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Does GFCI Need Ground [Let’s Find Out!]

It is really a matter of concern if your house doesn’t have a ground wire right! Because it questions the safety issue of yourself along with your expensive electrical goods. 

Here, the question arises, does GFCI need ground?

No GFCI doesn’t need ground wiring but if it gets ground wiring it’s better for you. GFCI basically interrupts the overflow of current when it exceeds a specific threshold. This safety device can be installed in 5 easy steps to replace your old outlet. You just need to wire it perfectly. 

Without wasting the time, let’s dig into the article. And find out how your GFCI works without grounding. Also, how to install it following 5 easy steps.

How Does GFCI Work!

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is used to protect from ground faults. Sometimes the flow of current gets imbalanced and exceeds a specific threshold. The GFCI will respond at that particular time.

But you need to take proper precautions while installing the GFCI as well right!

The Gfci works as an obstacle to breaking the flow of electricity. It will save the user from getting shocked and saves the electrical goods from a short circuit. 

If a GFCI has ground wiring then it can redirect the excess electricity to the ground. But if GFCI can detect the flow of current over 5ma it will break the flow. It will shut the power off and save you from getting shocked.    

How to Wire a GFCI without Ground Wire [5 Easy Steps]

You have already got that GFCI can work perfectly without ground wiring. So, if you are still confused about how you are going to make it work then I am here. I will demonstrate the whole GFCI installation process in 5 easy steps. 

Sometimes you also face issues with plugging in an electrical outlet. But that’s not a hard task to do for sure. 

Follow these easy steps accordingly to install your GFCI just in a minute. 

Step 1: Remove the Power 

Safety first right! Before starting with the GFCI you must disconnect all the electrical connections. 

You can leave a note on the power panel so that people can know about your work. If you don’t then someone may accidentally turn on the power which may cause an unnecessary accident. 

Step 2: Remove the Old Outlet 

If you are going to install the GFCI in a new place then you can skip this step. But assume there is an old outlet so you need to unwire that first. While unwiring, check the neutral wire and the hot wire out of three wires.

You can mark them by taping different colors. That will help you recognize afterward. And will keep you from confusion while you install the GFCI.

If the backstab wires give you a headache, find out ways to remove backstab wires

Step 3: Connect the Wires to GFCI

Place the previously marked neutral wire and hot wire inside the GFCI receptacle. Keep the wire nice and tight so that it won’t come out. Then just install the GFCI receptacle carefully in the outlet box.

Hey, don’t forget to add the faceplate to the receptacle. Otherwise, it will definitely look awful right!

Step 4: Re-energize the Circuit

While you are done with tightening all the screws of your GFCI re-energize the circuit. You can use an analog tester to find out whether the GFCI is properly powered or not. 

If it isn’t then check the internal wires and GFCI as well. Change the pieces of stuff if it is needed. It should work perfectly now.

Generally, houses that were made years ago don’t have ground wiring. Those houses can also have problems like the gas oven turning on automatically.  

Step 5: No Equipment Ground Level

As your GFCI is not grounded so you should put a no equipment ground level on it. So that the users may know the circuit is not grounded.

It will help all the users to know they should not use this GFCI. If the electrical goods require grounding. But it can protect the goods from the short circuit of course as GFCI made it.

For your convenience, I am going to suggest some GFCI to you. Hope these will reduce your hustle a bit:


These are the most commonly used GFCI in the market. These little devices can protect you from huge accidents. 

Disadvantages of GFCI without Ground Wire

The GFCI is mainly used to save you and electrical goods from the overflow of current right! But if it doesn’t have ground wiring then it can’t redirect the power to the ground.

Then it cut off the whole power from the circuit. That is why you can face a power loss for some moments.   


Question: Can you use a GFCI without a ground wire?

Answer: Yes, you can use a GFCI without ground wiring and it is legal. There will be no problems using the GFCI without ground wiring and it will work perfectly. The only con of using a GFCI without wiring is it can’t redirect the excess electricity to the ground.

Question: What happens if GFCI is not grounded?

Answer: There will be no issue with the working process of GFCI if it isn’t grounded. But there is a con of course. The ground wiring helps to redirect the excess energy to the ground for safety. So, if the GFCI is not grounded it cuts off the power for safety. 

Question: Is it necessary to have a ground wire?

Answer: The ground wire is necessary for your own safety but it’s not mandatory. The ground wiring helps to redirect the excess energy to the ground for safety. That’s how it helps to save users from getting shocked. It also saves electronic goods from short-circuiting.


I hope from my article you are clear about does GFCI need ground or not. If you have any more queries don’t forget to put them in the comment section.

Till then be safe while working with electrical stuff. 

Good Luck!