How To Install a Ground Fault Circuit Breaker

You can protect your home better from electrical hazards by installing a ground fault circuit breaker. It can protect your appliances connected to the electrical outlets and prevent the people in your home from getting an electrical shock.

  1. Equipment and wiring tools - To install a ground fault circuit breaker of interrupter you will have to prepare a few things to accomplish this task. Have different types of screwdrivers like the Philips screwdriver and the regular screwdriver that has a flat head. The slots on the screw heads may come in different sizes so having different sized screwdrivers ready will make your work easier, rather than having to run to the hardware store to get the right one. Get a pair of long nose or needle nose pliers for twisting, pulling and cutting wires. You also need wire strippers to strip off wire coatings or insulation. Get yourself an AC electrical tester to test if there is electricity running through the circuit breaker panel or wires you are going to handle. Lastly, purchase a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes from sparks or small flying debris.
  2. Test for live connections - Use the AC electrical tester to check for live connections on the panel of the circuit breaker and the wiring around the area. This way, you will have checked if your tester is functioning correctly. Now turn off the circuit breaker for the particular line you are going to install the ground fault circuit breaker on. You can also turn off the main switch feeding electricity to the whole house so you will feel safer working on the panel. If the area is dark, have a flashlight ready or a battery powered lamp so you can see what you're doing. When you have turned everything off, test again for live connections in and around the panel with an AC electrical tester to make sure there are no more electrical charges.
  3. Install the ground fault circuit breaker - In the circuit breaker, locate the slot that feeds electricity to the outlet or appliance you want to put a ground fault circuit breaker on. Once located you can now attach the ground fault circuit breaker into that slot, paying careful attention how it is to be positioned and attached. Some will have locking tabs to hold it in place or you may have to screw it into position. Take note of the markings on the back where it will say "Line" on one end and "Load" at the other. Take the white coiled wire from the ground fault circuit breaker and attach it to the neutral connector on the circuit breaker panel then attach the neutral wire from the outlet or device to the terminal nearest the white coiled wire on the ground fault circuit breaker. The hot wire that is the feed wire for the outlet or device which may be black or red in color should be connected to the load terminal. Use the long nose pliers to bend the exposed tip of the wire into a hook and use a screwdriver to screw it down. Test the connection by turning the main switch back on and press the test button. The switch should flip into the center position on the ground fault circuit breaker signifying a trip in the connection has been made. Push the switch to the ON position and cover the panel.

A ground fault circuit breaker will help avoid short circuits and protect people from being electrocuted.


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