How to hook up a gfci plug

This article will help you understand how to wire up a gfci plug. It is important to get the line and load correct to make it work properly. On the back of the gfci there is a line and a load. The ffci are marked clearly at line and load. Do not get these incorrect. The gfci will not work gffci all if this is done. Go here all gfci outlets are clearly marked on the back as to what color wires go where.

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Last Updated: September 7, References. This article was co-authored by Daniel Stoescu. With over a decade of experience, Daniel specializes in wiring residential, commercial, and light industrial structures. The Home Tech Solutions team has over four decades of combined experience and offers comprehensive solutions for residential electrical needs. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be click to see more at the bottom holk the page. This article has been viewed gtci, times. The National Electrical Code now requires Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter GFCI receptacles also known as residual current devices or RCDs to meet electrical code in kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoors among other more info wet placesat least for new installations.

4 Ways to Wire GFCI - wikiHow


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The load side should have no power at all. The load side is protected through the GFI. We call this down feeding. You must follow the line and a load on the back of the GFI and you also must have the colors correct. It is marked right on the back of the GFI.

Wiring a GFCI plug with three wires just simply means there are three sets of two wires inside of the box. The simplest form to wire this to the receptacle is to connect all three white wires together with a pigtail. This means one coming out off of the whites. We will also do this with your blacks. Connect all three together and then have a black pigtail coming off.

This will leave you one black wire and one white wire. They should be connected to the back of the line side of the GFCI receptacle. The bare ground wires should then be also connected together and a tail coming off of those as well. We will then connect onto the green screw of the back of the GFCI receptacle with the bare copper wire. The green light on the GFCI will still light up fooling you into thinking that there is power inside of the outlet.

A down feed is it feed that comes out of the load side of the GFCI. It means that anything protected by the gfci will trip if it needs to. This includes moisture or a fault to ground. We often installed this a newer homes to save on gfci receptacles. This saves money on the project overall and makes it simpler to know if you have a problem. We can also install a gfci breaker right inside of the panel box.

This protects the entire circuit. We often do this on outside outlets to save on cost. This also eliminates the issue of gfcis breaking or malfunctioning due to moisture. Light fixtures in bathrooms or damp areas can be protected as well. We often do this in areas of high moisture. This is done by using the down feed side of the gfci outlet. You will want to be careful with motor loads though. The inrush current from a motor load will cause nuisance tripping.

This is usually caused by bath fans, living room ceiling fans etc. We can however install a 3 wire circuit in split one GFI on the red side 3 wire circuit and black side of the 3 wire circuit. If you down feed anything this will cause nuisance tripping and the gfci will detect the unbalanced load. Hooking up a GFCI plug to a light switch is relatively easy. You will run a wire from your panel into the line side of the GFCI. From the line side of the GFCI you will then run from the load side out to your switch.

You can then terminate through this which as normal. However if you do install one then it states that it needs to be on a GFCI. Kind of a catch 22 but you cannot put a regular outlet in the bathroom. This also means that you must try to remain 1 m or from anyone at water source with any additional outlets that you down feed from that GFCI in the washroom.

You should have it on its own circuit. They draw upwards of a total 15 amp circuit. From there you will go into the line side of the first GFCI. We then can leave the load side of the GFCI and go to as many regular outlets as you would like up to 12 on that circuit.

This just simply protects the entire circuit through the first GFCI this is a common practice for larger areas that run into moisture or damp locations. Nuisance tripping is called that for exactly that reason the GFCI continues to trip for no reason at all. Some have a simple green light to show that the GFCI is working while others have a red and a green light to show you that the GFCI is either working or not working. It states that it must be replaced this is a warning sign that it is actually time to replace it.

Tuck the wires into the box, ensuring any bare grounding wires do not touch any other exposed terminals. Install the receptacle into the box and install the cover.

Test the GFCI as instructed in the Testing section, below, and resolve any problems before proceeding to the next circuit.

Method 2. One cable or pair of wires typically supplies power to the first outlet device and the other carries power to other devices further down the line. You will need to determine which is which.

There are many ways to determine which cable is the "supply", using various test instruments contact, non-contact, meters, etc. The following technique is for those who are unfamiliar with such things or who do not wish to touch the wiring while it is "live".

