Ground fault circuit interrupters, commonly referred to as GFCI, are used in the protection of consumers against electric shocks. The installation of these outlets brings a home up to the standards of the code and provides an affordable method to prevent electric shocks.
What Are GFCI Outlets?
A GFCI outlet is an outlet that is designed to be used in the bathroom, kitchen, garage or any other area in the house where electric shocks are common. These outlets are identified by the ‘reset‘and ‘test’ buttons on the receptacle. The outlets are designed with an aim of protecting consumers from electrical hazards through monitoring the electricity flowing in a circuit. In case of an imbalance the outlet will trip the circuit and this will immediately stop the electricity flow.
Operation and Testing of GFCI outlets
In case the GFCI outlet stops the electricity flow and the operating conditions are normal, this can be restored using the reset button to bring back the flow. The installation of GFCI outlets is more reliable than depending on the circuit breakers located in the circuit box because these outlets will sense the smallest of current changes. These outlets are designed to prevent the electricity from stopping a human’s heart beat and this is why it is important to check all the outlets in your home on a monthly basis.
You will need to press the test button to confirm their operation, use a portable device to ensure that the electricity is not flowing through and then press the reset button to return the flow of electricity.
Where Is a GFCI Outlet Needed?
Since 1970s, GFCI outlets have been required in homes especially after they became requirements for swimming pool equipment and home exteriors in 1971. To meet the code, there are different house areas that need GFCI outlets and these are areas that have been found to have high electrical shock risks. Some of these areas include the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, utility sinks, garages, wet bars, pool and spa areas, unfinished basements and crawl spaces among others.
These outlets are however not recommended for appliances such as freezers, fridges among others as they can trip when not expected.
A lot of older homes have not been fitted with GFCI outlets in the rooms that these outlets are required and this puts the occupants at great risk. These devices are life saving and are inexpensive. Contact Fail Safe Electric today for an installation of GFCI outlets in your home and you and your family will be protected from electric shocks.