ElectricalWhat Is a GFCI Outlet?

These days it seems like just about everything laying around the house needs to be plugged in in order to charge or operate. Even those of us who are not so technologically inclined certainly depend upon electrical devices each and every day. It is just a fact of modern living. The good news is, of course, that modern electronics, and the outlets that they plug into, are safer than ever before to use. There is always room for improvement, of course. Upgrading outlets in your home with GFCI outlets is a great way in which to make certain areas of the household safer. If you are interested in upgrading to GFCI outlets in North Seattle, give G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. a call today.

GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets are easy to spot, even if you don’t know precisely what they are. You can recognize them by the buttons on the outlet face, one reading “test” and the other “reset”. The purpose of these outlets is to interrupt the flow of electricity should a ground fault occur. A ground fault is an instance in which electricity coming from the outlet escapes the wiring of the device in use, instead opting to take a shortcut to the ground. Needless to say, this is a dangerous scenario when the human body is the alternative route upon which the electricity decides to travel.

GFCI outlets monitor electricity output of a device in relation to the current flowing into it. When there is a difference exceeding 5 milliamps, the GFCI outlet cuts off the flow of electricity. This difference in electricity levels suggest that more electricity is en route than is actually being used by the tool, signalling a ground fault scenario.

You don’t necessarily have to have GFCI outlets installed in every room of your home, but as electrical codes update it is becoming more and more common to see such outlets required in different areas of the house. Many homeowners appreciate the peace of mind afforded by such devices and opt to upgrade regardless of codes. They are required in most areas of new construction projects where water may be present, such as outdoor receptacles, kitchens, and bathrooms. To learn more about GFCI outlets, or to have the outlets in your home updated by a qualified electrician, just dial our number today.


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