Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) reduce the number of electrocutions that occur in homes by nearly 50% and have saved thousands of lives over time. There are many homes today that do not have proper electrical protection in those areas of the home inside or outside where water is present. Weather conditions outside and flowing water inside are obvious reasons why homeowners need to be guarded from the many risks of shock. Here at Gervais Electric we perform hundreds of GFCI installations every year.
What are GFCIs? Simply put, they are electrical safety devices that serve to trip home electrical circuits whenever ground faults or leakage current are detected. GFCI outlets prevent electrocutions by shutting off the power to a circuit quickly when it is detected that the electricity flowing into the same circuit differs somewhat from the electricity returning.
Whether indoors or outdoors, any area where water can come into contact with any electrical products should have GFCI installations in the immediate area. Electrical code requires that GFCI installations are used in all types of kitchens, bathrooms, recreation rooms, pools, garages and gardens as well. It is also required that your GFCIs be tested at minimum once per month to confirm their functionality and effectiveness.
Testing your GFCIs
To ensure that GFCIs are working properly, the professionals at Gervais Electric recommend you follow these steps:
- To prepare the outlet for testing, always push the reset button first.
- Plug a light of some sort into the GFCI outlet and turn it to the on position. The light should turn on at this point.
- Next, push the test button on the GFCI which should then turn the light off.
- Push the reset button once again, which should turn the light back on again.
If you stumble on any problems with these simple steps, for instance the light does not turn off when you push the test button, this is a surefire indication that the GFCI has either been wired incorrectly or even damaged. When this occurs, there is no protection from shock available. When you discover any such problems, be certain to immediately reach out to the highly skilled electricians here at Gervais Electric to identify the problem and provide an effective solution.
The Importance of GFCIs
If ever you have suffered an electric shock, it was probably because a portion of your body came in contact with an electrical current and provided a path for that very current to travel to the ground. When a human body provides a path, often serious injuries occur. However, if the appliance from which you encountered the electrical current was plugged into a GFCI outlet, the electrical power would be shut off immediately before any electrical shock could occur. A GFCI constantly monitors electricity that moves through a circuit. When a difference in the electrical current is detected, the power is quickly shut off.
GFCIs can be easily installed and are very affordable. However, the Electrical Safety Foundation International highly recommends consulting an electrician to guarantee a proper installation. That is where the folks at Gervais Electric come in. Proudly serving Nashville and many of its surrounding towns, our licensed and certified electricians are here to provide you with all your electrical needs, and that includes professional GFCI installations. Contact our experts today at (615)973-1436 or send us a message to talk with our professionals today. There is no project too big or too small for our professional team.