Dallas Installing GFCI Outlets
Check your home’s electrical outlets to see if any have ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, like the one shown here. Building codes in most states now require that GFCI outlets be installed in “wet” locations such as kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, garages, or any place there is danger from moisture-related electrical shock.
This is how to Install a GFCI Outlet
GFCI outlets reduce the danger of deadly shock from faulty plug-in cords and devices. A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) is a special type of outlet that detects dangerous ground faults and immediately turns off the power to stop shocks. You can replace almost any electrical outlet with a GFCI outlet. Correctly wired GFCIs will also protect other outlets on the same circuit.
While it’s common to find GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens, the electrical code also requires GFCIs in unfinished basements, garages, most outdoor receptacles and places where construction activity occurs. We’ll show you how to replace a standard duplex receptacle with a GFCI and wire it to protect other outlets. (For more information about wiring outlets, see Wiring Switches and Outlets). wiring
You’ll need a screwdriver, a wire cutting and stripping tool, and an inexpensive voltage tester. We also recommend you add a GFCI tester to your tool drawer. GFCI testers are available at home centers and hardware stores and are a handy device for troubleshooting standard outlets as well as GFCIs.
Before you start, locate the circiut breaker or fuse that controls the outlet you plan to replace and shut off the power to the circuit. Plug a lamp, radio or the GFCI tester into the outlet to test for power and make sure it’s off. Then unscrew and pull out the old outlet and count the number of wires in the box. Calculate the minimum box size required for all of the wires plus the GFCI (see “Required Box Size,” below). If the existing box is large enough, follow the steps in Photos 1 – 4 to replace the outlet with a GFCI. Replace an undersized box with a new one of adequate size. (For more information on box replacement, see What You Should Do With Crowded Electrical Boxes).
Using a GFCI to protect additional outlets on the same circiut breaker or fuse can be tricky. Don’t do it unless you know exactly where the wires go. In the workshop, we had the advantage of being able to visually trace the wires.Test all the GFCIs in your house at least monthly by pressing the test button or using your GFCI tester. If an outlet fails to trip, replace it with a new one.
Step by Step: To Install a GFCI Outlet
First, You must turn off the power. Second, Remove the cover plate. Third, Remove the wires. Fourth, Strip the neutral and ground wires. Fifth, Attach the GFCI. Sixth, Attach the neutral wire. And lastly, Push the wires back Into the box and replace the cover. Call us now (214) 238-8353 for your home service and repair needs.
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