Modern electrical systems are a lot safer than they used to be. Improved materials, improved service methods, and improved codes and regulations have seen to this. Of course, no electrical system can be guaranteed to function perfectly at all times, which is why we have improved safety precautions in our electrical systems, as well. GFCI outlets are among the most common, and most beneficial, of these safety precautions.
Now, many homeowners are familiar with GFCI receptacles. These are the outlets that you (likely and ought to) have in your bathroom, kitchen, and outdoors. These areas are “wet” areas, where water is often around. The GFCI outlets in these areas are easily distinguished by their “test” and “reset” buttons.
When the outlet registers an imbalance between the current used by a power source and that coming back to the neutral point, it will break the circuit to prevent that power from traveling through an unintended conduit, be it water or a human body. This helps you to use your coffee maker, hairdryer, and other appliances and gadgets much more safely. What you may not realize, though, is that every outlet on a circuit may be covered by a GFCI circuit breaker, regardless of whether or not every outlet has these test and reset buttons.
If one of the outlets in your kitchen, for instance, doesn’t have a reset button, try resetting those preceding it on the circuit. Reset those running along the countertop, for instance. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to reset a GFCI circuit breaker at the electrical panel.
This is quite simple to do. Just open up your box, which should have the breakers labeled, and flick the tripped switch back into place. If you have whole circuits protected by a GFCI breaker, then every outlet on that circuit is protected, regardless of whether or not a GFCI receptacle with a reset button is in use. The benefit of using these receptacles, rather than protecting entire circuits with a GFCI breaker, is that they are more convenient to reset. If you are unsure of which method is best for your home, and your unique electrical system, be sure to give us a call.
G & S Heating Cooling & Electric is here to handle all of your electrical services in Everett, WA.