How Does Lacking a GFCI for Your Home Put Your Family at Risk?
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) protect your family and coworkers from potentially deadly shocks due to the combination of wet ground and internal shorts in appliances. Even if the appliance’s fuse or circuit blows, it still may have enough power to seriously injure the victim before that power is depleted. This hazard causes up to 66% of the two-thirds of the 300 electrocutions that happen in households every year.
Where Did You Hear About GFCI Laws?
Checking for GFCIs on home sockets is the law, and a required part of electrical inspections these days, particularly when those sockets are in areas that commonly have standing water: outdoor sockets, bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and of course pools and spas. They should also be used whenever operating equipment in your yard, such as a lawnmower, and power tools, such as saws and sanders.
How GFCI Units Operate
GFCI circuit breakers shut off all current flow instantly when they encounter potential dangerous shocks. This can save lives when GFCIs are used in conjunction with circuit breakers and service panels.
The GFCI is designed to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks. A GFCI will continuously monitor the level of electricity flowing through a circuit. Once it senses any loss of current–i.e. detects a “ground fault”–it will shut off. This prevents the current passing through anyone unfortunate enough to be touching a charged appliance while in water, such as a hair dryer plugged into a socket falling into the bathtub. A GFCI can also prevent some electrical fires and reduce the severity of others by interrupting the flow of electric current.
Can I Install My Own Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter?
While GFCI outlets and breakers can be purchased at your local hardware, home improvement, or electrical supply store, they should be installed and maintained by a professional electrician. Serious complications can occur, for example, if your building has not been properly grounded. Outlets and breakers may need to be replaced. Finally, there are three types of GFCIs: receptacle type, circuit breaker type, and portable type. Sunnyvale Electrical PROS can help you choose which once is right for your home or office.
Does My Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Need to Be Tested?
Once installed, your GFCI should be tested monthly to ensure they’re in proper working order. Sunnyvale Electrical PROS can show you how to test these devices–generally it can be done with the simple push of a button.
If you have any questions regarding GFCI’s contact Sunnyvale Electrical PROS at 408-780-0121.