If you look around the inside and outside of your home, you are going to notice lots of outlets. You may think that an outlet is just an outlet but that is not true. If you are looking at the outlets that are outside the house, in the garage, kitchen or bathroom you are most likely looking at ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. They are different than a standard outlet and are there to help protect your home and family.
Sullivan Electric Services Outlines What A GFCI Is & Why You Should Have Them Installed in Your Home
What Is A GFCI Breaker Outlet?: GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. It is an outlet that is installed and has a way to short circuit in case of a problem. The outlet basically stops the flow of electricity in particular circumstances that could cause damage or even a fire if the electricity continued. You can tell these outlets apart many times by the set of two buttons in between the outlet inserts. They are usually a red and yellow button that can be pressed to reset the outlet if it were to trip.
Where Are GFCI Outlets Usually Installed: Although a GFCI outlet is safe and can stop the electrical circuit when needed they are not necessary in every room. The house is also set up with a circuit board that has breakers that will also do that job to an entire area if it is tripped. There are still some areas that should have a GFCI such as around the outside of the house near the pool or deck. They can also be found in the garage and the kitchen and bathroom where there is a high probability that water could end up near or on the outlet of the item that is plugged in.
Why Are GFCI Outlets Used: In the areas that are listed above, they all have one thing in common and that is they are in an area that can be exposed to liquid of some sort. The outlets that are installed outdoors can be exposed to water from sprinklers, rain or the swimming pool. The outlets that are in bathroom and kitchens are usually not right next to the tub but can be very close to a sink. That means they are exposed to water. If the outlet or item that is plugged into the wall gets wet from any liquid it can release an electric shock.
Who Should Install GFCI Outlets: If you look around and are concerned that you don’t have a GFCI in a place that should have one, you want to call a licensed electrician to have them installed. We are able to inspect the current outlets and determine what outlets need to be replaced.