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GFCI Circuit Breaker and Wiring

How to Wire a GFCI Circuit Breaker: Does it matter where in the breaker box panel I insert a 20 amp GFCI 220Volt breaker?

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GFCI Circuit Protection Requires Correct Circuit Wiring
Electrical Question: Does it matter where in the breaker box panel I insert a 20 amp GFCI 220Volt breaker?

Thanks for your help,

Background: Rick, a Contractor in Missouri.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Rick.


How to Wire a GFCI Circuit

Application: Wiring a GFCI Circuit Breaker.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools, voltage tester and protective safety gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the make and model of the panel and the condition of the existing electrical circuit breakers and wiring methods.
Precaution: For safety the main circuit breaker should be turned off or any other disconnect means that would deenergize the panel before replacing a circuit breaker, however turning off the main circuit breaker may not deenergize all of the areas of the panel components and wiring. This is an extensive project that requires experience and should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Notice: Making changes to electrical panel or electric circuits should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

GFCI Circuit Protection


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This list of articles will help you learn about the features and benefits provided by GFI and GFCI Receptacles and how they are wired.

For more information about Circuit Breaker
Circuit Breaker
Circuit Breaker
Circuit Breaker
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.

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Great for any Home Wiring Project.
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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

5 Responses to “GFCI Circuit Breaker and Wiring”
  1. Fernando says:

    Hi, I have an Intermatic Electrical Panel with the C/B’s in my house, however, for the AC compressor I have a two pole GE-THQL2150 C/B my question is if can replaced the existing C/B with a New type like the GE-THQL2150GF-1 that is commonly used in Hot Bath tubs and has a surge protection installed within.

  2. ernie says:

    Hi, I’m trying to replace a three prong outlet with a GFI as required when selling a home. This outlet is in the laundry room. It has a white and black and a green ground but also has a red wire with the connection between the blacks cut. The red is connected on the same side as the black. How do I connect a new GFI outlet.
    Thank you

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Please see this section which describes How to Wire GFCI Outlets
    If there are spare wires in the box then they will need to be identified to see what their function is within the circuit.

  4. Mike says:

    I am installing a 2 pole GFCI circuit breaker for heat trace that does not require a neutral conductor. Can I just disconnect the neutral conductor that connects to the neutral bus from the breaker and still have proper operation?

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    The neutral wire from the GFCI circuit breaker must be terminated to either the neutral bar or the ground bar, which is the same at the main panel. The neutral wire of the GFCI breaker helps the GFCI sense if there is a problem, and removing the wire will prevent the GFCI from working properly and the GFCI TEST Button will likely not work either. Most GFCI breakers come with instructions for alternate wiring, which should instruct you to terminate the neutral wire where the ground wire of the circuit will be terminated.