GFCI Outlet

Times are definitely changing. Two generations ago, your grandparents themselves changed fuses; then came your parents who, instead of changing fuses, learned something less risky — resetting a circuit breaker. Now, you have what is called ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI for short.

GFCIs are outlets that come with a switch for test and another one for reset. It is usually colored in black or in red. GFCIs have been made specifically to protect you from electrocution. While they do not prevent all shocks, they nonetheless protect you from those that can actually kill you. You can use as much power as you want with the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. After all, the circuit breaker is the one that will trip when there is an unexpected overload.

Generally, GFCIs do not stop a shock that is already in progress; rather they prevent the occurrence of shock situations. Specifically, this device works by comparing the current flowing with anything using electricity from it, then it interrupts the current if there is any discrepancy. In simpler terms, when you are in shock, the electric current coming from the GFCI would be going to your direction and will not return through it, thus causing a trip off.

Despite the obvious advantage of the GFCI, there are also disadvantages to using one. You may even find it frustrating but there are cases when in the GFCI would not get activated. This normally happens every time there is something there which it does not like. For instance, the GFCI does not like cables or outlets that are being wired downstream. The GFCI models which are manufactured in 2002 will not reset when there is something absolutely wrong such as lack of power. They will also not reset when they are not hooked up correctly. You should be aware of these things.

If a GFCI fails to reset, it does not mean that it is inefficient. It is very rare for a GFCI not to reset, so there must be something else that is causing the problem. Try to check if there is water getting into the outdoor outlet, or maybe there might still be a cord of an appliance which remains plugged in it. There could also be a damaged line somewhere in the yard. To find out, you must examine the device thoroughly.

Because a GFCI can sense the behavior of the current in other standard outlets, it is important to determine which rooms in the house have GFCI protection. Since 1973, more areas, particularly the outdoor areas like the bathroom, the garage, the kitchen and even the laundry, need to have their outlets protected by a GFCI.

GFCIs have gained public recognition, and more and more people are now taking advantage of it. Many GFCIs, in fact, have been installed retroactively. Unfortunately, this is creating some kind of a confusion because it is quite difficult to determine if certain outlets in the house are already GFCI protected, so in cases of fault, you can never be certain which GFCI tripped off first, the old one or the new one.

Still, the benefits of having a GFCI at home are far too many to take for granted. Even if it trips off once and then you reset it, that is absolutely okay. You do not have to find out the reason why it tripped off in the first place. You only need to ensure that your home is protected by it. With a ground fault circuit interrupter around, your valuables, as well as your life and the lives of your loved ones are highly secure.

This GFCI Outlet Review is Written/Updated on Sep 28th, 2009 and filed under Home Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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