Call us today!

Blog - GCE Destin

What is a GFCI Outlet and Do I Need One?

What is a GFCI?
A ground-fault circuit interrupter or a GFCI outlet is an outlet that helps protect people from electrical shock. Unlike traditional outlets GFCI outlets are extremely sensitive to changes in current, adding more protection.

What does this mean?
If the outlet experiences a change in electrical current, for example, if you accidentally knock the plugged-in toaster into a sink full of water, the GFCI breaker feature is tripped and shut down power to the outlet faster than traditional outlets.
This outlet adds additional safety and is often required in places near water such as your kitchen, bathroom, pool or outdoor outlets. A good rule of thumb is to make sure all outlets within 6 feet of a water source are updated to a GFCI outlet.

Do I need a GFCI outlet?
The short answer, yes. GFCI outlets are a significant safety feature that every home should have. These outlets can potentially save your life. Because these outlets are more sensitive to electrical current changes, they shut off quicker which can be the difference between a shock or being electrocuted.

Does my home automatically have them?
While most new home construction requires GFCI outlets, if you have an older home you may not have a GFCI outlet. Many times older homes are grandfathered into the older electrical codes and aren’t legally required to have them, but it is recommended that you update the outlets to protect yourself and your family. If you do perform home updates, your district will likely require you to install them at the time of the update.

If you do not have GFCI outlets in your home, Gulf Coast Electric can help. Our team of professional electricians can help make your home a safer place by installing ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets. Since 1980 our team has provided electrical services to Destin and the surrounding areas. Our services include specialty wiring, surge protection, inspections and more. Contact our Destin electricians today.