How to Convert an Outlet to GFI

Installing a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) will not only upgrade your home's electrical system, but provide safety to you and your family.
The GFCI outlet has a built-in circuit breaker that monitors any variance in the electrical current and turns itself off anytime there is a short or surge, protecting the user. Most GFCI outlets are installed in the garage, bathroom, or kitchen areas where electricity will be around water and moisture. The GFCI is an added layer of protection in addition to the circuit breaker in the main circuit panel.

Step 1

Turn the power off, to the outlet to be changed, at the main circuit panel.

Step 2

Remove the screws holding the outlet cover and outlet onto the electrical box, using the screwdriver.

Step 3

Loosen the screws, with the screwdriver, holding the wiring to the outlet, and remove the outlet.

Step 4

Connect the GFCI outlet to the wiring, using the screwdriver and the following connections.

Connect the black (hot) wire to the bottom brass screw labeled "LINE." Connect the white (neutral) wire to the bottom silver screw labeled "LINE." Connect the bare (ground) copper wire to the green screw.

Tighten each screw to a snug fit.

Step 5

Push the wiring and outlet into the box. Using the screwdriver and included screws in the kit, affix the GFCI outlet to the outlet box. Attach the cover plate over the outlet box with an included screw.

Step 6

Turn the power back on at the main circuit panel.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver (Phillips/flathead)
  • GFCI outlet kit
  • Wire cutters/strippers

Warnings

  • Consult a licensed electrician before beginning this or any electrical project.
  • Make sure all wiring meets the electrical codes for your local area.

About the Author

Billy Brainard graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Trinity College. As the department chairman he was responsible for creating and writing the curriculum for 7-12 grade students. Currently he writes for eHow and works part time helping employees by creating and writing resumes to help in their job search.