GFI Outlets: What are they? Do you need them?
Updated: Oct 30
Electricity can be dangerous, making safety a major concern when dealing with it. With active electrical currents, there is a chance of getting shocked. For that reason, GFI outlets were invented to prevent electrical shock in circumstances where the current input and output variables. By installing GFI outlets, you greatly reduce your risk of electrical shock.
If you're unsure whether your house contains GFI outlets and want peace of mind, give us a call (1-877-563-5328), we can come out and conduct a home safety inspection. Your safety and peace of mind are important to us!
What is a GFI Outlet?
GFI stands for Ground Fault Interrupter.
A ground fault is when electricity takes an unintended path to the ground.
The purpose of a GFI outlet is to shut off electrical power in the event the input and output currents are different. To protect us from getting an unexpected and extended shock, the GFI will recognize this difference and shut off the power on that circuit.
Where should GFI outlets be installed?
Electricity is always looking for the least resistant path to the ground. Electrical wires are covered in either rubber or plastic, which helps guide the electrical currents to the intended switches or outlets. If the wires are damaged in any way, the electrical current can escape and will find the closest conductor allowing it to reach the ground. Since water is an excellent conductor of electricity, the risk of a ground fault occurring in areas where water is commonly used is greater.
The main areas in your home that should have GFI outlets are:
In rooms where there is one circuit, not all outlets have to be GFI outlets. You can have GFI protected standard outlets that aren't GFI outlets themselves.
These protected outlets should be marked with a sticker, signifying they are protected.
When to install GFI Outlets, in place of standard outlets?
Standard outlets can be installed in rooms that don't typically come in contact with water, such as bedrooms and living rooms. The whole purpose of a GFI outlet is to cut off power when an electrical shock is possible. Since water is one of the best conductors for electricity, GFI outlets should primarily be placed in rooms within 6ft of a water source.
When you're ready to update or install additional outlets to your home, give us a call, 1-877-563-5328.