The Safety Benefits of GFCI Outlets

    GFCI outlets are safety devices intended to reduce the risk of electric shock. They shut off electric power on a circuit when it detects that current is flowing in a way that it is not intended to, such as through water or a person.

    The National Electrical Code requires GFCI protection to be used in places that are located near water, such as garages, unfinished basements, kitchens, bathrooms, outside outlets, and laundry areas to ensure homeowner safety. GFCI outlets have an average service life of only ten years, so if your home is older than that, there is a good chance your GFCI outlets are not fully protecting you

    How GFCI Outlets Work

    House wiring normally has a “hot leg” and a “neutral leg”. The GFCI measures the current “going out” on the hot leg against the current “coming back” on the neutral leg. If there is a difference between the two, even as little as 4-5 milliamps, the GFCI will trip and keep the current from flowing.

    The best way to see if your GFCI outlet is doing its job is to test it. Keep in mind that the outlet must have power on it to be properly tested. The simplest way to test your GFCI is to press the test button located on the outlet. If you press the test button and the GFCI doesn’t trip, replace it as soon as possible.

    If you are having trouble with a GFCI outlet resetting, there could be an issue in the wiring “downstream” of the device that is causing the issue. Common problems for this could be water getting in outside outlets, faulty equipment plugged into the circuit, or lose connections.

    Get GFCI Protection Today

    After checking your garage, bathrooms, and kitchens for a GFCI device and attempting to reset them, call Dawson's Electric, your local service electrician, to find the solution to your GFCI outlet problems. We’ll help educate you on where they are located and how you should test them for your safety. We have the proper equipment and skills to track down and troubleshoot any potential wiring problems. We advise you to add them to your older home for added protection and the safety of your family.

    Call us today, and schedule an appointment with your local electrical expert, and allow us to provide you with GFCI protection.

    Dawson's Electric Employee

    A GFCI breaker, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter breaker, protects us from receiving electrical shocks from anything along or connected to our electrical systems. On average, a homeowner will pay between $175 – $275 to have a GFCI breaker installed.

    The cost can vary depending on:
    • Size
    • Location

    For more information on GFCI breakers and their cost, please contact Dawson’s Electric at (919) 552-0246.

    Installing a remote electrical outlet in an outdoor setting can be a complicated process without a licensed electrician. At Dawson’s Electric, we provide this service and can ensure that all electrical services are up to code, safe, and working properly. Call us today with questions on how we can help you install an outdoor outlet in your yard.

    Outdoor outlets, or receptacles, should be easily accessible from the ground. The highest they can be placed is 6 ½ feet above ground level. Decks and balconies should follow the same guidelines, with receptacles placed no more than 6 ½ feet above the walking surface.

    To ensure proper placement with a licensed electrician, call Dawson's Electric today.
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