Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable
Helping People with Electrical Wiring for Over 30 Years!

How to Wire a Single GFI Outlet

Summary: Illustrated Guide for Wiring a Single GFCI Receptacle Outlet typically used as Bathroom GFI, Kitchen GFI, Outside GFI and Garage GFI Outlet. Photos show Step-By-Step Basics Including attaching wires to the GFI Outlet on the line side of the back of the receptacle.

Electrical Wiring a Single GFI Outlet for Home Safety

The wire leading to this location may be an extension from another branch circuit or it could be a single circuit being served from a panel or sub-panel.

When wiring a gfi outlet you will be attaching the wiring to the LINE area of the receptacle.

Below you will see some photos of recent projects that I have selected to help you with your project.
Take a look at wiring a gfi outlet:


How to Wire GFCI Receptacles

Greg, from Jersey City, New Jersey asks:
Could you help me to find diagrams for wiring a GFCI receptacle outlet from a switch?
I have 4 inch x 4 inch electrical box mounted on a wall in a basement with 3 wires inside the box (black, white, ground) coming from a main electrical panel.
Could you help me with diagrams:
1. Diagram: Both sockets of GFCI receptacle are hot and powered from a single switch;
2. One of the socket of GFCI receptacle is hot all of the time, and the other one powered from a switch.
Thank you in advance,

Hi Greg,
Here on the ask-the-electrician.com website there are wiring diagrams showing how to wire several switch applications which may be adapted for wiring GFCI receptacles as well, along with the wiring diagrams that show how to wire GFCI receptacles.
Simply use the search bar and you will get a full listing of wiring diagrams for switches and GFCI receptacles.
Take your pick and enjoy!

Wiring GFCI Receptacles

GFCI Applications: Bathroom GFI, Kitchen GFI, Garage GFI, Outside GFI.
Always Test your Circuit and make sure the power is off before proceeding with any wiring project.

check local code reqs single gfi receptacle This example of wiring a single GFCI receptacle outlet shows a outlet box with one pair of wires form a 2-wre cable with a ground wire.
gfci outlet wiring gfci outlet yellow tape load side connect wires to GFI outlet
The wires attaching to the GFI Outlet connect to the LINE Side. This GFI Outlet comes with yellow tape over the LOAD side. In this example the GFI protection serves this outlet location only.
wiring the the gfci outlet connection gfi outlet bathroom gfci outlet kitchen
The wires attaching to the GFI Outlet connect to the LINE Side. This GFI Outlet comes with yellow tape over the LOAD side. In this example the GFI protection serves this outlet location only.

Resources for Wiring a GFCI Outlet

Here is the Detailed Installation Manual for Leviton GFCI Receptacles [PDF]

More about Wiring GFCI Outlets


Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Wiring a Single GFCI Outlet

Question from Tom, a Homeowner from Shorewood, Illinois:

Why does a second GFCI outlet trip off?
I wired a GFCI in line with another GFCI. The second is working properly, but I checked it with a tester and it showed a ground fault. The button does not pop when I plug into the second outlet.

Dave’s Answer:
Only one method of GFCI protection should be used. Remove one GFCI and double check the wiring, and then test the GFCI again.

Question from Dave, a Homeowner in Hamilton, Ontario Canada:

Can I wire a GFCI outlet on a GFCI protected Circuit?

What would happen if you put a GFCI plug on GFCI circuit breaker?

Dave’s Answer:
A GFCI circuit breaker will protect the whole circuit, and additional GFCI protection is not necessary. In some cases redundant GFCI devices may create nuisance tripping.

Question from Roddy in Newport News, Virginia:

Am I required to upgrade the home with GFCI Outlets?

In older construction where GFCI’s where not required, if I install one in the bathroom, am I required to upgrade the rest of the home as well.

Dave’s Answer:
While the current electrical codes apply to new home construction projects, they also apply to existing homes, and older homes as well. If a home of any age is inspected, the inspection will be based on current codes, and non-compliant items will be identified.

To summarize: Yes, the home should be fitted with GFCI protection according to current codes.

Question from Sandra, a Homeowner in Deer Park, Texas:

My GFCI outlet will not reset
I have a GFCI outlet that will not reset, what should I do?

GFCI Outlet in a Bathroom of an Old Home

Terence in Indianapolis, Indiana asks:
There is a GFCI plug for the washer and dryer in a full bathroom. This is the plug-in behind the washer and dryer. Since it is in a bathroom, does it need to be a GFCI plug?

Dave’s Answer:
Yes, because this will also be considered as a Laundry Room, therefore a GFCI outlet is required.
The NEC Code Article 210.8(A)(10) and 210.12(A) describes the following:
All 120volt outlets that are installed in a laundry room must be AFCI and GFCI protected.


Join the Discussion - Ask Your Question!

Ask Your GFCI Outlet Question or Comment

GFCI Wiring Question
click here to ask a electrical wiring question
click here to leave a comment

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.

See How to Wire it Right!

Learn more about GFCI Outlet Wiring
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students and Electricians
Kitchen GFI Outlet Circuits
Bathroom GFI Outlet Circuits
Garage GFI Outlet Circuits
Hot Tub GFCI Circuits
Methods for Wiring GFCI Receptacle Outlets
Electrical Codes for GFCI Circuits and Receptacles
....and much more.

» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
  electrical wiring  

Top of Page