Also known as ground fault circuit interrupters, GFCIs are a special kind of electrical switch that have a built-in circuit breaker to prevent electrical shock. They’re an important part of today’s modern electrical systems and have been in use since the 1970’s. You can find them on outlets and on the cords of common household appliances such as hair dryers. To simplify, GFCI’s are electrocution protection. Electrocution protection is important.
According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), electrical failures and malfunctions caused nearly 46,500 home fires in 2010, the last year for which data is available. GFCI installation is crucial part of electrical safety. It’s one electrical upgrade you simply can’t afford to skip!
At Douthit Electrical, our licensed and professional electricians are committed to your safety and satisfaction. We provide a number of professional electrical services in Charlotte such as appliance hook up, GFCI installation, inspections, and electrical upgrades that will make your home safer and more energy efficient!
Here’s what you need to know about GFCI installation.
How do GFCIs prevent electrical shock?
GFCIs monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit. The GFCI will trip its built in circuit breaker when the flow of electricity becomes unstable. This immediately cuts the power to that particular appliance or outlet and the GFCI is reset in under a second. A good example of how GFCIs prevent electrical shock is to think of an old hairdryer without a GFCI. If this accidentally falls into a sink or tub of water, electricity will take the path of least resistance down to the floor. A person standing on the wet floor may instinctively reach for the dryer and then suffer an electrical shock that could result in injury or even death. This wouldn’t happen with a GFCI!
Where should GFCIs be in my home?
An easy way to determine whether an outlet or appliance should have a GFCI is to think of how close its proximity is to water. If it comes into direct or indirect contact with moisture or water, then it should have a GFCI. GFCIs are commonly found in bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, garages, and outdoors on patios, porches, and pool areas. The more GFCIs your home has, the safer it is!
How do I make sure my GFCI outlets are working properly?
There are 2, color coded buttons on appliances and outlets with GFCIs, a “reset” button and a “test” button. Press the “test” button and the power should immediately switch off. The “test” button creates a short circuit which then causes the circuit to trip and stop the flow of electricity. If the power doesn’t turn off and the appliance is still on then the socket could be in need of repair. If this is the case, call our electricians to repair this immediately in order to protect you and your family from electrical shock!
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to electrical safety. For GFCI installation and other electrical upgrades in Charlotte, Call Douthit Electrical!
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