By AJ Danboise

Have no fear, for GFCIs are here! Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are a type of receptacle that helps prevent shock from ground faults and short circuits. Ground faults and short circuits happen when electricity flows through an unintended path, which can lead to shock. GFCIs work to fight this shock by first detecting uneven electrical flow, and then immediately shutting off the current to reduce the severity of the shock. Although their function is simple, they are a life-saving tool, able to prevent serious or even fatal injuries from electrical shock. Knowledge of GFCI receptacles is important for Michigan homeowners, which can help keep your household safe from potentially hazardous situations.

We at AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical value the safety of our Michigan neighbors. If you live in an older home without GFCI receptacles, it is important to consider having them installed. Our experts have listed a few reasons why:

Electrical Safety

  • Electricity is a dangerous, sometimes unpredictable element. Because of our reliance on it, it’s important to protect ourselves and our family.
  • Coming into direct contact with electricity can lead to severe, life-threatening injuries; especially if water is part of the equation.
  • A GFCI receptacle ensures your protection with its shock-prevention, and further strengthens the electrical safety in your home.
  • Beyond just being an outlet, GFCIs are essential safety tools, having saved thousands of lives since their inception in the 70s.
  • GFCIs have cut the number of home electrocutions in half.

Appliance Safety

  • The NEC (National Electrical Code) has made GFCIs mandatory for certain appliances that are within specific distances from a water fixture.
  • GFCI protection is required for all 15A, 20A and 125V receptacles that are placed on kitchen countertop surfaces.
  • A GFCI is not required for receptacles that do not supply power to appliances on countertops.
  • A good safeguard would be to replace all electrical outlets in your kitchen, bathroom and home exterior with GFCIs – regardless of where they are located.

NEC Requirements for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Does My Home Have GFCIs?

  • Your home might already have GFCI outlets installed. Check your outlets, do they have three slots with a small button in the middle?
  • A standard receptacle consists of a left vertical slot (which is neutral), a right vertical slot that is slightly larger (which is “hot”) and the bottom circular hole (which is the “ground”).
  • A GFCI outlet looks similar, but also contains a test/reset button in its center.

When the reset button is “on,” the electricity can flow through the outlet. By pressing the button, you will disconnect the electrical flow – or interrupt the current.

This button will automatically stop when it detects that the electrical flow is out of balance.
Keep your home safe by installing GFCI receptacles throughout your home. The professionals at AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical can assist you when you are ready to make the switch. Contact us if you need expert GFCI installation – electrical repairs – or any electrical home service. Call (248) 477-3626 to schedule an appointment today!

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