How do you wire a GFCI outlet?


Quick Answer

To install a GFCI plug, ensure the power is off, remove the existing unit from the electrical box, and disconnect the wires from the receptacle. Then match wires to the appropriate screw, push the outlet into the box, and attach the cover.

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Full Answer

  1. Turn off the power

    Locate the circuit breaker controlling the plug on the home's electrical panel, and flip the switch to the off position. Insert the red probe of a voltmeter into one side of the outlet and the black probe in the opposite side to ensure there is no voltage at the plug.

  2. Remove the existing outlet

    Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the outlet cover. Remove the retaining screws at the top and bottom of the outlet. Pull the outlet from the box.

  3. Loosen the wires on the receptacle

    Use a screwdriver to remove the three wires from the plug.

  4. Match the wires to the appropriate screws

    Attach the white wire to the silver screw on the GFCI outlet. Connect the black wire to the gold-colored screw. The bare wire is the ground and connects to the green screw. Turn the screw until it is snug against the wire.

  5. Complete the installation

    Gently push the outlet back into the electrical box, guiding the wires so they remain out of the way. Insert the screws at the top and bottom of the outlet. Attach the new outlet cover, and turn on the power.

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