3 Reasons That You Should Have GFCI Outlets Installed In Your Home
Even if you've never heard the name before, you likely know what GFCI outlets are, but you might not be familiar with why they are such an important thing to have in your home. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI, outlets are the three pronged outlets that you might have noticed throughout your home, are most often in the kitchen and laundry rooms, as these rooms tend to have some of your home's more important appliances plugged in. In fact, these outlets are a regular in any area of your home where electricity is going to be in close proximity to water, and are actually required by law according to the National Electric Code. As the years have changed, however, so have the regulations related to these particular kinds of outlets. While it used to be that they were only required to be installed when the outlet was going to be near water, that requirement has been expanded over the years to cover any single phase outlet of 125 volts due to the fact that at least 300 people are electrocuted in their homes each and every year because they don't have these safety measures in place.
A GFCI outlet differs from a regular two pronged outlet in that it has the third hole in the middle of the outlet that serves as a ground wire while the other two hole the neutral and hot wires respectively. This helps you outlet monitor the current flow in the two wires, and if it detects any kind of change in the electric flow, it will immediately cut it, preventing you and your family from suffering a shock. When it really comes down to it, there are several important reasons to have these specific outlets installed throughout your home, besides the fact that the electric code requires it, and our team of professional electricians have taken the time to list several of these in an effort to highlight their importance to you.
GFCI Outlets Provide Shock Prevention
Helping to protect you and your family from the risk of electric shock is probably the most obvious advantage to having GFCI outlets installed throughout your home, but it is also one of the most important. The built in monitor in GFCI outlets keeps track of the inflow and outflow of electricity from an appliance. Where normally if you had a live wire inside an appliance that came in contact with the metallic surface of the appliance, you would get a shock if you were to touch it, but with a GFCI outlet, the outlet would notice the change in flow of electricity and immediately shut off the power, protecting you and your family.
As is implied in the name, one of the primary functions of GFCI outlets is to detect ground faults, and because grounds faults, which can occur anytime there is electrical current leaving a circuit, can cause electrical fires, it's safe to say that GFCI outlets are essential in protecting your home from fire as well. While your fuses and circuit breakers are designed to protect your home from these risks, using them in conjunction with GFCI outlets will go a long way in reducing the risk to your home.
Prevent Damage To Your Appliances with GFCI Outlets
Over time, the insulation inside your appliances will start to break down, and when that happens, a certain amount of electric current can begin to leak into your appliances and your other electronic devices throughout your home. If the outer body of your devices aren't made of metal, you likely aren't going to suffer a shock from this, but the constant leakage will eventually damage the equipment itself. In fact, this leakage is one of the most common reasons that electrical devices stop working, and computer hard disks fail. By plugging these devices into a GFCI outlet, you don't have to worry about this leakage, as the outlet will note the leak immediately and shut off to prevent damage to your devices. This can save you a great deal of money over time by helping you avoid paying expensive replacement costs for all of your appliances and valuable electronic devices.