How To Install a GFCI

How To Install a GFCI

Below is a video on how to install a ground fault circuit interrupter also known as a GFCI.

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Today we will be showing you how to install a ground fault circuit interrupter also known as a GFCI. A GFCI can help prevent electrocution. If a person’s body starts to receive a shock the GFCI sense it and cuts the power off before she or he can get injured. GFCI are typically installed in places where electrical circuits where the used appliance may accidentally come into contact with water. They are commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages and in outdoor outlets. GFCI’s should be tested monthly to ensure they are working correctly.

We will first start by switching the breaker to the off position in the electrical panel. Next take a 110 volt meter and test the circuit to ensure that it is off. Once you have made sure you have powered down the circuit we can now take a flat screw driver and remove the cover plate. Once you have the cover plate removed we can now remove the GFCI outlet from the box by taking a Phillips screw driver and removing the two Phillips screws. Next pull the GFCI out and spread the wires out.

For the new GFCI we have chosen to go with a Pass & Seymour. There are a few makes and styles of GFCI on the market. This Pass & Seymour has the 20 year LED night light that is replaceable built in so you don’t have to loose an outlet to a night light. It also has an indicator light built in so it will let you know when it is tripped.

So now that we have the old GFCI’s pulled out we can get a better look at the wires going to it. This one has five wires going to it. We have the common (white wire) and the hot (black wire) on the bottom closest to the ground wire under the line terminals. That is the power supplying the GFCI. The bare wire or the green wire is the ground wire. We have another white wire and black wire on the top side of the GFCI under the load terminal. These terminals are used to feed another outlet that also needs to be protected with the GFCI. In this house these wires feed an outlet outside on the porch. If your GFCI kicks out and your lights go out it’s likely that the top two wires are your light circuit and you might want to move them to the line side of the GFCI so that way when the GFCI’s trips or kicks out you still have lights.

Since this one is wired how we want it we can just change one wire at a time to the new GFCI’s. Keeping them under the correct terminals ( Line & Load). The common wire or white wires go on the silver screws. The hot/ power wire or black wires go under the gold colored screws. The ground will go to the bare copper wire or the green. Once you have all the wires connected we can go ahead and pull of each wire just to make sure they are properly secured down. Since this an older house and it has a metal box we will wrap the GFCI outlet with electrical tape to cover the terminals just in case the outlet becomes loose it can’t arch out on the box. Next we can install the outlet using the two Phillips screws that come with the new GFCI. Once it’s reinstalled we can now install the cover plate using a flat screw driver. Once the cover is on we can restore power by turning on the breaker. With the breaker on we can hit the reset button. The button should stay in and the red light should go out. Next we can test it to ensure that it works properly by hitting the test button. The reset button should pop out and the red light should go on.

That’s it we have just showed you how to replace or install a GFCI in your bathroom, kitchen, garage or your outdoor outlet.


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