I have a kitchen outlet that I’m trying to install a GFCI. I’ve identified the line wires and load wires. The black line wire is hot. I connected the line wires to the appropriate terminals. I connected the load wires to their appropriate terminals. I do not have any power to the outlet. What could be wrong?

  • Did you connect to the LINE terminals, not the LOAD terminals?
    – DoxyLover
    Jun 14 '21 at 20:40
  • Did you turn your breaker back on?
    – JACK
    Jun 14 '21 at 20:50
  • 1
    What other locations are you trying to GFCI-protect? Have you identified them and are you applying the sticker? If that all went over your head, then do not use the LOAD screws, just attach all wires to LINE. Note the GFCI has a feature that accepts 2 wires under each screw. Jun 14 '21 at 21:33
  • Remove any extra wires from the load connectors... when you're testing an outlet that doesn't work, start at the beginning to make sure it isn't a bad outlet... if you have hot wire to hot screw and neutral wire to neutral screw on the GFCI and nothing else, and you've checked the wire with a voltage tester to make sure the wires are hot, then you probably have a bad GFCI device and need to buy a new one. Can you take a photo of the outlet pulled out of the box a bit with wires connected so we can see if we can spot the problem?
    – TylerH
    Jun 14 '21 at 22:00
  • 1
    Have you actually pressed test and reset many GFCI receptacles are shipped in the tripped state and require a test and reset to activate them.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 14 '21 at 23:04

GFCI connections (like many other things) work best when handled step-by-step:

  1. Identify the Wires

You should have one set of wires (either a cable or wires together in a conduit) that is the incoming power and another (can be more than one) that is connecting to other ("load", "downstream") devices.

If you are not 100% certain which wires are the incoming power:

  • Turn off the breaker.
  • Disconnect all the wires from the GFCI receptacle and arrange them so that the can be tested separately
  • Turn on the breaker
  • Use a non-contact tester to identify the one hot wire
  • The white (or gray, but usually white) wire that is paired with the hot wire is the neutral wire for incoming power
  1. Connect only the incoming power
  • Turn off the breaker
  • Connect the hot incoming power to the hot line connection on the GFCI receptacle
  • Connect the neutral incoming power to the neutral line connection on the GFCI receptacle
  • All grounds from all cables/conduits (unless metal conduit and no ground wires) go together and to the GFCI receptacle
  • Turn on the breaker and test the GFCI. If it still does not work, stop and ask more questions.
  1. Connect the other wires
  • Turn off the breaker
  • All black or other wires that are not white/gray/green/bare go to the hot load connection
  • All white or gray wires go to the neutral load connection
  • Ideally you should work on one cable/conduit/group of wires at a time for easier trouble-shooting
  • Turn on the breaker

If the GFCI works then try devices in the downstream receptacles. If you have problems at this stage then there is likely a miswired downstream receptacle, and that needs to be fixed as it is a danger waiting to happen.

Connecting everything to line instead of load is a workable solution in some cases. However, if the downstream receptacles are in locations that require GFCI protection (kitchen, bathroom, outside) then you really want to have them on "load".


GFCI receptacles come “tripped” from the factory. Did you reset it after applying power?

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