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GFCIs – what are they and why do you need them? image

GFCIs – what are they and why do you need them?

Dec 10, 2014

You’ve probably heard the term GFCI when working on home projects, but do you fully understand what GFCIs are and why you need them? A ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is a device used to reduce the risk of electric shock, stopping electric current when it detects the current is passing through the wrong path.

 

Invented in 1961, GFCIs are designed to protect us from possible electrocution when there is a ground fault. Ground faults occur when electricity escapes wiring and takes a shortcut to the ground. The GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing between hot and neutral sources. When it senses an imbalance, the GFCI will trip your circuit to shut off the flow of electricity.

 

“GFCIs are important from the safety aspect—they’re designed for personal protection,” states Scott Williams of Art-O-Lite. Created for our safety, GFCIs are now required by the National Electric Code in all new kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements and most outdoor outlets. These particular locations within your home or business are important because of the risk of an encounter with water. “If water is detected in, on or near the outlet, the GFCI will automatically trip your circuit to protect you from electrocution,” says Williams. “Anytime you can stick your hand in water and also reach a receptacle (within six feet), you need a GFCI.”

 

Once you have GFCI outlets installed, remember to test them monthly to ensure they are fully functional. Williams states that “all GFCI receptacles have a test and reset right on their face. It’s important to test their functionality regularly as multiple outlets in your space can run off the protection of one GFCI outlet.”

 

Always trust an expert to install GFCI outlets properly in your home or business. Contact one of the certified electricians or electrical contractors from www.LightingtheQCA.com to ensure your GFCIs are installed in the right rooms with your safety in mind. 

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