Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets are designed to break the circuit every time there is an imbalance between incoming and outgoing current. The GFCI outlet protects electrical wiring and receptacles from overheating and possible fire, minimizing the risk of electrical shock injuries and electrocution. They also protect expensive appliances and electronics.
How do GFCI Outlets work?
The GFCI is part of the electrical outlet itself, tracking the current and sensing fluctuations in real-time. So, if you let your hair dryer fall into a water filled sink, the GFCI outlet will immediately sense the interruption and cut the power to ensure your electrical safety and the safety of your home.
Where do You Need GFCI Outlets?
GFCI outlets are especially important, when the wall outlet is close to water. Apart from being an essential preventive measure, local building codes also require you to have GFCI outlets installed in your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, pool house and all single phase outlets of 125 volts and temporary wiring systems used during construction.
What to do When it Trips and How to Test Them:
If the GFCI outlet is tripping often, if probably needs further investigation by a licensed electrician, as it could be a result of worn insulation, accumulated dust, or deteriorated wiring. We recommend that GFCI outlet are tested every month and replaced every decade. You can follow these simple steps to test if the circuit interrupter is working properly:
- The face of the GFCI outlet features two small buttons that are labeled test and reset. Simply press the test button and this will trigger a snap sound which indicates that the outlet has tripped.
- Once the power trips, you can check the efficiency of the GFCI unit using a voltage meter.
- Now plug in a device into the outlet and when it stops working, press the test button so you can be sure of the safety mechanism.
- Once you know the GFCI outlet is working at peak efficiency, you can press the reset button and the circuit interrupter will be turned on once again.
- While these DIY instructions are easy-to-follow, they do require that you are familiar with and understand the functioning of your home’s electrical system. It is always recommended to work with a licensed electrician who can ensure that your system is in compliance with relevant codes so your home remains guarded against electric fires.
GFCI outlets will offer you the peace of mind that you and your family are safe from electrical disasters.
Contact American Electric of Jacksonville for all your Residential Electrical Needs! Call: 904.721.4044