Installing a GFCI Outlet in the Kitchen

Installing a GFCI Outlet in the Kitchen

GFCI in a kitchenWe’ve got the two wires here, we’re going to strip them off, again, this is a twenty amp circuit, we are dealing with twelve gauge wire. And there is a little, on the back of this plugin, it’s kind of covered up right now by the sticker, but there is a stripping gauge and it’s stamped right into the back of the plug.

It says stripping gauge and it just gives you a guideline on how much sheeting to strip off the wire. So if you are in doubt, usually about three quarters of an inch does it. So if you’re in doubt, there’s a little bit of a guide there, that you can kind of hold up and get an idea how much you need to strip off. Okay. So I got those stripped off, the receptacle is going to be mounted to it in this direction, with the ground down.

First one I am going to hook up is the ground screw, which is usually green and it’s usually on the bottom and it’s all by itself. On this, these type of receptacles, it’s a little different that the standard receptacle where you would be putting a little bit of a curl on the end of these wires and it would hook around the screw. These ones, there’s actually a spot where it slides in and then you clamp, you tighten up the screw and it clamps tight on to the wire.

So you can just leave these, once they are stripped just straight. Silver screw on this side is going to be a white wire, brass screw on the other side is your black wire or your hot wire and, like I’ve mentioned already, the ground is usually green and it’s on the bottom. So I am going to slip, I don’t know if you can really see that, right now when I have the slip down, the ground screw is loosen and you can see this little plate right here.

GFCI 2My wire is going to actually go between that plate and the receptacle and then I am going to tighten up the screw. When I insert the wires for the neutral and the hot, they’re actually going to go in one of these little holes on the back, correspond to the right screw and then I ‘ll tighten up the screws. So it’s basically the same thing, it’s just the wire in there. So do the ground here.

I know somebody commented once before about still wrapping this wire around those screws, but it’s pretty difficult to do, I am not sure, especially with the twelve gauge wire. So I am not sure how they really achieving that every time, the plugin is actually set up so that it just pushes in and that plate tightens up against it. Like I said, on the back there is a choice of two different holes, it really doesn’t matter which hole you go into as long as you’re going right corresponding screw.

If you wanted to, you could put a wrap of electrical tape, kind of around the back side. I do that on my normal receptacles, because those screws are a lot more exposed on the sides. With these GFCIs, the screw is actually set back in there pretty good, so it’s pretty well protected, but if you want to be a little bit safer when a plugin is sitting on like this, you can wrap some electrical tape around there to cover those up.

At this point, all I need to do is just give a little of a bend in those wires in the back, just to get them kind of started and then they basically will just fold back into the box and you’ll line up your mounting screws one on the top, one on the bottom with the appropriate hole on the front of the box. Just don’t tighten one all the way up, just get them both started before you start tighten anything up.

Now you can tighten them up and just get the receptacles straight and plumb as you need it to be and put the cover on. Just trying to think if there anything else you need to know… I don’t think so.

At this point, we could turn on the breaker. I should have mentioned, obviously we had the breaker off to start with, so at this point, I could test it, I would turn on the breaker, we don’t even have power in the box, so I can’t really do it.

Turn on the breaker, I’ll find that I have to push the reset anytime the power has been off, you have to reset the actual circuit itself and when it’s powered up and you push that reset, it will kind of click. I am assuming this light will probably come on and stay on as long as it hasn’t been tripped. So you’ve powered it up, you’ve reset it, everything seems fine, plug something in, make sure everything is working and then also just push the test button with should trip it.

You’ll hear a click again and you should lose power and simply push the reset and it will power right up again. Again, it’s not that difficult to do, if you have any doubts on your abilities or you are not sure exactly what you are doing there, hire an electrician or have somebody come in.  If you’re having a major appliance, such as a refrigerator or dishwasher installed, you should really have an expert, such as the guys from Scottsdale Appliance Masters (  There are also books out there that you could get, maybe if you did a little more reading up on electricity and the do’s and don’ts, you might feel more comfortable at that time. But definitely don’t tackle this job if you are not comfortable with it and of, of course, always make sure that the breaker is off and you don’t have live power at these wires.

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