What is GFCI outlet?

GFCI (Ground fault circuit interrupters) are cheap and lifesaving. They’re vital in high-risk zones. For example, near outdoor outlets and sinks. GFCI outlets are required by law. The NEC specified GFCI receptacles for all outdoor electrical systems in 1971.

GFCI outlets are required in various parts of the house as of 2014. Laundry and utility sinks, as well as outdoor outlets, need GFCI protection.

The NEC code enforcement will use the home’s construction year. Your house should meet current NEC requirements. Inside the electrical panel or on portable GFCIs.

How to Install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Outlet (GFCI)

Time Required: < 2 hours


A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a type of circuit breaker that can shut down electricity directly at the outlet in the event of an electrical malfunction. Kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, outdoors, basements, garages, and workshops should all have GFCI outlets. Using a GFCI outlet reduces the risk of serious electric shock in damp areas.


  • voltmeter
  • flashlights
  • strippers of wire
  • screwdrivers with slots
  • screwdrivers with phillips heads


How to Install GFCI Outlet and Check (Jump to a Particular Step)

1: Turn Off the Electricity
2: Disconnect the Pre-Existing Outlet
3: Recognize the Line Wires
4: Assemble the Wires
5: Install the GFCI outlet in the Wall Box
6: Using the Wall Plate as a cover
7: How to Test Your GFCI Outlet

1. Turn Off the Electricity

  • At the breaker panel, a person turns off a circuit breaker.
  • Switch off the electricity at the circuit breaker or fuse.
  • Do not turn on the electrical panel when working.
  • Verify that the power has been turned off using a voltage tester.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes and instruments with rubber handles.

2. Disconnect the Pre-Existing Outlet

  • Remove the wall plate with a screwdriver or drill.
  • Remove the mounting screws and carefully remove the switch from the wall box.
  • Label the black and white wires on the Line and Load terminals if you are replacing an existing GFCI.
  • Disconnect the existing outlet’s cables.
  • Assemble wires by ensuring they are straight and not touching. If required, trim with wire trimmers.
  • Strip the wire insulation until 3/4-inch copper conductor is visible.

3. Recognize the Line Wires

  • Remove cables from the wall box and arrange them in such a way that they do not contact.
  • Restore electrical power.
  • Carefully connect the voltage tester’s black probe to the metal box or bare copper ground wire. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Connect the voltage tester’s red probe until the tester lights up. This is the black wire that will be attached to the brass screw terminal on the Line.
  • Repeat this procedure until the tester lights up red on the black Line hot wire and black on each white wire. This is the white wire that will be attached to the silver screw terminal on the Line.
  • Switch off the electricity.

4. Assemble the Wires

  • Ascertain that the amp rating of your new GFCI outlet is compatible with the wiring and breaker or fuse.
  • Disconnect the new GFCI outlet’s terminal screws until they become difficult to turn.
  • By placing the black Line hot wire into the back-wire hole, connect it to the brass screw marked Line. Tighten the terminal screw if necessary.
  • By placing the white Line neutral wire into the back-wire hole, connect it to the silver Line screw. Tighten the terminal screw if necessary.
  • Connect the second black wire to the brass terminal labeled Load and the second white wire to the silver terminal labeled Load if the outlet box contains four wires plus a ground.
  • By inserting the ground wire into the back-wire hole and tightening the terminal screw, connect the ground wire to the green ground screw. If there are numerous ground wires, join them with a copper pigtail, tighten with a wire nut, then link the pigtail’s loose end to the green ground screw.
  • Always keep black close to black and white close to white.
  • Wrap electrical tape around the GFCI wiring connections for added protection.

5. Install the GFCI outlet in the Wall Box.

  • Bend the wires carefully and insert the GFCI into the wall box.
  • Secure the GFCI to the wall box by tightening the mounting screws.

6. Using the Wall Plate as a cover

  • Affix the wall plate.
  • Restore electrical power.
  • Reset the GFCI by pressing the RESET button.
  • If the GFCI does not reset, it is possible that the line and load leads were installed in the incorrect order. Consult the manufacturer’s instruction leaflet or contact a trained electrician.

How to Test Your GFCI Outlet

Test your GFCI outlets each month because over time their circuitry can wear out. To test your outlets properly you need a GFCI outlet tester these inexpensive testers show the various results possible and illuminate lights to indicate whether or not there is an issue with your outlet.

If the GFCI does not reset, the line and load leads may be put incorrectly.

Knowing how to install GFCI outlets enables you to replace damaged GFCIs and maintain a safe and code-compliant house. If you ever have questions about how to wire a GFCI outlet, contact a competent electrician to assist you. If you need help just call us Level Up Home Inspections now at 469-405-9594