Anyone who has undergone a home inspection on an older home has likely heard the term “GFCI” in regard to outlets. For many people this is a “huh?” or a “smile and nod” type of moment. If you did rudimentary online research and still don’t really understand what the heck GFCI is, why it’s important, or why you should care, then read on for an understandable explanation, courtesy of our residential electricians.
What is GFCI
Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets may sound foreign, but they are actually very recognizable; have you ever noticed a couple of buttons on a power outlet? That is a clear sign of a GFCI outlet, and those buttons are made to test the integral function that differentiates this type of outlet from the standard version. Basically, GFCI outlets can very quickly perceive when power that was put out is not going to the correct place and can very quickly trip the breaker to shut off the outlet, potentially preventing injury, fire, etc.
Where are GFCI Outlets?
These protective outlets can go pretty much anywhere, and they used to not be required to go in any particular places. Now, they are typically required in bathrooms, kitchen counter areas, in and around swimming pools, on external outlets, and many more specific residential areas. Basically, GFCI outlets are required anywhere that appliances used can come in contact with water (ie, kitchen counter, bathroom, in the event of snowfall piling against an external outlet, etc). These outlets are becoming more and more standard throughout the home and could potentially become necessary for all outlets in new construction in the near future.
Call On Us
If your home was requested or required to comply with GFCI outlets, or if you are concerned that your family or home is at risk, please give us a call. As Des Moines’ Top Rated Local® residential electricians, we would be happy to help make your home a safer place.