Protect Against Electrical Shock with GFCI Outlets
Electrical shocks are extremely dangerous. Depending on the severity of the shock, you can be seriously injured. Electrical shocks can also be a fire hazard. Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs for short, work to directly prevent the likelihood of electrical shock. Fitted 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 they 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 sort of error. An imbalance can occur for several reasons, wire damage can occur easily. Damages to a wire will cause an electrical imbalance, leaving room for potential shock or fire. Your GFCI will immediately recognize that there is a problem and trip the circuit. GFCI’s have been required for outdoor power sources since the early 1970s, and are now required in most indoor areas to meet safety code requirements.
Testing your GFCIs
When you look at your outlet, you can see the 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.
Now that you know how a GCFI outlet works to protect your home, you should be ready to install or test them. If you notice an area that doesn’t have a GCFI outlet, call an Excel Electric professional to make sure that your home is up to electrical and safety codes. Electrical shocks are hazardous to your health and your home, and a GFC can prevent them from happening.
For GFCI installation, call Excel Electric LLC today!