Do I Need GFCI Outlets?

GFCI-outletWhile there are many handy homeowners out there, the fact remains that there are still plenty of jobs that must be completed by trained, professional electricians in Acworth, NH. Case in point, the installation of new outlets in a new home or in those homes that are ready for an upgrade. One important question, in such instances, is which type of outlet should be used. If you think that all outlets are the same, then you are obviously not familiar with GFCI outlets—though chances are that you have seen an, in all likelihood, used them previously.

GFCI outlets provide a bit of extra protection from the potential dangers that are inherent with the use of electricity. Now, modern electrical systems are typically very safe for people to use, and that is precisely the point. If you think that you don’t need something like GFCI outlets because your system is already safe, well: it’s safe precisely due to such technologies. So read on, and let us know if you are ready to upgrade your outlets.

So What Exactly Are GFCI Outlets?

GFCI outlets are ground fault circuit interrupter outlets. This means that they protect the user from the dangers of electrical shocks or even electrocution by stemming the flow of electricity in the event of a ground fault. What is a ground fault?

Remember that electricity is always looking for the quickest route to the ground. If a shock allows electricity to come in contact with your body, then your body becomes the quickest way to the ground. That is dangerous because,  well, electrocution is deadly. Is every instance of an electric shock going to wind up in electrocution? Of course not. Is it a risk worth limiting in every respect possible? You bet it is.

How Do They Work?

Trust us, you’ve seen GFCI outlets before. They are the outlets that have two buttons on them: one reading “test” and the other reading “reset”. Basically, a GFCI outlet works a lot like a mini circuit breaker. The outlet monitors electricity on both sides of the outlet, coming and going. When there is a discrepancy in these levels, it means that electricity is basically escaping the circuit. This indicates a ground fault.

The outlet shuts off the flow of electricity until it is reset, just like when a circuit breaker trips. It is able to act almost instantaneously, which is a great benefit should you ever encounter a ground fault—and you most certainly will eventually.

Where Do I Need Them?

This depends. You do not necessarily need GFCI outlets in every area of your home. However, the National Electrical Code does call for GFCI outlets in bathrooms, as well as for most outdoor outlets, unfinished basements, crawlspaces, etc. Anywhere where water is nearby is cause for their use. The good news is that our electricians know these codes inside and out, and we’re happy to update and upgrade your system as both needed and desired.

Call HB Energy Solutions for all your energy needs. HB Energy Solutions delivers peace of mind.


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