Frequently Asked Questions About Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground fault circuit interruptors (GFCIs) first saw use in the 1970s. Since then, they have saved thousands of lives from accidental electrocution.
What is the purpose of GFCIs?
The purpose of GFCIs is to prevent a ground fault, an unintentional electrical path between a power source and a grounded surface. This is most likely to occur when an electrical appliance comes into contact with water. When electrical parts become wet, they cause electrical current to flow outside of the circuit conductors. If you are in contact with the wet surface and the electrical appliance you could be severely shocked, or even electrocuted. For this reason, GFCIs are mostly installed in kitchens, bathrooms and outdoors.
How do GFCIs work?
GFCIs work by instantly interrupting power to the circuit if the electricity flowing into the circuit differs by even a small amount from that returning, indicating a loss of current.
Can I install GFCIs myself?
While GFCIs are relatively cheap and readily available in building supply stores, they should only be installed by a licensed electrician.
How do I know my GFCIs are working?
Test your GFCIs once a month by doing the following.
1. Push the “reset” button in on the GFCI.
2. Plug a light into the GFCI and turn it ON. The light should now be on.
3. Push the “test” button of the GFCI. The light should turn OFF.
4. Push the “reset” button again. The light should now go ON again.
If the light does not turn off when the “test” button is pushed, the GFCI is not working properly and it should be serviced by a licensed electrician.
Have questions about GFCIs or other electrical systems? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, we’re here to help.
Neighbors Are Saying About ABC
“Jonathan Henrich was very professional and provided expertise background information to my questions when replacing my sump pump and battery backup system. He was obviously knowledgeable about what he was doing and took pride in doing a great job. While the price was more than I expected, the work was…”–
“My experience with ABC was wonderful. The electrician, Bryan, who we worked with was fantastic. I would recommend this company to everyone! Very dependable, professional and friendly.”–
“I recently bought a home. For the first 6 months here I have been experiencing some electric issues. So, just two day ago - I had another shortage. Ryan came out and explained the issues. Im in sales, and he did not try to pressure me into doing the right…”–
“Anthony was my HVAC technician and I could not have had a better experience. He was professional and knowledgeable. He explained everything. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have someone like that to count on for my heating and air conditioning. Great Job Anthony”–
“Your fast, professional handling of the issue was remarkable in today’s business environment. No hassle and solid craftsmanship along with a knowledgeable technician, forces me to call you the next time I require plumbing assistance and makes ABC an easy referral to friends and neighbors. Thank you for your integrity.…”–
“I had a very positive experience with ABC…They even brought over space heaters for us and discounted the price the cost of a replacement part I had purchased two weeks prior. Great customer service.”–