How to Replace a Two Prong Outlet With a Three Prong GFCI

How to Replace a Two Prong Outlet With a Three Prong GFCI

Do you live in an older home that still has two-prong outlets? If so, you’ve likely experienced the woes of being unable to use some of your appliances. Luckily, this problem is easily fixed with a little electrical know-how.

Here’s how you can convert your two prong outlets to three prong GFCIs.

How to Replace a Two Prong Outlet With a Three Prong GFCI


  • Screwdriver
  • Flathead bit
  • Phillips head bit
  • Extended Phillips head bit
  • Outlet tester
  • Grounding wire
  • Needle nose pliers with rubber or non-metal grip
  • New wall outlet


Step 1. Turn off the circuit and use a circuit tester to ensure there is zero electricity being directed to the outlets.

Step 2. Remove the cover plate screws and outlet cover.

Step 3. Carefully remove the original, two-prong outlet. Try to avoid cracking the old wiring. Extend the old wiring out from within the wall so you can easily access it.

Step 4. Disconnect the old outlet.

Step 5. Some older outlet boxes are too ill-fitting, so a new GFCI might need to be fitted. To do this, gently push the wires back and fit them into a new outlet box.

Step 6. Similar to Step 5, the original wires need to be checked to ensure they are the right length. If the wires are too short, a four to six-inch extension should be added.

Step 7. Once the wires are the appropriate length, relocate the terminals on the GFCI and connect the wires.

Step 8. Once connected, gently place the wires back in the outlet box and fasten the screws.

Step 9. Test the outlet by pushing the reset button to turn it on, and the test button to turn it off.

Because electrical projects can be dangerous, it’s important to always seek help from a professional. DIY electrical projects should only be attempted if you have experience with electrical work. When you’d rather leave home improvement projects to the pros.

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