One of the easiest ways to see if your home’s electrical system is up to date is by seeing if the GFCI outlets are installed in all the right places. GFCI outlets are essential to a home’s safety. If the GFCI outlets are not found in the right areas of the home, your home’s electrical system isn’t up to date and could lead to a potential disaster. Simon Electric will share what a GFCI outlet is, where in a home a GFCI outlet should be placed, and how they are essential to your home’s safety.
What is a GFCI Outlet?
A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is a special type of outlet that is used to help protect the home from water. As many people well know, electricity and water don’t mix. If an outlet or an electrical device is plugged into the outlet and comes in contact with water, it can be devastating. A GFCI outlet prevents an electrical disaster in these types of scenarios. GFCI outlets are easily identified as they all have a “test” and “reset” button typically in the very center of the outlet. If a GFCI outlet comes in contact with water, they are designed to switch off at the outlet, preventing a massive electrical current that can cause fires or electrocutions. Regular outlets do not switch off, which leads to potential disaster.
Where is a GFCI Outlet Needed?
As a regular outlet does not respond to massive electrical currents caused by water and other sources, they tend to be dangerous in certain areas in the home. Modern electrical codes now demand GFCI outlets are used in the right places of the home. If there is a running water source nearby, a GFCI outlet must be used. Any outlet within five feet of a sink or drain must have a GFCI outlet. This rule makes it simple for all homeowners to see if they are up to code. This five feet rule includes both inside and outside of the home. Inside the home any room with running water should have a GFCI outlet and within five feet of the water source. This will include wash/laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchen and garages. For outside the home, all outlets should be GFCI. As the home is exposed to all of the elements including rain and water from hoses and sprinklers, it is essential that exterior outlets are GFCI.
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When walking around your home, see if there are GFCI outlets installed in the right places. If you notice that GFCI outlets are not installed in the correct place, you can easily replace the outlet. However, not having a GFCI outlet could indicate that you have a very old electrical system. You may want to consider having the entire electrical system inspected by a professional electrical service. You may find you need an electrical upgrade or see if other aspects of your electrical system are out of date. If you are concerned about your home electrical system or require professional electrical services, contact Simon Electric today.