A Guide to Installing GFCI’s

What is a GFCI?

GFCI stands for a ‘ground fault circuit interrupter’, it can also be known as an RCD, Residual Current Device. It is a device that will detect any current flowing on an unplanned path, for instance water or a person. It will then shut off the electric power circuit. This device is used to reduce the risk of electric shock, minimising the risk of heart failure and causing burns. As well as this they can prevent some fires, for example when a live wire touches a metal conduit.

How do I install them?

We are going to break it down for you into 4 simple steps that are efficient and safe.


  1. Turn of the power at the main circuit - Remove the old outlet and disconnect the wires. You should find three wires running to the outlet –- a green or bare copper ground wire, a white “neutral” wire and a black “hot” wire.
  2. Remove the wires -  Start with the black (hot) wire, loosen the screw that holds it. Following by removing the white wire and then the ground wire. Spread the ends apart so their bare wire tips can’t touch anything nearby. Turn your power on at the panel and use the circuit tester to see which set of wires carry the power. Mark these wires with masking tape, and then shut off the power again.
  3. Install the GFCI – Start with the ground wire, attaching it to the green screw. Do this by forming a hook on the end of the wire, attaching it around the screw and then tighten it, turning the screw clockwise. Attach the neutral wire pushing the end of it into the hole on the side, with the silver screw. Then attach the hot wire, by connecting it to the brass coloured screw.
  4. Push the wires back into the box and replace the cover. Replace the cover plate and then test the unit to check it all works the way it should


Our team at Boddingtons want you to keep as safe as possible, if you have any queries about working with electricity then please call a licensed electrician. Please ensure you have all the correct insulated tools and safety equipment to be installing these devices. If not Boddingtons electrical may be able to help, our online shop showcases all our tools, and their uses. For more information please contact us today