GFCI Outlet Installation Tips and Tricks
Let our experts from Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric discuss all the basics you’ll need to know when undertaking a GFCI outlet installation at your home or business.
First, what is a GCFI outlet?
A ground-fault circuit interrupter, in short, a GFCI outlet, is an electrical outlet that monitors your electricity flow at all times, picking up any current interruptions at any point. A GFCI protects you from shocking yourself and protects your home or business from an electrical fire. You’ll often find your GFCI in so-called ‘wet’ locations throughout your household, which are areas where water could be present such as in your bathrooms and kitchens.
How Can I Identify my GFCI outlet?
If you’re looking for your normal 120V outlet, you will notice two vertical plug slots and a round slot below them. The left slot is known as ‘neutral’, the right as ‘hot’, and the hole as ‘ground’. A GFCI monitors the electrical current as it flows naturally from ‘hot’ to ‘neutral’. It will trip the circuit, acting as a circuit breaker, if it senses any imbalance at all, making it an important addition to all home and business plug outlets, particularly those with ‘wet’ locations. The really impressive part? A GCFI outlet can react to an imbalanced electrical current and trip the switch in less than half a second.
GFCI Outlet Installation Do’s
- Always make sure the power is off before you do anything to the GFCI outlet. You can shut your power off at your main fuse box or at your main electric panel
- You can also use a circuit tester to be 100% sure there is no electrical power flow
- When installing your GCFI outlet, it’s best to call a certified electrician – they will know the do’s and don’ts of matching the right wire together
- A GCFI has two buttons. A test button and a reset button. Make use of them
- Once the installation is complete, you should check the unit to make sure it is working. To do this, plug an appliance in, turn it on, and press the ‘test’ button. The circuit should trip which means it is working correctly
- Once you have successfully tested your GCFI, press the ‘reset’ button
GFCI Outlet Installation Don’ts
- Don’t mess with the outlet if you’re unsure whether your power is off or not. If you’re concerned about there still being an electrical current, make use of a circuit tester
- Don’t do this task at home without the help of a proper electrician!
- Don’t attempt this task on your own if you think your GFCI is faulty
- Don’t forget to test your GFCI periodically even after it is installed to ensure that it continues to run correctly
And there you have it: tips and tricks on GCFI outlet installation from the experts themselves. That said, we do not advise that any of our clients attempt to undertake GCFI outlet installation themselves, particularly if they have no experience in doing so. Call Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric today and one of our experts will gladly undertake the task armed with a wealth of industry knowledge and hands-on experience.