GFCI Outlets

The Safety Benefits of GFCI Outlets

GFCI outlets are a safety device 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

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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 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 loose 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 at (919) 552-0246, and schedule an appointment with your local electrical expert, and allow us to provide you with GFCI protection.