Safety should always come first when you’re maintaining your home, and sometimes safety comes from updating your home’s older features for newer ones. One of the first things on your home maintenance list should be GFCI outlet installation.
Whether you don’t have any installed in your home, some are tripping too often, or you want to update them, you need to call an electrician sooner rather than later.
GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interruption. We use these types of outlets in damp areas or places where water could affect the outlet. If the outlets detect a disturbance in the electrical current, it stops the flow of electricity.
You can differentiate these outlets by the two buttons on the face of the outlet. They help regulate the flow of electricity. If an incorrect current trips the GFCI outlet, you can press the “test” button on the outlet to reestablish the flow of electricity. If the outlet is repeatedly tripped, it can signal a significant issue with the outlet.
GFCI outlets greatly reduce the dangers of standard outlets by turning off the flow of electricity if something is wrong. A fault that could produce a deadly shock can be prevented because there is no electricity flowing through the wire once an issue is detected.
A great example of this is if you dropped your hairdryer into the sink or bathtub. The outlet can recognize if the appliance has come in contact with water, based on the interruption in the electrical current. It will then turn off the electricity in the outlet to prevent any further damage from being done.
As mentioned before, GFCI outlet installation should be in damp areas of your home, such as the kitchen and bathroom. It would be best if you also considered installing them in your garage, laundry room, and even near wet bars.
The goal is to turn any outlet that could come in contact with water into a GFCI outlet. Anything near plumbing is a good rule of thumb. This is because if water enters the outlet, it will trip and prevent electricity from running over the water and injuring somebody.
Some homeowners choose to have these outlets installed throughout their home for safety reasons. Children and pets can benefit from the safety features these outlets provide. When electricity escapes the boundaries of the appliance, it could have disastrous effects. GFCI outlets can be a benefit in any area of the home.
You should be testing your GFCI outlets once a month to ensure they’re in good working order. You can test them by pressing the “test” button on the face of the outlet. You should hear a click when you push it, indicating the power has tripped.
Next, plug in a device, like a hairdryer or a lamp. It should not turn on. This means that the safety function is working correctly. You can then hit the “reset” button and restore electricity to the outlet.
Never DIY an electric project, especially if you don’t have any experience as an electrician. It’s dangerous, and can cost you more money in the long run. Plus, there are more aspects of a GFCI outlet installation than just changing the old outlets for the new ones.
An electrician will check to see if the wiring behind the outlet is correct and if anything needs to be fixed. They will also ensure that you have GFCI outlets in all the areas in your home in which you need them.
If you need GFCI outlet installation, maintenance, or update in South Florida, give us a call at 561-391-1048. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric is here to keep your family safe and your electricity under control.