Posted on: August 22, 2016
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Electrician
A GFCI receptacle or circuit breaker works by measuring the electrical current on the “hot” wire and also on the “neutral” wire of a branch circuit. Under normal circumstances, electricity flows out from the main electrical panel on the “hot’ wire and back to the main electrical panel on the “neutral” wire completing the circuit. The amount of electrical current on these two wires should be equal.
A GFCI outlet in our kitchen keeps tripping whenever we plug in an appliance. Video covers how to test the outlet and how to remove and replace it.
A water source near an electrical source can result in a deadly shock but there is a way to prevent that kind of accident by replacing these conventional receptacles with this, a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI receptacle.
First, make sure you turn off the power at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Now a good way to check to be sure that there is no power here is to plug in a working night light. It shouldn’t come on.
First, take off the cover plate. Then remove the two screws, one top and one bottom that hold the receptacle in place. Gently pull the receptacle out of the wall. Remove first the black wire from its terminal and then the white from its.
Finally, detach the ground wire. That’s the one that usually looks like bare copper. The GFCI that we’re installing requires straight ends on the wires. So we’ll snip off these hooks. We’ll also need to remove about one half inch of the wire covering using these wire strippers.
Insert the stripped ends of the wires in the back of the GFCI receptacle and tighten the terminal screw. Read the instructions thoroughly so you’ll be sure and put the wires on the correct terminals, then attach the ground wire.
Finally, fold the wires and gently push the GFCI back into the electrical box. Restore power at the circuit breaker or fuse box and then check with the night light to make sure that the circuit is working. One final step: push the small black button right here. The red button next to it should pop out. This means that the protection is in fact, working.
When it comes to ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, commonly known as GFCI outlets, there is always a question as to how to connect the wires to them. You see, GFCI’s have two terminals on each side, one side the neutral connection and the other the hot wire connection, and a ground terminal on one end. One half of the outlet connection is labeled LINE and the other LOAD. To the unfamiliar eye, they appear to connect to the same point, and in fact, the terminal screws are the same color, giving the appearance that they are a common connection. The truth is that these connections are very different and I’m going to tell you why.
The line connection is the point where you will connect the incoming feeder wire, the line, which is fed from the home’s electrical panel. You’ll connect the hot wire, often a black or red wire, to the brass-colored terminal screw or in the slot provided to accept the stripped wire. The neutral connection, white wire, is then connected to the silver-colored terminal screw or slot provided to accept the stripped wire.
It is important to test your GFCI to ensure proper function. Studies show that as many as 10% of installed GFCI‘s do not work because of improper installation, wear or damage. It is recommended that GFCI receptacles be tested monthly and after every electrical storm or power surge to ensure personal safety and proper home protection. An improperly installed or damaged GFCI receptacle may still provide electrical power, but unfortunately no ground fault protection from electrical shock. Call us (713) 812-7070 for your home service and repair needs.
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