Water and electricity don’t mix. GFCI outlets greatly reduce the risk of electrocution. Here are some main reasons you should have this safety feature installed in your home or workplace.
Why GFCI Outlets Are Necessary
These specialized outlets keep us safe. They greatly reduce the risk of a person being severely shocked or electrocuted when water is present. The special outlets have been required by law in every new home since 1975. Older homes don’t require them, but it’s a smart idea to put them in.
What Are GFCI Outlets?
GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. They are a vital safety feature for any home or business. They shut off the power when they sense a circuit is overloaded. GFCI outlets provide protection against electric shock and fire. These outlets are found in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where water and moisture are present.
Types of GFCI Outlets
There are two main types of GFCI outlets. Self-test GFCI outlets continuously monitor the electrical current running through them. If they detect a fault in the current, they will automatically shut off the power to the outlet. This type of GFCI outlet is recommended for indoor kitchens and bathrooms. Reset GFCI outlets are typically used in outdoor locations, such as patios and decks. They have to be manually reset after a fault is detected and fixed.
Features of GFCI Outlets
There are many good reasons to install GFCI outlets in your home if it doesn’t already have them.
GFCI outlets prevent electric shock. These specialized outlets have sensors inside that monitor the flow of electricity. They cut off electrical power to their receptacle as soon as they detect a problem. This keeps us from enduring painful shocks from power surges, faulty technology, or contact with water.
They prevent electrical fires. Wire insulation can slowly deteriorate over time, causing the wire to become loose or exposed. If there is a prolonged surge in the electrical current, it can start a fire in the walls. A GFCI outlet stops the surge before it’s too late.
They bring outlets up to code. New construction and major renovations now require GFCI outlets to be installed. However, older homes don’t have to have them. Updating your home to meet modern electrical code standards will make your property safer and easier to rent or sell.
GFCI outlets save energy by automatically stopping the flow of unused electricity. They also increase home value and may lower insurance premiums.
History of GFCI Outlets
These specialized outlets were introduced in the 1970’s. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, electrocutions have fallen 83% since then. GFCI outlets are now required in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, crawlspaces, and outdoor areas.
A DIYer with a basic knowledge of electrical wiring may be able to replace a standard outlet with a GFCI themselves. However, if you have older wiring and outlets, it’s best to hire a licensed electrician to do the job.
Contact Us for All Your Electrical Needs
The folks at CKElectric can handle all your electrical projects, big or small! We can help you with electrical upgrades, repairs, or wiring. We serve Sykesville, Eldersburg, Frederick, and all of Central Maryland. Call us at 443-920-3078 or contact us online. We are happy to serve you!