The Importance of GFCI Outlets
Throughout your home, you are using outlets to plug in lamps and appliances and to use your tools, but have you been testing them and making sure you have the proper ones installed in the correct places? Outlets throughout your home, especially those by water or located in the garage or outside of the home, should be GFCI outlets. These outlets are most commonly found throughout your kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and even your garage, where you work with power tools.
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which means the outlet prevents electrocution and protects human life or even house fires. The GFCI can “sense” the amount of electricity that flows out of the outlet and react quickly, within a fraction of a second, to trip the circuit and shut off the power to that outlet. The GFCI outlet is designed to prevent severe, or even fatal, electric shocks by shutting off the power.
It can also prevent some electrical fires or reduce the severity of them by shutting off the power in those alarming and unfortunate cases. However, some appliances already have a ground fault circuit interrupter on them. Throughout the 80s, there were reports of multiple accidents a year from hair dryers coming into contact with water, so many that in the 90s, manufacturers were required to have GFCI outlets on the hair dryer themselves to prevent such accidents. You will find that all hair dryers have a GFCI plug already established on the cord and should be tested with the rest of your outlets as well.
There are many other benefits to GFCI outlets and even a few different types that can be utilized throughout your home and any projects you may be working on. Osha recommends being up to date with their capabilities and utilizing the different types of GFCI outlets to prioritize safety. Even what appliances should and should not be plugged into GFCI outlets. Reviewing these throughout your home is not only responsible home ownership but also prioritizing electrical safety for your family.
Testing GCFIs In Your Home
While we have many GFCI outlets throughout our home, most people only regularly test them. This is primarily dangerous because although the GFCI outlet could malfunction, electricity will still be running to the outlet and any appliance you plug in, so the “tripping” mechanism could be damaged. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know of the malfunction without testing it until it’s too late. Without it, you could be shocked. There is also a potential for overheating in the wires or even electrical damage to your home. To test these outlets, the easiest way is to plug in a small appliance to the outlet, turn it on, and then press the “test” button on the outlet.
The ground fault circuit interrupter should work if the appliance turns off and the “reset” button on the outlet pops out. If this does not occur, you immediately need to call an electrician for a GFCI repair in Woodland Hills, CA. If the test works properly and the “reset” button does pop out, remember to push the “reset” back in. Pressing the “reset” button back in re-establishes power back to the outlet so you may continue to use it. Testing all of the GFCI outlets in your home should be done once a month. This will also allow you to see if any outlets in your home need to be replaced and if any GFCI outlets need to be installed. Focus on any outlets that could come in contact with people and water.
Different Types of GFCI Outlets
There are two other types of ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, which are important to test before each use, mainly due to the type of tools plugged into them. One is a portable version and can be used not only on outlets that do not have a GFCI safety measure but are most commonly used by construction crews or in outdoor settings for high-power tools such as trimmers.
If they are designed to be used in the rain, they should and will be clearly marked as waterproof. For safety, check these before any use in the rain. Another type of GFCI outlet is a cord-connected type, an attachment cord that protects the cord and any equipment using the cord.
GFCI Outlet Installation
When building a home or even renovating your home, you should make sure that all of the electrical work is done by professional, licensed electricians. Having an established company to perform the jobs and even test the products will provide you with safety in the home and peace of mind about your home’s electric capabilities. When working on your home, especially regarding the electricity and the electric panel, you must use a professional electrician mainly for your and your home’s safety.
Accidental shock, or even fires, can be prevented using a licensed and insured electrician who has undergone many hours of education and experience to handle these repairs or installations. Plus, when trying to DIY an electrical issue in your home, you’re risking your safety and could be making the problem worse. Most electrical repairs done by proper electricians can solve the actual issue at hand, and if any other issues arise, they can come back to troubleshoot the problem.
Using Prime Electric will ensure that you have the best team working on the safety of your home. They even have a place where you can redeem some electrical coupons for their services and book anything you need online. While testing your outlets, or even if you find some outlets that need to be replaced to become GFCI outlets, make sure that you call them or even book online to have the service done asap.