Outlet: Install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Outlet

Install a GFCI Outlet
(Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)

Save Yourself From A Shocking Experience by Installing a GFCI Outlet in Your Bathroom, Kitchen or Basement.

GFCI’s can be installed in place of ungrounded outlets and should be installed anywhere where dampness is an issue, such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements and garages.

Step One: Using the breaker or fuse in your service entrance panel box, turn off the power to the outlet to be replaced. Plug a radio or lamp into the outlet before turning off the power. If the radio or lamp goes off, chances are the power is off.

Step Two: Remove the cover plate and unscrew the mounting screws holding the outlet in place. Gently pull the outlet out of its box. Use a voltage sensor to confirm the power supply is off by carefully touching the probe to each wire.

Step Three: Make sure the electrical box is deep enough to accommodate the GFCI receptacle
and wiring. The top set of screws on the GFCI receptacle are labeled “Line” and the bottom set of screws are labeled “Load”. Line refers to the black and white wires that bring the power into the outlet. Load refers to a second set of wires used to supply power to other outlets in the room. If your existing outlet has Load wires, the GFCI receptacle will also protect the additional outlets powered by these wires.

Step Four: Refer to the wiring diagram included with the GFCI receptacle. Attach your black Line wire to the brass Line screw and your white Line wire to the silver line screw. If you have a pair of Load wires, attach those in the same manner to the Load screws. If there is a ground wire, attach it to the GFCI’s green grounding screw.

Step Five: Carefully wrap electrical tape around the edges of the GFCI receptacle, covering the screws and wires. Press the receptacle into place and secure it with the mounting screws.

Step Six: Turn the power back on at the service entrance panel and test the GFCI by pressing the reset button in. If it does not stay in, turn the power back off and recheck the wiring connections. With the power on and the reset button in, plug an appliance or lamp into the receptacle to confirm that the outlet works. If there is no power, chances are the line and load wires are reversed. Once the outlet is working properly, press the test button. This should turn off the power to the outlet. (If it does not, chances are you have a defective GFCI receptacle.) Use the reset button to restore the power to the outlet.

Replace the cover plate, put away your tools and relax knowing there will be one less potentially shocking revelation in your future.

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter receptacle will prevent serious injury by stopping the flow of electricity if there is a problem with your wiring or outlet.

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