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What is a GFCI?
GFCI stands for a ground fault circuit interrupter, these are designed to help prevent electrocution. If anyone starts receiving a shock, then the GFCI senses it and cuts off the power before the person gets seriously injured. GFCI installation is a must for your home.
GFCI’s are construction electrical products which are usually installed wherever electrical circuits can accidentally come into contact with water such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens and in garages.
How Do GFCI Outlets Work?
Two wires carry power to each outlet, a white wire, and a black wire. The black wire carries the power to the white wire while the white wire carries the power from the outlet to complete the circuit. The GFCI mechanism is essentially a breaker placed at each outlet to screen the flow of electricity between the white wire and the black wire. If the power flow does not remain stable then the GFCI can trip, cutting the power within .04 split seconds. An example of this is if you come into contact with either the neutral side or hot side of the outlet then you would alter/affect the flow of power which causes it to be cut by the GFCI. If you happen to come into contact with both sides of the outlet at the same time then the flow will stay the same and the device won’t trip. These devices are designed to prevent any electrocutions and should be maintained and treated with care.
Here are 3 benefits of installing GFCI Outlets in Your Home:
GFCI outlets have been designed to prevent shocks and electrocution. A GFCI outlet has a built-in sensor which monitors the outflow and inflow of electricity from an appliance. An example of this is if a live wire inside your appliance which you use is in contact with any metal surface of that appliance then you will get a shock upon touching the appliance.
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But this can be avoided if your appliances are plugged into a GFCI outlet, after which the GFCI will immediately notice any change in the flow of electricity due to the loose wire and will shut down immediately. This makes GFCI units important to prevent shock prevention. Even though GFCI units tend to be a bit more expensive than standard units, they are well worth the cost due to the extra electrical safety they provide.
Read more: Electrical outlet wiring
Prevention of Damage of Appliances
A small amount of electric current can begin to leak into your household appliances and other electronic items as the insulations breaks down or is worn away. If the outer body of your appliance is not made of metal then you may not experience any shocks but this constant leakage of electricity can damage your equipment. This is one of the most common reasons why computer hard disk drives crash. Installing a GFCI outlet will put all your worries to rest as the instant your GFCI outlet detects an electricity leak, it will instantly shut down the circuit which will protect your appliances, expensive equipment, and data from getting damaged or destroyed.
Read more: Electrical panel box, can anyone replace it?
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The main function of a GFCI outlet is to sense any ground faults. One of the advantages of installing a GFCI outlet in your home is that it can prevent fires as the ground faults are caused by the flow of electrical current as it leaves the circuit which can lead to the electrical fires.
Even though electrical fuses offer basic protection against any electrical fires, this protection is virtually tripled when combined with a GFCI outlet, putting all your worries to rest.
Types of GFCIs for home applications
1. Receptable Type:
This type of GFCI is most frequently used and is similar to standard duplex receptable that is used everywhere in the home. Whenever any electrical appliance is plugged in this GFCI saves you from accidental electrocution by stopping the flow of excess current. GFCI outlet contains hot wire slot, small hole, and neutral wire slot. It can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, laundry rooms, outdoors, etc.
2. Circuit Breaker Type:
This type of GFCI act as a circuit breaker when an overload or short circuit occurs and trips. Additionally, it also acts as GFCI by shutting off electricity when a ground fault takes place. It can be used instead of the standard circuit breaker as well as in place of GFCI Outlets that are used in kitchens and bathrooms.
Read more: Fuse box vs circuit breaker
3. Portable Type:
Portable GFCIs also known as Temporary GFCIs are mostly used in outdoor applications. First of all GFCI is to be inserted into the outlet and then the electrical appliance is plugged into the GFCI.
Leaving your home exposed to shock hazards can be detrimental to you and your family, so make sure to install GFCI’s to shockproof and protect your home.
Read more: Electrical outlet wiring