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:
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.
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.Share
10 July 2015
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