How To Prevent Electric Shock In The Bathroom


Wet locations present a danger of electric shock or death by electrocution because of the conductivity of water. However, the danger can be minimized by the use of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets.

How do GFCI outlets work?

GFCI outlets detect fluctuations in electrical current and are equipped with an automatic shutdown if a surge of electric current is detected. The outlet can be powered again by pushing the reset button in the center of the outlet. 

The GFCI outlet will shut off again immediately if conditions are still hazardous, so if the problem is wetness around the outlet, drying time may be necessary before the outlet can be reset.

What is needed to replace an outlet with a GFCI outlet?

A GFCI outlet can easily be installed in place of a traditional outlet. It requires the same wiring and equal wall space. What you will need:

  • A GFCI outlet. 

They can be found at any home improvement store. You will need a fifteen amp outlet for normal bathroom appliance use, but if your current outlet has one slot that is perpendicular (sideways) to the opposing slot, you will need a twenty amp outlet.

  • Screwdrivers (flat and Philips head)
  • Needle nose pliers or wire stripped tool (for bending wire-no cutting or stripping needed)

Removing the old outlet

You will need to locate the circuit breaker that controls the power to the outlet. The breaker location should be listed on the inside of the breaker box door, but if it's not, plug an appliance into the outlet and turn off breakers individually until the appliance shuts off.

When you are certain the power is off, remove the cover plate from the outlet with the flat head screwdriver. 

Next, loosen the upper and lower screws on the outlet with the Philips head screwdriver. When the screws are disconnected, pull the outlet out of the outlet box in the wall.

If the outlet is at the end of the circuit, you will have three wires connected on one side, and if in the middle of the circuit, you will see two sets of three wires.

Disconnect all wires and keep them grouped if more that one set of wires is present.

Installing the GFCI outlet

The GFCI outlet will be connected slightly differently than the regular outlet. The upper section of the GFCI outlet will be marked "load" and the bottom section "line".

If one set of wires in present, you will attach them to the upper "load" section. If the wire ends were straightened when removed from the old outlet, twist them into a curved shape with pliers or wire cutters.

Using the Philips head screwdriver, connect the black wire to the gold screw terminal, the white wire to the silver terminal, and the green or copper colored wire to the green ground screw terminal.

If two sets of wires are present, connect the second set of wires to the bottom "line" section of the outlet. The second green or copper colored wire will be connected to the same green screw terminal as the first, because there is only one ground terminal.

Screw the outlet into the outlet box by tightening the upper and lower screws, replace the cover plate, and turn on the circuit breaker. The outlet may need to be activated by pushing the center reset button.

To learn more, contact an electrician company like Royal Plus Electric


10 July 2015

Staying Safe Around Electricity

Have you ever thought about the dangers sitting around your home? Although it might be easy to overlook, electrical outlets, panels, and wiring can hurt you in an instant--if you don't know how to treat it. I have been a homeowner for many years, and I have learned a lot about what to do--and what not to do--around electricity. Check out my blog for information regarding electrical safety. By using this information, you might be able to protect your curious kids, avoid electrical expenses, and fend off house fires. In addition to saving you money and time, this information can also protect the people you love.