Unscrew the terminal screws of the new GFCI until they are difficult to turn.

2. Connect the black Line hot wire to the brass screw marked line by inserting the
    wire into the Back-wire hole and tighten the terminal screw.

3. Connect the white Line neutral wire to the silver screw marked Line by inserting
    the wire into the Back-wire hole and tightening the terminal screw.

4. If the outlet box has four wires plus a ground, connect the second black wire to the
    brass terminal marked Load and the second white wire to the silver terminal
    marked Load.

5. Connect the ground wire to the green ground screw by inserting the wire into the
    Back-wire hole and tighten the terminal screw. If there are multiple ground wires,
    connect them together with a copper pigtail, secure with a wire nut and attach the
    loose end of the pigtail to the green ground screw.
  

Step 6: Place the GFCI into the wall box

Place the GFCI into the Wall Box 1. Carefully bend the wires and push the GFCI into the wall box.

2. Tighten the mounting screws to secure the GFCI to the wall box.
  

Step 7: Cover with wall plate

Cover with Wall Plate 1. Install the wall plate.

2. Restore power and press the Reset button.

3. If the GFCI does not reset, the line and load leads may have been reversed
    during installation. Please refer to the "Test Your Work" section of the
    manufacturer's instruction sheet or call a qualified electrician.