It's quite common when I'm inspecting homes to come across bathrooms and other areas close to water that don't have GFCI rated outlets. Some clients ask for this in their resolutions and an electrician will charge anywhere from $60 to $125 per outlet to change them. If you aren't comfortable with doing this, I do encourage you to hire an electrician. If you want to save some money and feel confident that you can do this safely, follow these 5 easy steps below.
Step 1 - Turn off the Power
First make sure you have copper wiring, if you have aluminum then you may want to contact an electrician. Turn off the power to the outlet at the circuit breaker box. If the breaker is not labeled, plug a radio into the outlet and turn off the breakers until the radio turns off.
Step 2 - Remove the Cover and Prepare the Wires
Removed the outlet cover plate and use your radio or an outlet tested to make sure the power is off.
Disconnect the wires from the outlet.
eparate the wires from the outlet into two pairs. One will be the "line" or power supply, the other will be the "load" which carries additional power to outlets on the same circuit. A GFCI outlet will protect all outlets on the "load" side if properly installed.
Step 3 - Test the Wires
Ensure the wires are not touching each other and then turn the power back on at the breaker box.
Use a circuit tester to determine which wires carry power.
Turn the power back off.
Step 4 - Connect the Wires
Here is where we'll connect the wires that are "load" and "line". Connect the white wires (neutral line) to the silver screws and the black wires (load) to the copper or brass screws. The outlet may indicate proper color connections.
Connect the bare copper ground wire to the green screw.
Put the outlet back in place and secure with the screws. Attach the cover plate.
Step 5 - Turn on the Power and Test
Turn the power back on at the breaker box and plug your radio into the outlet.
Press the black button on the GFCI, if the radio turns off you've wired it correctly.
Press the red button, the radio should come back on.
here you go, you just saved yourself some money and deserve a nice cold beverage!
Devereaux Van Dyne, Certified Professional Home Inspector