It’s Important To Understand How GFCIs Work

May 14 00:18 2021
It's Important To Understand How GFCIs Work

Working with electricity can be dangerous, but property owners in Glendora, CA shouldn’t have to worry about safety when they use the outlets in their homes or businesses. Thankfully, if they work with reputable electricians like those employed by Accurate Electric Plumbing Heating & Air, there’s little need to worry about electrocution these days. The welcome changes in the safety profile of America’s home and office electric systems have come largely from the introduction of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets.

What Is a GFCI?

A GFCI is a device designed to help prevent electrocutions. They should be installed anywhere that electrical circuits could come into direct contact with water, which means GFCIs are common in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, and outdoors.

GFCI outlets look a lot like normal outlets. They feature three-pronged slots for plugging in electric devices and appliances, like ordinary outlets, but they are easy to distinguish by sight because they also have “TEST” and “RESET” buttons. Since GFCIs were only invented in the 1970s, some older homes still lack these crucial safety features. Homeowners concerned about the risk of electrocution can visit to learn about a company that can retrofit their existing outlets for improved safety.

How Do GFCIs Work?

Under normal operating conditions, an electrical current runs through wiring to power lights, electronics, and appliances. When a ground fault occurs, it can disrupt the flow of electricity, causing it to surge to an unintended conductor. If that conductor is a person, the results can range from a serious electrical shock to literal electrocution.

With a GFCI, there’s no need to worry about severe safety risks. The GFCI contains an internal sensor and shut-off switch. Whenever it senses a ground fault, the internal switch turns off the flow of electricity. The person using the outlet may still experience a painful electrical shock before the electricity turns off. However, cutting off the electricity will prevent prolonged surges that could become dangerous, or even deadly.

Where to Install GFCIs

Since water is such a good conductor, outlets found in water-prone areas of the home are the most at risk for ground faults. The National Electric Code (NEC) now requires electricians to install GFCIs in any area of a home or commercial building where the electrical outlets will be in close proximity to water. Examples include outlets in or near:

  • Kitchen countertops

  • Laundry rooms

  • Utility rooms

  • Areas within six feet of sinks or water-using appliances

  • Areas within six feet of wet bars

  • Garages

  • Unfinished basements

  • Outdoor areas

  • Bathrooms

It’s fine to stick to regular outlets in areas of the home that should not be exposed to moisture. In bedrooms, living rooms, and hallways, GFCIs are unnecessary. When in doubt, homeowners should ask their electricians if it’s wise to install ground fault protection.

Get Help Now

Property owners who want to make sure everyone using their outlets is protected need to find a reliable licensed electrician who can evaluate the home’s current wiring and install GFCIs as needed. Visit to get in touch with Accurate Electric today.

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Company Name: Accurate Electric Plumbing Heating & Air
Contact Person: Media Relations
Email: Send Email
Phone: (800) 947-1747
Address:715 W Foothill Blvd
City: Glendora
State: CA
Country: United States