How Do I Replace a Broken GFCI Outlet?

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets are not only lifesavers, but they are mandated by code. They must be installed on any outdoor outlets, or any that are located near where water is present: for example, bathrooms, kitchen sink areas, or utility rooms if there is a water source present.

GFCI outlets should last approximately 15 to 25 years, but life doesn’t always go according to plan and outlets sometimes fail, meaning a GFCI repair is needed.

If you have lost power to a GFCI outlet, the first step to take is to look for the reset and test buttons on the outlet. If the reset button is slightly raised from the surface, push it in, and the power may then be restored.

Rather than spending hours trying to find the cause of the problem, it is probably better to replace the outlet with a new one.

Here is how to replace a GFCI outlet.

Things you will need.

  1. A new GFCI outlet.
  2. Insulated flat and cross-head screwdrivers.
  3. An outlet tester – to test for correct connections.
  4. A no-contact voltage tester – to test for “live” wires.
  5. Electricians wire strippers/pliers.

Steps for a successful GFCI repair:

  1. Turn off the power to the outlet

Switch the breaker in your electrical panel to turn off the power to the outlet.

  1. Test the outlet

Plug in a lamp or your circuit tester to check for power.

  1. Remove the outlet cover/faceplate

Unscrew the two faceplate screws and put them somewhere safe.

  1. Remove the GFCI outlet

Two long screws keep the outlet in place. Remove them and carefully pull the outlet away out of the box.

  1. Safety First – Double check the power

Using the no-contact voltage tester, check the wires for power. The tester will beep and light up if there is still power.

  1. Remove the wires from the outlet

Note the position of each wire. You will have to wire the new one the same way. Remove the wires and discard the old outlet.

  1. Connect the new outlet

The instructions will show you which wire goes to which connector. Make sure you strip the wires according to the gauge on the side of the GFCI and push the wires into their corresponding holes. Give each wire a slight tug to make sure they are secure.

  1. Reinsert the outlet

Push the outlet back into the box and secure it with the two long screws.

  1. Replace the faceplate

Screw the faceplate back onto the outlet and turn on the power. Plugin the outlet tester and check the lights. Two amber lights will then display.

  1. Final test

Push the GFCI test button. You should hear a click and the outlet tester’s lights should go out. Push the reset button on the GFCI and the outlet tester’s lights should come back on.

If you are not confident working with electricity, contact Whipple Service Champions. We will come to fix your GFCI for you.