Southern Vermont Electrical Guide: What Are GFCI Outlets?

The presence of electricity at the flick of a switch is one of the marvels of the modern home—one that we now almost take for granted. We not only expect electrical devices in our home to work when we turn them on, but also that they won’t produce a dangerous electrical shock. This is why it’s vital to get electrical repairs done as soon as anything goes wrong: you not only risk the loss of the power you need in your daily life, but you also risk a shock.

One of the key parts of your electrical system that keeps you safe from injuries are GFCI outlets—something your home may not have if it’s older. Here are the basics you need to know about these crucial safety devices. If you want help keeping your electrical system in your Southern Vermont home operating safely, contact HB Energy Solutions today.

GFCI stands for “ground-fault circuit interrupter.” A GFCI outlet is designed specifically to prevent you from receiving an electrical shock from your household appliances, and in this way is different from a fuse, which protects wiring from overloads that could cause a fire. The way a GFCI outlet works is to detect differences between the two sides of the current from the outlet, the “hot” and the “neutral” side. If it detects an imbalance—even one as small as 4 or 5 milliamps—it could mean that power is flowing into a person. The outlet immediately cuts off the power supply to the device that is leaking electricity to prevent further shock. The reaction time can occur as fast as 1/30th of a second.

You can usually tell if you have GFCI outlets in your house: they will have reset buttons located between the two outlets. They are usually installed in your home in places with a lot of water use, such as your bathrooms and kitchen.

At HB Energy Solutions, we strive to be your one-call service company: heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical. We have local Southern Vermont electrical experts ready to provide you complete services that will satisfy your needs. Contact us today for your home energy solutions.

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