Steps To Install A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)

There is a good reason to have the power receptacles (outlets) in your home installed with a GFCI instead.

The devices are designed purposely for the safety of humans when using electricity.

You should have the outlets in places where you are more likely to come in contact with water such as in your kitchen, by the poolside and the bathroom.

How The GFCI Works?

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) works by tripping off when a fault in current flow is detected by the unit.

Take for instance when using an electric kettle. If it happens that the electric kettle is faulty without you knowing, a GFCI will help to prevent electrocution

if installed on the outlet where the kettle is used. It will swiftly detect a current flowing through your body to the ground which should not be if it happens.

It immediately shuts off circulation of current within the very first second the fault is detected to save the person involved. You can have a GFCI outlet installed in vulnerable locations in the home or completely have it fixed on all outlets.

Find Out If Your Outlet Is GCFI Installed Device

You can know this by carrying out a simple check.

Before going ahead with the steps on the installation, it is time to first find out if your wall outlet comes with a GFCI on it already. You can know this by carrying out a simple check. The simple way you can check is to look for two inscriptions or buttons, one has RESET and the other has a TEST written on it. They are between the plug-ins in most cases. It is that simple.

Now, if you don’t already have one installed, here is how you can turn it into an outlet with GFCI by replacing the old one.

Before going ahead, you may need to consider the laws that hold in your country. You may not be permitted to carry out such works if you’re not a registered electrician. And if you’re not comfortable with electrical works, it will just be good to call an electrician to carry out the replacement.

If you’re familiar with the whole process which is quite simple, these are the elementary steps on installing GDCI you can follow:

Step 1: Buy A GFCI Outlet

The first step which may really not be an outright step in itself is to buy a GFCI outlet that is UL certified. This is very important. You don’t want to work on a product that won’t last long or malfunction easily.

Step 2: Gather Together The Equipment You Need

You know the electrical implements, they are also basic. You’ll need the following:

  • Voltage tester
  • Screwdrivers of a suitable size
  • Utility knife
  • Pliers
  • Electrical tape

That should do. The major ones are actually the voltage tester, the pliers and the screwdrivers. You may need the rest of them.

Step 3: Switch Off The Power

This is absolutely very important. Remember all your electrical safety rules here. You can’t do anything without this step. Once again, you must TURN OFF POWER. Go to the Breaker Box and make sure that is done.

Step 4: Unscrew The Old Outlet And Take It Off

This is where to apply basic electrical skills by using the tools you already have with you. The screwdriver will come in here the most.

Step 5: Identify The Load And Line Circuits

This is where it is going to be a bit technical. Here, you’re going to spread out the wires, turn ON the power to determine the line wire which lights with the voltage tester. Some devices may already mark the wires appropriately. Line wires are often marked as “L” while the load is marked as “T”.

Now, don’t forget to switch power back to off before continuing.

Step 6: Install The Certified GFCI Outlet

Using the plier and the screwdriver, install the new GFCI outlet and tighten all the bolts appropriately.

That should be all. You now have a GFCI outlet installed instead of that old outlet. You can go ahead to test your installation.

Ground fault circuit Interrupters are no doubt one of the most important safety devices for homes. It is very important because the design is targeted at saving lives by preventing electrocution and severe shocks. They are vital safety devices.

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