The short answer to the question posed by the title of this blog is: both. AFCI and GFCI outlets may sound very similar, but they differ in a few important ways. Ultimately, they both serve to help you use electricity in your home more safely. However, they are used in different ways.
Before we get into the differences between AFCI and GFCI outlets, we want to remind you that any outlet services in North Seattle, WA must be completed by trained professionals. Dial our number to ensure that this is the case. We employ some of the finest electricians around.
AFCI Outlets are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters. These outlets are primarily intended to protect your home against electrical fires. Electricity is a great resource, but it can also be quite dangerous if not contained and distributed by your electrical system properly.
Should you have old, frayed wiring in your home, or wiring that has been damaged by the gnawing teeth of pets, electricity can be unintentionally discharged from those wires. This discharge will generate heat, which can melt wiring insulation and cause a fire behind your walls or in other areas. An AFCI outlet will sense this unintended discharge, and shut down the circuit before such dangerous conditions can develop.
Of course, electrical fires are not the only danger related to electricity in our homes. Electrical shocks, and even electrocution, are possible when electricity grounds through an unintended means. This could be through the human body, should a ground fault occur while you are using an electrical appliance.
A GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, will shut down the circuit when it senses an imbalance between the outgoing and incoming current. This suggests that electricity is escaping the circuit and grounding unintentionally. It prevents shocks and electrocution, and the outlet can be reset with the push of a button.
If you need any outlet services in your home, contact the electricians at G & S Heating Cooling & Electric.