What Is A GFCI Outlet?

GFCI outlet

GFCI outletElectricity, when handled poorly, can become pretty dangerous fast. That’s why we must do all that we can to protect ourselves from any electrical mishaps. Scheduling an inspection, changing bad appliances, checking your circuit breakers, being on the lookout for odd smells or sounds, and checking on flickering lights all help to ensure you stay abreast with your electrical situation.

However, those aren’t the only ways you can safeguard yourself and your property. Having a GFCI is as important as well.

A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter also called a GFCI is designed to protect you from electrical shock. They mostly have two buttons on them; to test and then reset the outlet. A ground fault occurs when a charged wire connects with a conductor that is grounded. Before GFCI became generalized, hundreds of Americans died from electrocution annually.

It is mostly utilized in places where your outlets frequently come in contact with water or liquids. A GFCI checks the amount of current going to an appliance and cuts off the current when it gets interrupted.

GFCI are mostly used in bathrooms, kitchens, spas and pool areas, or any place exposed to running water. There are about three types of GFCI:

GFCI Receptacles: These are the most common in modern homes. They work well with most standard outlets. They’re also known to take up more space in an electrical box.

GFCI Circuit Breakers: Getting a GFCI circuit breaker may seem like a wiser option than getting several receptacles. Circuit breakers control the current flowing to every fixture so it would be far easier to protect any short circuits or any other issues.

GFCI For Outdoors: this is an outdoor outlet with GFCI protection.

How to Test Your GFCI

  1. A normal GFCI outlet has a Test and Reset button embedded in the outlet. To start, press the Reset button. Proceed to plug on any appliance of your choice. It should come on.
  2. Press the Test button. The power should cut off automatically and your appliances would stop working.
  3. Click on the Reset button to turn on the appliance again. If it turns on again, your GFCI is working as it should. If your appliances don’t come on or the power wasn’t cut off automatically, you should have your GFCI inspected. It may not be able to function properly and protect you from electrocution.

GFCIs, like all other appliances, also have a shelf life. When properly installed, it could prove useful for up to 10 years as long as you check them at least once a month. You can choose to install GFCI receptacles or circuit breakers to safeguard your home.

It is better to protect your home from electrical problems than to solve them when a problem that could have been avoided arises. Be sure to call a professional, like those at CLD Electric, when you decide to install one in your home.

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