Project Guide

How to Install a GFCI Outlet

1
TURN OFF THE POWER
A person shuts off power at the circuit breaker
  • Turn off power at the circuit breaker or fuse. 
  • Remove wall plate. 
  • Use the tester to verify power is shut off.
2
REMOVE EXISTING OUTLET
Using a drill to unscrew the existing outlet from the wall
  • Remove mounting screws and gently pull the switch out of the wall box. 
  • If replacing an existing GFCI, label the black and white wires on the Line and Load terminals. 
  • Disconnect wires.
3
PREPARE WIRES
A person removes the old power outlet.
  • Prepare wires by making sure they are straight. Cut if necessary. 
  • Remove insulation so 3/4-inch of the copper conductor is showing.
4
IDENTIFY THE LINE WIRES
Exposed wires sticking out of the wall, not touching.
  • Pull wires out of the wall box and position them so they cannot touch each other. 
  • 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, refer to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Turn power off.
5
CONNECT THE WIRES
A person connects wires to the new GFCI.
  • Unscrew the terminal screws of the new GFCI until they are difficult to turn. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.
6
PLACE THE GFCI INTO THE WALL BOX
The new GFCI sitting properly within the wall box.
  • Carefully bend the wires and push the GFCI into the wall box. 
  • Tighten the mounting screws to secure the GFCI to the wall box.
7
COVER WITH WALL PLATE
A person screws a wall plate over the new outlet.
  • Install the wall/cover plate. 
  • Restore power and press the Reset button. 
  • If the GFCI does not reset, the line and load leads may have been reversed during installation. Refer to the “Test Your Work” section of the manufacturer's instruction sheet or call a qualified electrician.