Installing GFCIs by myself? (in rental)

The kitchen of the house that will become a rental does not have GFCIs (the bathroom does have them). I have watched the video on how to put them in and it seems pretty easy. Is there a liability issue if I go ahead and do this myself? I hate to pay a licensed electrician and pay for a permit for something like this. Is this a common DIY for landlords? Can something go wrong? Thanks.

Is it a common DIY for landlords. Yes. Can something go wrong? Sure, and something can go wrong when you’re sitting on the toilet too. Is there a liability issue? Sure, you are personally liable for any action you personally perform (at least according to BLL in the Asset Protection, Legal Forum of this site) If you have absolutely no knowledge of electric and typically f%#k up most of the things you do you should leave this to a professional. If you have even a rudimentary knowledge of electric, read the instructions, watch the video and are reasonably competent in the repairs you’ve done in the past, I’d give it a whirl. Easiest way is to use a separate GFCI receptacle for each outlet. That way you don’t even need to figure out which outlet is the first outlet in the circuit from the electric panel.

When all else fails, read the instructions. There are books available at Home Depot for about $15 that go over this in detail (“Basic Home Electric” or a similar title).


buy a gfi tester, its a little thing you plug in that has a button on top,when you get through you push the button and see if the circuit shuts off,if it does, the gfi is working,just make sure wires go back to the same positions they came off the old plug


Good advice on buying the GFCI tester. Bad advice on making sure the wires connect in the same way as they did in the old plug. All of the GFCI receptacles I’ve seen have a LINE, and LOAD connection and you need to know which connection to plug the wires into based on what you want protected and which set of multiple sets of wires that may be connected in the original receptacle are what. I’ve seen some “interesting” wiring, most of it done by so called “professionals”.


If it’s an empty house, you can do it yourself. If it’s a rental, you need a licensed electrician. You might not need to change them to GFCI. As I recall, in my area, if the plug is at least 42 inches from the center of the sink, it doesn’t need to be GFCI.

I change out all the plugs at every house I buy/rehab/rent,I have seen 3 or 4 wired wrong and its always been on walls that had been added/moved, etc, 99% of the time they are the original plugs wired by the home builder (how ever many years ago),if it looks like they have been changed or there is ‘extra’ wire, really watch it.

The tester also will show you if it is wired right, just read the lights and see what the chart tells you,I have one kitchen that was wired weird, so I left it for my electrician,he simply installed GCI outlets at every outlet (turns out each plug was in a separate circuit) that was close enough to the sink to need it,3 gfi plugs along the kitchen counter,the inspector laughed, but agreed it would work fine

In my area this change would not require a permit for a single family owner occupied residence, but it would be illegal for anyone other than a licensed electrician to perform on a multi-family or non-owner occupied building.

That being said, I wouldn’t think. Twice about doing it myself.
Get the tester, do your homework, pay attention to line and load, you will be fine.

thanks everyone!

one good thing about buying REO properties,no one has any idea what was done or not done when you bought the property,and there is no one to ask

haha…addition - what addition? I didn’t do that. :biggrin