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What is a GFCI?

GFCI or Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter

Simply put a GFCI is a device that prevents electrocution. It monitors the amount of current flowing to and from a source. If the currents are not equal, the GFCI will shut the power off to prevent the excess current flowing in an unwanted direction i.e. through your body as an electric shock.

GFCIs are designed to prevent electric shocks but because they also detect ground-faults, they can prevent some kinds of electrical fires.

What is a Ground-Fault?

A ground fault is an unintentional electrical path between a power source and a grounded surface. It is when electricity escapes the intended path and tries to get to the ground by the shortest route. This means it will use whatever is touching the ground as a pathway be it your body or something else around you.

When and where should I install GFCIs?

GFCIs have been required in houses starting in 1971. They aren’t required everywhere in the house but they are in certain rooms and for outlets within 6 feet of a plumbing fixture. If your house was build before 1971, it usually ins’t required to have GFCIs but if you have added or removed outlets in renovations or upgrades then the new outlets must be GFCI in the proper rooms.

Check with an electrician at Extreme Air & Electric about which rooms are required to have GFCIs. If you have no GFCIs in your home, your electrical may be outdated and it is time to have and inspection and consider getting an electrical upgrade. Just because your power works fine doesn’t mean it is safe.

If you are in Melbourne, Port St. John, Indialantic or any of the surrounding communities, we are here to serve you. Visit our service area page for more coverage details or call our office to find out what we can do for you.

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