What is a GFCI Outlet?
A GFCI or a ground fault circuit interrupter is a protective device that shuts the electricity when it detects an imbalance in the electrical current in the circuit. It is basically designed to prevent accidental electrocution. If you’re looking after the electrical safety at your home and your electrical system has not been upgraded for decades, GFCI outlets can be necessary.
How does it work?
Whenever you plug an electrical device such as a hair blower, a GFCI integrated in the outlet will monitor the output power going into the device. Let’s say you accidentally dropped the electrical device into water and caused a short circuit. A GFCI would detect this sudden electric current interruption and then cut off the power to avoid electrical accidents.
Why do you need GFCI outlets
By having GFCI outlets around, you’ll have some peace of mind knowing that you and your family are protected from accidental electrocutions. Here are other ways it can help you:
Prevent electrical fires
One important function of a GFCI outlet is to monitor and detect the ground faults which occur when electrical current leaves a circuit and potentially cause electrical fires. GFCI outlets and electrical fuses work well in preventing such fires from occurring.
Avoid damage to appliances due to leaked current.
Over time, the insulation of appliances will tend to break or get damaged. A damaged insulation may cause electric current to leak into these appliances. You can get a shock with these appliances especially if their outer body is made from metal. Moreover, constant exposure to current leakage damages an appliance in the long run.
Where should you install a GFCI outlet?
Generally, GFCI outlets are best placed in areas near water. The most common areas where you can usually find GFCI outlets are bathrooms and kitchens. Other places in your home that may need GFCI outlets are in your utility room, garage and basement. Many homeowners who have kids and pets opt to use GFCI outlets all over their home.
If you want to ensure maximum electrical safety at home, it’s best to call the professionals.
JCP Electric specializes in residential and commercial electrical service work. We can assess the electrical system of your home or workplace and take the necessary course of action. For appointments or inquiries, you can reach us here.