What Electrical Upgrade Has Saved Thousands of Lives?
The Answer Is GFCI Outlets
Do your GFCI outlets need to be replaced?
Fact: After about 10 years the sensitivity in the circuitry in residential GFCI outlets wear out and renders it unable to trip in an emergency. By not replacing your GFCIs every 10 years you’re putting yourself at risk of an electrical shock.
Since the early 1970s one simple electrical upgrade has prevented more electrocution injuries and deaths than any other device – the ground fault circuit interrupter, also known as the GFCI. The devices have cut electrocution deaths by half in the U.S., preventing thousands of deaths and injuries.
GFCIs are important safety devices that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or a change in currents. If a person becomes part of a route for a current leak, they will be severely shocked or even electrocuted. GFCI outlets prevent deadly shock by instantly shutting off power to the circuit if the electricity flowing into the circuit differs by even the slightest amount that what is returning.
What about the test button?The test button on the GFCI doesn't tell you there's anything wrong. When you press the button, it shuts off the power as always. So, the only reliable way to check an older GFCI is to use a circuit tester that has its own GFCI test button.
Where should GFCIs be installed?As we all know; water and electricity don't mix. A GFCI should be installed in any indoor or outdoor location where water could come into contact with electrical devices. The National Electrical Code requires that GFCIs be used in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and outdoors. But it's not just water that presents a hazard, electrical shorts from defective devices are another danger that GFCIs can provide protection from electrical shock.
Can I install GFCIs myself?GFCIs should only be installed by a licensed, qualified electrician. Clover Electric can make sure the right GFCI is installed for the job and location in your home.
If you have questions about your GFCI outlets, call Clover Electric. We can test them to make sure they’re all operating as they should.