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What Are GFCI Outlets? Why Are They Important?

Mar 28, 2022

Since their creation in the ’70s, ground fault circuit interrupters also known as GFCI outlets have helped keep homeowners safe from sudden electrical accidents and surges throughout their homes. GFCI outlets have since been required in certain areas around homes, businesses, and any building that relies on flowing electricity.

Helping to strengthen the electrical safety of your home, GFCI outlets play a crucial role in keeping you and your property safe from some of the hazards that come with electricity. Aardvark Electric certified electricians understand that these potential life-saving outlets can help protect yourself, and your home. Your safety matters, and GFCI outlets can help keep all the unseen electrical currents flowing where they should or stop the current in its tracks, minimizing your risk of serious shock injuries.

What is a GFCI Outlet?

So what is a GFCI outlet? Its official name is ground fault circuit interrupter, but commonly known as a GFCI. This type of outlet helps protect you and your home from sudden surges within your electrical system by interrupting the flow of electricity when it senses a ground fault or current leak. Oftentimes GFCI outlets are required to be used in places such as bathrooms, kitchens, garages, outdoor outlets, and any place within six feet of a water source. Proper GFCI outlet installation and GFCI outlet wiring play a huge part in keeping you safe from potentially life-threatening shock injuries.

Companies such as Aardvark Electric can help properly install and maintain your GFCI outlets to keep you and your family safe from electrical hazards and mishaps. Certified electricians understand all of the GFCI installation requirements, and can help get your home up to date with GFCI outlets.

Why Are GFCI Outlets Important?

If you’ve ever wondered why GFCI outlets are important, we’re here to explain exactly why they can help keep you and your home safe from electrical accidents. So why are GFCI outlets important? 

GFCI outlets are designed to help reduce shock accidents when ground faults or short circuits happen within your electrical flow. When a GFCI outlet detects uneven electrical flow, it immediately shuts off the current to reduce the chances of severe shock. This helps keep you safe from electrical accidents and injuries that can result from short circuits and ground faults. GFCI outlets have helped save thousands of people from severe and potentially fatal shock injuries since the 70s, becoming a staple within homes to increase electrical safety.

Electrical Safety

Electricity is a modern wonder that helps us live convenient lives and stay connected to one another all around the world. However, it can pose an extreme risk when it’s misused or experiencing issues that keep it from functioning properly. Some benefits of GFCI outlets include:

  • GFCI outlets help protect your devices from damages
  • GFCI outlets help strengthen your home’s overall electrical safety and can protect you from nasty shocks.
  • GFCI outlets have cut home electrocutions in half since their inception in the 70s.

Shock Prevention

By shutting off the electrical current when experiencing a sudden short or ground fault, GFCI outlets are designed to protect you from shock. They help keep you safe from sudden surges that can be dangerous and sudden in common locations such as kitchens and bathrooms or anywhere near a water source. 

Protection For Your Appliances

The National Electrical Code also known as NEC has made GFCI outlets mandatory for appliances that are within specific distances of water fixtures. GFCI outlets are required for all 15A,20A, and 125V receptacles that are located on the kitchen countertops throughout your home. However, a GFCI outlet is not required for any receptacle that does not supply power to an appliance on your countertop. Common practice is to have GFCI outlet installation in places such as bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and outdoor receptacles.

GFCI Installation Requirements?

The NEC requires GFCI outlets on all exterior and bathroom receptacles throughout your home. They’re also required on kitchen countertops that are supplying power to any appliance and should be installed anywhere near sinks, washing machines, and water heaters.

GFCI Outlet Installation

If you own an older home and haven’t had your electrical system upgraded in 20 years or more, you more than likely need to install GFCIs. Although there are many tutorials available for GFCI outlet installation, unless you’re extremely familiar with outlet wiring and GFCI outlet wiring, you should hire a trusted and certified electrician for your GFCI installation needs.

Protect Yourself With GFCI Outlets

GFCIs are just one of the ways modern electrical systems have improved throughout the years. Having saved countless lives from severe shock accidents and injuries, GFCI outlets allow us to enjoy modern conveniences while minimizing our risk of potentially severe, or even fatal, shock accidents and injuries that can occur throughout our homes.

For more information on GFCI outlets, or to schedule a service appointment, reach out to Aardvark Electric today. Contact us online or give us a call at (404) 806-6851.