GFCI outlets were designed to protect people from deadly electrical shock. They can also help reduce the risk of house fires caused by electrical problems and reduce damage to appliances caused by faulty electrical circuits.
The way they work is rather clever. A GFCI outlet monitors the flow of energy through the circuit. If an imbalance between the “hot” and “neutral” poles in the circuit occurs, indicating that there is a ground fault, the outlet trips off. Ground faults occur for a variety of reasons, including a person touching an energized part of the circuit, which can be deadly; think of a hair dryer falling in the water while a person is in the bathtub.
A GFCI outlet has two small buttons, “test” and “reset.” GFCI outlets should be tested regularly to confirm they are working properly. You can test an outlet by plugging a lamp into it and turning the lamp on, and then hitting the test button. If the outlet is working properly, when you hit the test button, the lamp should go off and the reset button should pop out. Press the reset button to turn the outlet back on.
GFCI outlets are most commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens. However, Houchin Electric suggests you also have them installed in your garage, crawl space, unfinished basement, and outdoors around your home. These areas are of most concern because they are prone to the development of ground faults.
If you have a GFCI outlet trip, your safest bet is to have a professional electrician from Houchin Electric inspect it. For example, if a bathroom outlet suddenly stops working, it may be because a wire inside the outlet is encountering something that is causing a ground fault. You may not even be aware of the fault but an electrician from Houchin Electric can run a diagnostic test to determine why the outlet shut off and replace the outlet if it needs to be replaced. Browse our website Houchin Electric to learn more about us and the services we offer.
We want you to please be aware that you can still experience a shock even when you have GFCI outlets. GFCI outlets detect imbalances in energy quickly enough to prevent severe or fatal shock, but victims can still experience a shock in the fraction of a second it takes for the GFCI outlet to respond to a ground fault.
Houchin Electric can install GFCI outlets in any area of your home: kitchen, bathroom, garage, attic, basement, even the outdoors around your home. Give us a call to install or replace your non-working outlets today! 918-663-1818