I am replacing a receptacle with a GFCI receptacle. I know very little about this process other than to just mirror the current process. However, this receptacle in question only has 3 wires (ground, white black).

Is my basic understanding of the set-up accurate in a sense that when both the top and bottom screw have copper wiring wrapped around it, typically 1 is coming from the "switch" (whether it be circuit breaker or elsewhere) and the other set of wires is going to a second outlet/lightswitch?

So since this outlet only has 1 set of wires then I just need to pick either the top or bottom outlet, wire in the wires and both top and bottom outlet will work?

1 Answer 1


Harper’s rule: Anytime you install a GFCI receptacle, the very first thing you do is find the terminals marked LOAD and lay a piece of tape across those terminals. The reason is to protect yourself from using them by mistake.

You do not ever use the LOAD terminals on a GFCI unless you know exactly what they are and how to use them. In fact I recently installed an older GFCI unit and the manufacturer had indeed installed a label across those terminals saying exactly that.

In your case, that makes installation pretty easy.

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