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, Sewer, Heating, Cooling and Electric, we’re here to help.
Neighbors Are Saying About ABC
“Tom was awesome! He is very personable and explains the whole process well. He did a great job and ensured that he used 5-star service throughout the process. I will definitely use ABC and Tom again in the future for electrical work.”–
“Bill showed up on time to repair our broken air conditioner. ABC kept in touch throughout the day to let me know time he would be arriving too. Bill was professional, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. We wound up signing up for monthly care package because Bill and ABC really made…”–
“We were very pleased with the service performed by Brett Pack in performing the annual maintenance of our air conditioning unit. He noted it was low on refrigerant, which he then added after consulting with us. He also made sure we took advantage of all available discounts.”–
“Tom did a super job fixing our electrical problem. He is one of the best electricians I have ever had in my home for repair work. I would highly recommend Tom and ABC Company if you need any type of electrical work. He took his time and explained everything and…”–
“I am so impressed with Chris and ABC Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, Cooling and Electric. His friendliness honest approach to his Job is remarkable. Thanks Chris for making my day and believing that they are still great honorable people out there.”–
“Our AC was not working in the 90-degree summer heat. Josh identified that power was not going to the furnace blower. He identified that power was not going to the furnace breaker. His keen eye spotted that the wire leading into the breaker had frayed. He cut out the frayed…”–