GFCI outlets are inexpensive and simple to install. They are critical for safety and are required in today’s houses by the National Electrical Code. Why are these gadgets necessary? Mr. Electric’s specialists want you to understand why GFCI protection should never be disregarded in moisture-prone situations.
What is a GFCI Outlet?
In contrast to standard outlets and circuit breakers, which are intended to safeguard your home’s electrical infrastructure, GFCI outlets, or ‘ground fault circuit interrupters,’ are intended to protect individuals from electrical shock. GFCI outlets are easily identifiable by the ‘test’ and’reset’ buttons on the outlet face.
What Do GFCI Outlets Do?
GFCI outlets protect users from significant electric shock and lessen the danger of electrical fire by monitoring electrical current and cutting power or ‘tripping’ when an imbalance or excessive current flow down an unexpected channel is detected. GFCIs are extremely sensitive and have a far faster reaction time than circuit breakers or fuses. They are meant to activate before electricity may influence your heartbeat – in as little as one-thirtieth of a second – and will function in outlets that are not grounded.
Where Are GFCIs Appropriately Used?
GFCI outlets are needed by code in damp or wet areas of the home to protect residents from electric shock, including the following:
- Cooking areas (including with dishwashers)
- Rooms for laundry and utilities
- Outbuildings and garages
- Unfinished crawlspaces and basements
- Bars avec bois
- Spa and swimming pool areas
- Outdoor spaces – Is Your Backyard a Good Candidate for an Outdoor Kitchen?
Why are GFCI outlets a safer option?
Prior to GFCI standards, approximately 800 people died each year from residential electrocutions, compared to less than 200 now – and that’s not all. Annually, electricity is responsible for more than 140,000 fires, 4,000 injuries, and 400 deaths. How much lower would these figures be if all houses were properly protected by GFCIs? Because GFCI protection is inexpensive and readily replaced with standard outlets, even older homes that have been ‘grandfathered in’ by code should quickly replace conventional – and especially ungrounded 2-prong – outlets with GFCI protection. Since the 1970s, GFCIs have been required outdoors and in restrooms by law, and are far from a novel concept. They are a critical safety component that today’s homeowners and homebuyers look for protection, and they may make or break an electrical house safety assessment.
Half of all American families fail to do proper testing – Don’t Be One of Them!
What you do not know might be detrimental to your health. Nearly half of all American households do not conduct routine GFCI testing in accordance with operational and safety standards. How do you save yourself from becoming a statistic? Regularly test all GFCI outlets in your home, at the very least once a month, and after storms as well. Testing is quick and simple; simply press the ‘test’ button after disconnecting electrical flow with a nightlight or other small device, and then press’reset’ to return power to the outlet.