If you’re looking for ways to increase your home’s safety, GFCI outlets are great additions to your list of improvements. GFCI outlets, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, reduce the risk of electrocution and other electrical damage in your home. They can easily be added to any part of your home. But they are also required in specific areas of your home.
Our specialists at Gulf Coast Electric want to share some electrical safety tips for our clients interested in any GFCI outlet installations.
How Do They Work?
A GFCI outlet dramatically reduces the chances of getting electrocuted in your home. These kinds of outlets have sensors that monitor the electrical flow in your outlet’s wires. Specifically, it will sense for ground faults — when an electrical current escapes a damaged cord and goes through the insulated wires.
Ground faults can cause a dangerous electric shock to homeowners. With the help of a GFCI outlet, it will shut off the electricity with an internal switch before serious harm can be done.
These kinds of outlets will look different compared to your standard electrical outlet. Along with the prong plug-in slots, GFCI outlets come with a “TEST” and a “RESET” button. This is so you can turn the power back on to a tripped outlet. GFCI outlets help reduce severe electrical injuries to homeowners and their families.
Where Should They Be Installed?
By law, there are specific places in your home where you need a GFCI outlet installation. These places are:
- Home exteriors
- Crawl spaces
- Wet bars
- Every kitchen outlet next to a countertop
- Electrically-heated floors
The main reason these areas need extra protection is that they have water sources nearby. Outlets near sinks, showers and other plumbing are more likely to trigger electrical surges because water is an excellent conductor of electricity. You may still find standard outlets in your bedroom, but you should always have GFCI outlets in high-risk areas.
How Should I Care For Them?
Luckily, you won’t need a lot of maintenance for GFCI outlets. You can check once a month to make sure they are functioning properly by pressing the test button on the outlet. Your outlet can trip accidentally from nearby lightning or static electricity.
If your outlet trips too frequently or doesn’t turn back on, it may need to be replaced.
Can I Do My Own GFCI Installation?
Homeowners with electrical experience can replace a worn-out GFCI outlet with the right equipment. But for a full installation or additional help with a replacement, you should leave it to the professionals. Each outlet has its own kind of wiring and it can be complicated to rewire your outlets. A licensed electrician has an easier time navigating these outlets and can complete your installation without those complications.
Our team at Gulf Coast Electric would love to be part of your home improvement process. We can send out a Destin professional electrician to let you know where would be the best places for GFCI outlets. Practice electrical safety in your home and contact us for a consultation today!