GFCI Electrical Outlets Protect You From Shock
At some point in your home’s lifetime, you’re going to need outlets that are GFCI Electrical Outlets. These special type of electrical outlets are placed in areas where there is a risk of electrical shock.
The outlets are named GFCI for Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter. This outlet is completely different from a fuse located on your electrical panel box. Fuses help protect against electrical fires. A GFCI outlet will cut off the electrical supply for any reason where the flow of the electricity is unbalanced.
For instance, if you are outside during the rain and you decide to use one of your power tools, you would likely be standing on the ground to do it. There is a pathway for the electricity to flow from the hot wire of the tool through you and onto the wet ground. If this occurs, it can be fatal.
By plugging the tool into a GFCI outlet, the unit will regulate the flow of electricity and can sense when the current flows through you because not all of it is flowing from hot to neutral as it expects but rather is flowing through you to the ground. When sensed by the outlet, a trip is performed in the circuit and the electricity is cut off.
Many building code authorities will require GFCI outlets to be installed in the home in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. You may already have plenty of these outlets. Most of the GFCI outlets have one or two buttons in the middle of the receptacle.
If the outlet trips, you’ll be able to see that it has by examining the button. Most have instructions on how to reset the button, but normally you either press it or a black button positioned below the red one. Just push in the button and it should stick.
If you’re trying to use an appliance and it either won’t start when turned on or quits working while using it, you likely have a tripped outlet, especially if you are in the bathroom or kitchen, or laundry room. You can also experience a trip from a GFCI outlet that is tied into the electrical wiring route of another outlet.
For instance, you are in the living room, plugging in the vacuum cleaner, and on the other side of the wall or down the hall is a kitchen outlet fitted with a GFCI that is tied to the one you’re trying to use. Even though the outlet you are using is a regular outlet, the kitchen outlet can trip.
In that scenario, you may not even realize there’s a GFCI outlet involved, so be sure that any time an outlet seems to go out on you that you check for other outlets that may be tripped and need resetting.
All in all, if your home doesn’t currently have these protective outlets or you need repairs or additional outlets installed, a professional electrician should be hired. S & S Electric, LLC is your premier trusted electrician in Fairfax, Waldorf, Charles County, and surrounding areas.
We have provided expert Silver Spring and Fairfax GFCI outlet installations and repairs since 1991. Whether you want more protection for your home with additional GFCI outlets or need repairs for your current outlets, we are ready to serve you. We are available with 24/7 emergency repair services as well as regular repairs and installations.