Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCI’s for short, work directly to prevent electrical shock in your home. Depending on the severity of the shock, injuries or an electrical fire can result. Fitted directly into your electrical outlets, the added safety drastically decreases the chances of harmful shocks or fires. You will have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones and home have extra safety. Here is a little information on GFCIs, and how a simple installation can benefit you!
How GFCIs Work
Take a peek at the electrical outlets in your home. The design may look simple from the outside, but if you were to remove it you would see the array of wires that provide electricity. GFCIs are constantly working behind the scenes to monitor the electrical flow, keeping an eye out for any error along the way. An imbalance can easily cause wire damage, leaving room for potential shock or fire. Your GFCI will recognize that there is a problem and trip the circuit.
Testing your GFCIs
When you look at your outlet, you can see the obvious areas designated for plugs. This is how your appliances can function when you plug them in they have access to the electricity flowing through your home. Look at the two buttons in the middle, one should read “test” and the other should say “reset.” These buttons allow you to gauge the working condition of your GFCIs. After pressing the test button, the electrical current should shut off. You can check this by plugging in a device that requires little electricity to function, like a night light or a phone charger. If these devices don’t work, then your GFCI is working as it should be. Once you press the reset button, normal power should return to the outlet.
Requirements and Limitations
GFCI’s have been required for outdoor power sources for decades. Now, GCFIs are now required in certain areas throughout your home as well. Electrical codes typically require GCFIs in garages, basements, or any unfinished part of a building. They are recommended/required throughout the home as well, in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and crawlspaces. They shouldn’t be used with some appliances, including refrigerators or freezers. If the GCFI trips the circuit and you don’t realize it, your perishables may expire.
How JDV Electric Can Help
GFCI’s are an inexpensive yet highly effective safety precaution to take in your home. Here are some areas of the home where they’re especially useful:
- Kitchens & Bathrooms: particularly near sinks and tubs, a GFCI will prevent electrocution from accidentally dropping appliances or splashing water.
- Laundry Rooms: with appliances as large as washers and dryers, a leak could be fatal if the equipment isn’t properly grounded.
- Outdoors: it’s always a good idea to replace outlets near hose bibs with a GFCI, in case some wires become frayed and get wet.
For GFCI installation in your home, call JDV Electric today!