If you want to install a GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, outlet in your home, you don't need to call up an electrician. This outlet prevents you from getting shocked when using electrical sources in areas that can be wet, such as a kitchen or bathroom. This Is a relatively simple do it yourself project that you should be able to complete on your own by following the steps below.
Turn Off The Power
The first thing you need to do is turn off the power to your circuit where you will be adding the outlet. It is a good idea to put a piece of masking tape with the words "Don't Turn Back On" over this circuit as well. You don't want someone else in your family to accidentally flip that switch back on while you are working on that circuit. You may want to put a sign on the door to the breaker box as well that says "Work In Progress. Do Not Touch." It is always better to be extra safe.
Test The Outlet
Second, you need to test the outlet that you plan on working on to make sure that you turned off the right circuit breaker. You can use a simple testing tool that you can pick up in just about any home improvement store to see if there is still power. If the tester detaches or indicates that power is still flowing through the outlet, check the breaker box and find the right circuit to turn off. If the power is off, proceed to the next step. Keep in mind that sometimes it just takes a few minutes for the residual electricity to dissipate.
Second, you are going to need to take off the cover plate on the outlet that you are upgrading to a GFCI outlet. You can do this by using a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the plate in place and then gently prying off the cover plate.
Detach The Wires
Third, once you have removed the screws and the cover, you should be able to pull the outlet out from the wall. Take a screwdriver and loosen the screw that is holding the black or hot wire in place on your outlet; you'll need to turn the screwdriver counterclockwise. Once the screw is loose detach the wire from the outlet.
Repeat this process with the white wire, which is the neutral fire. Finally, complete it with the last wire, which is known as the ground wire.
Remove Covering On Ground & Neutral Wires
Forth, peel back the plastic cover on the ground and neutral wires. At this time, you also should straighten out the end of these two wires as well. Do not do anything at this point to the hot or black wire.
Attach The Ground Wire To The GFCI
Now you are ready to attach the wires to the GFCI outlet. Take the ground wire first and make a hook with the end of the wire. Wrap that hook around the green screw on the GFCI outlet, and then tighten the screw in place.
Attach The Neutral Wire To The GFCI
Next, find the two holes located at the bottom of the GFCI outlet; these two holes are called the stab-in receptacle. Find the silver screw next to one of the holes and push the neutral wire into that hole, then tighten the silver screw to hold the neutral wire in place.
Find the brass screw next to the other hole, and push the hot wire through that hole, then tighten the screw to keep the wire securely in place.
Put Everything Back Into Place
You are almost done. Take the wires and gently push them back inside of the wall and push the outlet into the wall. Make sure that the outlet lines up with the mounting screws on the wall. Place the cover plate over the new outlet and attach the screws to hold everything in place.
Go to your circuit breaker and turn the circuit back on. You can test your circuit by plugging a hair dryer into the outlet. Turn on the hair dryer and while it is running, hit the red test button on the outlet. Your hair dryer should stop immediately.
For extra help, hire the help of a professional home electrician.Share