Detach 1 white "neutral" and 1 black "hot" wire from one of the two cables and put a wire cap on each of them. Ensure the wires come from the same cable or conduit. Reinstall the receptacle into the electrical box and restore power at the main fuse or breaker box. Plug in a night light or other device and press the "Reset" button if necessary to determine if power is flowing into the receptacle. If the power returns to the device, the capped lines are "load" lines, or lines that can be strung together to give GFCI protection to multiple outlets.

If no power comes on in the receptacle, your capped wires are probably the "line" wires or your main power wires, assuming they are working properly.

You may also want to test the capped wires to make sure the GFCI will have power before proceeding. You may do this with a separate tester or by repeating the previous testing steps with the cables swapped. Turn the power off at your main panel and take out the receptacle. Label your "line" and "load" wires. Attach your "line" white wire to the silver "line" terminal of the GFCI. Attach your "line" black wire to the brass "hot" terminal of the "line" section of the GFCI.

Remove the yellow sticker or other colored tape that covers the "load" terminals on the receptacle. You will hook your remaining circuit wires to these terminals. Connect your "load" white wire to the silver "load" terminal and your "load" black wire to the "hot" brass "load" terminal.

Attach your ground wires to the green grounding screw of the GFCI. Fold your wires into the box, making sure the grounding wires do not touch any exposed"line" or "load" terminals.

Attach the cover plate. Many electricians wrap each receptacle with a layer of insulating electrician's tape before reinstalling them into a box, especially a metal box. This provides another layer of safety from accidental contact with live parts. Method 3. Turn on the power at the main panel and plug in a lamp or night light into the outlet and switch it on.

The "Reset" button should also pop out. Press the "Reset" button to restore the power to the device. Test the light in the surrounding outlets if you have connected more outlets to the GFCI using the second two cable method. If not, you may have to move the GFCI receptacle or add another one to protect devices plugged into those receptacles.

If you intend to work on more than a few of these, you may want to obtain a handy "outlet polarity and GFCI tester" at the home improvement store. Note that a GFCI tester plugged into a receptacle without a properly attached grounding wire will not trip the GFCI because the tester is designed to "leak" a test current to ground. Method 4. Consider whether you need a GFCI circuit breaker. It will protect all devices on that entire branch, if properly installed.

Don't attempt this one as a DIY job if you don't have extensive electrical experience. It can be very dangerous to work on exposed circuit breakers, even if you believe the main breaker or feed has been disconnected.

There could be a ground fault, or the GFCI was wired improperly or is faulty. Not Helpful 1 Helpful Upnorth Here. You can use a GFCI breaker in the panel to protect the entire branch circuit. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 8. Yes, it's possible, but probably pointless and potentially trouble-causing when both trip and you have to remember to reset both, or when one becomes more sensitive than the other.

Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Additional places required to have GFCI protection, other than bathrooms, under the NEC, if serving receptacles with volts at 15 or 20 amps: all countertop receptacles in kitchens; receptacles that supply a dishwasher; all receptacles within 6 ft of the edge of a sink, tub or shower stall; laundry areas; outdoors; garages; crawl spaces; unfinished basements; boat houses and boat hoists.

There are limited exceptions for outdoor receptacles used exclusively for de-icing and not readily accessible. Also, a receptacle that supplies a permanently installed alarm system is not required to have GFCI protection in a basement.

Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0. Never wire a GFCI outlet where an item with a motor, like an appliance, is connected. The momentary electrical surge when a motor starts can cause the breaker to trip.

It is fine in a bathroom, since hair dryers and shavers do not draw a lot of current. They should also not be wired where a sump pump is connected, since an accidental trip could knock out the pump, resulting in a flooded basement. Refer to the instructions that came with your specific GFCI, because the directions can differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Turn off the electricity to the circuit being worked on to avoid possible electrocution.

Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0. Refer to your particular product's troubleshooting guide or contact an electrician if your GFCI test fails. GFCI breakers are for main electricity panels and should only be installed by a qualified electrician. You Might Also Like How to. How to. Master Electrician. Expert Interview. More References About This Article.

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