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GFCI Outlet Installation – What and When?

GFCI outlet installation
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Electrical outlets are a gift that keeps on giving. Needing to charge or power on any electrical device is no problem provided you have an outlet nearby and possibly an adapter plug on hand. All outlet installation be it regular outlets or GFCI outlet installation needs to be done by a licensed electrician. There is a difference in the type of outlet that can be used depending on the location in your household. If you look at your outlets, you’ll see that some have buttons while others don’t, this is because they’re two different types of electrical outlets. The ones with buttons are known as a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets and the ones without are regular outlets.

What’s the Difference Between Regular Outlets and GFCI Outlets?

There’s more to GFCI outlets than extra buttons, these outlets were specifically designed, with a built-in sensor, to turn off the power when a ground fault is detected. The sensor will detect a change in the electrical current and will switch off your electrical device or appliance. The NEC (National Electrical Code) states that GFCI outlets need to be used in all outdoor areas as well as your bathroom, kitchen, basement and laundry rooms. Basically, you need to use a GFCI outlet in any area that could become damp or wet or are near a water source i.e. a pool or a bathtub.

Normal outlets aren’t equipped with special sensors to detect the change in current. So even if there is a problem with your appliance, your outlet will continue to provide electrical current to the appliance, if you inadvertently touch the appliance you can act as a conduct and get electrocuted. These outlets can be installed anywhere in your home, but preferably in areas where water is not present such as your dining room or bedroom.

Why are GFCI Outlets Important?

GFCI outlets are important as they stop ground faults which can shock or even electrocute an unsuspecting household member. Ground faults occur when electronic devices are damaged beyond repair, this means that they aren’t protected from accidental contact. If you accidently touch a broken device, you become the path between the electrical current and the ground. While the installation of GFCI outlets are mandatory, there are also different benefits attached to having GFCI outlets installed in your home.

The Benefits of GFCI Outlets

  • Lower Risk of Electrical Fires

    If there is an issue with an appliance, your home can be susceptible to an electrical fire. Ground faults can cause sparks which will cause a fire, but since GFCI outlets stop the flow of electrical current as soon as a change in electrical flow is detected, the risk of electrical fires is mitigated.

  • Lower Risk of Damaged Appliances

    Every appliance has a maximum amount of current that it can handle. If plugged into a regular outlet and there is a problem, the irregular flow of electrical current will end up damaging the appliance. A GFCI will automatically cut the power to the appliance ensuring that it does not get damaged and need to be replaced due to an electrical fault.

  • Lower Risk of Electrical Injuries

    The second there is an issue with your electrical appliance, your GFCI outlet will switch off. It senses the most minute of changes in electrical flow and reacts almost instantly.

  • Cost Effective

    Having to replace damaged appliances can be expensive. Having to deal with the aftermath of an electrical fire isn’t budget friendly either, especially depending on the amount of damage that was caused.

Outlet installation and electrical wiring is no easy task and in certain states you need a licensed electrician to work on your household wiring. You can trust the team at Art Plumbing, AC & Electric when it comes to GFCI outlet installation. We are South Florida’s premier residential, and commercial air conditioning, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, electrical, water filtration and irrigation service provider.

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