There are a number of electrical necessities found throughout the home. One essential component is the outlets which we use every day to gain access to our power. However what do you know about the GFCI outlets? You will hear how GFCI outlet are essential for home safety and are a requirement through the National Electrical Code, but many people don’t know what they are and why they are so important. Peterkin Electric would like to explain what a GFCI outlet is, what it does, and where they must be installed to ensure your home safety.
What is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter?
GFCI outlets are different from regular outlets. Most people know them by the “reset” and “test” button in the center. Regular outlets and even circuit breakers are designed to protect the home and its electrical systems. A GFCI is design to protect people from electric shock.
How Does a GFCI Work?
A GFCI outlet is designed to prevent serious electrical shock and reduce the chance of electrical fires by monitoring the electrical currents. It performs this task by tripping or cutting power off to the outlet when an anomaly or imbalance in the electrical current occurs. The response time is faster than a circuit break or fuse tripping. They are designed to shut off before an electrical current can affect a human heartbeat.
Where Are GFCI Outlets Needed
The National Electrical Code requires that all rooms containing moisture use GFCI outlets to protect people from getting an electrical shock. These common areas in a home where GFCI outlets are used in:
• Kitchen and Dishwashers
• Laundry and Utility Rooms
• Spa and Pool Areas
• Wet Bars
• Crawl spaces
• Garages or Workshops and Outbuildings
As many know, water or moisture and electricity don’t mix well and if water gets in the outlet, it will shut off to help protect people from electrical shock.
Why GFCI Outlets are Safer
Before the National Electrical Code made it mandatory for homes to use GFCI outlets, there was an estimated 800 deaths per year linked to electrical shock. Today that number has been reduced to 200. Additionally, before the GFCI standard, there were more than 140,000 fires, approximately 4000 injuries, along with 400 deaths due to electricity. The GFCI outlet has helped reduce those numbers dramatically. GCFI outlets have been a requirement since the 1970’s to ensure the safety of the home. However, for older homes it is important to inspect the electrical work and make sure it is up to code. You may need to rewire and install modern electrical systems including GFCI outlets.
In modern homes, it is equally important to inspect your GFCI outlets and test them often to ensure they are working correctly. They can go out and require replacing. Never ignore a bad GFCI outlet in your home. Make sure to have it replaced when they break down.
Electrical Safety & Repairs in Laguna Woods, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Lake Forest & Orange County, California
It is important to maintain your home or business electrical systems. Even commercial buildings as well as residential buildings should be inspected often. Do the repairs as they are needed. If you need help maintaining your home or commercial property electrical systems, contact Peterkin Electric today.