How to Install a GFCI Outlet

How to Install a GFCI Outlet
How to Install a GFCI Outlet

A GFCI outlet (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) offers more protection for your home from appliances from overloading a circuit. Learning how to install a GFCI outlet can be a great time investment for homeowners.


All new homes and buildings must have GFCI outlets installed in any room that can be wet, such as a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. Though GFCI outlets reduce the risk of electric shock and fire, older homes might not have them installed. 


How to Get Your Home Up to Code

GFCI outlets are reasonably priced and, with a little bit of knowledge, easy to install. You will need to purchase a few things to install the new GFCI outlets yourself.


What You Will Need to Install a GFCI Outlet

The tools needed to install a new GFCI outlet might already be in your toolbox. 


  • A new GFCI outlet and outlet plate

  • A flat-head screwdriver.

  • A Phillips screwdriver.

  • A wire stripper and cutter, or needle nose pliers.

  • An electrical outlet testing tool.


Easy Steps to Install a GFCI Outlet

Though an electrician can easily install your new GFCI outlet, it won’t take you too much time, either. With all the tools needed nearby, you can install the new outlet in just a matter of a few minutes.


Here are the steps to install a GFCI outlet:


Turn Off the Power 

To turn off the power, go to the circuit breaker or fuse and switch it to off. If you have an outlet tester, use it to check the outlet to verify the power is off. Also, it isn’t a bad idea to leave a note at the electrical panel to warn others not to turn on the power while you are working on this project. 


Remove the Old Outlet 

Use a screwdriver to remove the wall plate, then remove the screws and gently pull out the switch of the wall box. If you are replacing an existing GFCI outlet, label the black and white wires on the LINE and LOAD terminals. Then disconnect the wires from the existing outlet before preparing them by ensuring they are straight and not touching each other. Finally, use wire strippers to remove the wire insulation, so three-quarters of an inch of the copper wire conductor is showing.


Identify the Line Wires 

Pull the wires out of the wall and position them, so they do not touch each other, then restore the power. Carefully test the wires with an outlet tester and then turn the power off again.


Connect the Wires 

Before anything else, ensure the amp rating on your new GFCI outlet matches the amp rating of the wiring, breaker, or fuse. Then, connect the black LINE hot wire to the brass screw marked LINE by inserting the wire into the black 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. After that, connect the ground wire to the green ground screw by inserting the wire into the black wire hole and tightening the screw.


Remember to always attach black wires to black wires and white wires to white ones.


Place the GFCI into the Outlet Box 

Carefully bend the wires and push the GFCI outlet into the wall box before tightening the mounting screws to secure the outlet in place.


Install the Wall Plate 

After using a screwdriver to put the wall plate over the GFCI outlet, restore the power, and press reset on the GFCI. If the GFCI does not reset, recheck the LINE and LOAD wires.


GFCI Outlets Offer Peace of Mind

GFCI outlets are designed to prevent electrocution, injuries, and fires. They are required in new home construction and can save the lifespan of your appliances and devices by providing a consistent flow of electricity.

For all your lighting needs, make an appointment today with the team at Mr. Sparky in Pleasantville. Our trained and licensed technicians will help you choose the best plan of action for your requirements.