AFCI vs. GFCI Outlets: What’s the Difference?

Modern electrical systems allows homeowners to live with greater convenience than ever before, especially these days when it seems like everything needs to be plugged in or uses rechargeable batteries. As electrical systems have grown more and more sophisticated over the years, so too have the safety measures put in place. Electricity, for all of its benefits, can still be quite dangerous if not used properly within the house, after all. That is why devices such as AFCI and GFCI outlets have been developed over time. To learn more about these outlets, read the following post, and remember to schedule your electrical and outlet services in Ludlow, VT with a member of our team.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters

AFCI, or arc fault circuit interrupter, outlets are more and more commonly installed at receptacles throughout homes. They serve to protect homeowners from fires. Specifically, then help to prevent fires caused by arc faults. Arc faults occur when wiring is damaged, such as in circuit wiring or extensions to appliances. Whether these arc faults occur within your walls, at loose connections, or in damaged cords, they are always dangerous. The discharge of electricity generates heat, and this causes serious fire risks. Arc fault circuit interrupters register this discharge, and stem the flow of electricity to minimize the risk of an unsafe situation developing.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

A ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, outlet serves a different purpose. A ground fault occurs when electricity takes an unintended path to the ground. Because the human body is such a great conductor of electricity, ground faults pose a very real personal risk to humans. When you are using an appliance plugged into a GFCI outlet, it will detect an imbalance of electricity on either side of the circuit. When this happens, it essentially acts as a mini circuit breaker, and will have to be reset before electricity will flow again. These outlets are often required in bathrooms, kitchens, and at outdoor receptacles, where water is commonly present.

Work with the professional electricians at HB Energy Solutions.

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