I am OK with basic wiring(installing new outlets , switches, running a line
for a new outlet or light)
I am just not 100% sure about GFI outlets.
If I want to replace an existing outlet with a GFI outlet is it as easy as
buying a GFI outlet and switching them out?
If not what has to be done?
Should I get a licensed electrician to do these GFI outlets?
Assuming the existing outlets are wired correctly, it's just a matter of
swapping the GFI outlet for a conventional one.
If there is more than one outlet "chained" on the circuit, you're best
off putting the GFI one in the location closest to the panel, where it
will provided GFI protection at the ones down the line.
I have run several service calls that were caused by tripped GFCI
receptacles. I recommend that GFCIs not be used to protect outlets that
are not in the same room as the GFCI that is protecting them unless it
is located at the panel.
GFCI's are fairly simple to install assuming you know how to wire
standard receptacles. The watchout is that the supply wiring needs to
be installed on the "Line" terminals and the wiring to the downstream
outlets need to landed on the "Load" terminals. If they are crossed,
and a ground fault occurs in a device plugged into the GFCI, the power
will not be interrupted. Recently GFCI's have been required to deny
power to an outlet if it is miswired but I am sure there are some
older ones still floating around for sale. The really important part
is testing GFCI's after installation, most people don't.
It's so easy, even I can do it. GFCI protection is only required at certain
locations, like bathroom, garages, outside, and a few others. Some things
you wouldn't want GFCI protected like outlets for freezers, or
refrigerators. Assuming you only want GFCI protection at the location of
this outlet replacement, remove the existing outlet, note brass screws on
one side of the outlet and silver screws on the other. The brass screws
should have the hot wires on them and the silver should have the white. If
there are only two wires plus ground on the receptacle, install the white on
silver" line" terminal, and the black on the brass "line" terminal and
ground on the green ground terminal. If there is more than one wire on
either side of the existing receptacle, splice them together with a pigtail
wires to the GFCI outlet
In unfinished parts of basements or garages, readily accessible outlets are
required to be GFCI protected. Outlets on ceilings or outlets installed
behind and dedicated for specific, not easily moved appliances, like
washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc. do not need GFCI protection
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 08:39:38 -0400, "RBM" <rbm2(remove
Thanks. I don't think I meet that standard. I will check as soon as
What if half the basement is finished, meaning drywall, and the other
half isn't? Do I have to GFCI the outlets on the drywalled part?
It may be dedicated to my washer, but it's not behind, and it didnt
stop me from plugging a remote dialer into the other half. Later I
wanted to unplug the washer to plug in a wet-dry vac, to vacuum up the
water on the floor, that I was standing in. I only touched the cord
an inch behind the plug, to unplug the washer, but I think the maybe
wet dust conducted enough current to give me a small buzz and a scare.
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