A GFI, or GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter device protects us from receiving electric shocks from faults in the electrical devices we use in our home. It works by comparing the input current on the hot side to the output current on the neutral side. If there’s the slightest difference in current, on the order of a few milliamps, then there is current leaking out somewhere, possibly through somebody’s body. To protect us in this situation, the device very quickly cuts off the power supply to the leaking device, within 20-30 milliseconds, greatly reducing any possible human tissue damage from errant current.
How To Operate and Test a GFCI Outlet
By detecting dangerous current flow and instantly shutting off power, ground fault circuit interrupters save hundreds of lives each year. But after 10 years or so, the sensitive circuitry inside a GFCI wears out. And usually the test button on the GFCI doesn’t tell you there’s anything wrong: When you press the button, it shuts off the power as always. So the only reliable way to check an older GFCI is to use a circuit tester that has its own GFCI test button (sold at home centers and hardware stores).
Plug in the tester and push its test button. If the power goes off, the GFCI is working. Press the reset button to restore power. If the power doesn’t go off, replace the GFCI.
Where are GFCI outlets required?
GFCI protection should be provided anywhere there is a receptacle installed in an area subject to moisture, as the presence of moisture greatly increases the danger of accidental shock. The National Electric Code specifies many such areas in residential dwelling units, such as, but not limited to: Bathrooms; Garages and accessory buildings; All exterior receptacles; Crawl spaces; Unfinished basements; Kitchens; Laundry, Utility, Wet Bar Sink Areas. Local building authorities may have additional requirements. The list of areas requiring GFCI protection has increased with every code revision.
With an eye for quality, look no further than Electrician Techs to ensure proper installation of GFCI outlets. We deliver on time, we are under budget and have the most highly-trained, industry-certified master electricians with years of experience working for both commercial and residential clients, calling us will be the best choice you will ever make.