When you’re renovating or building a new property, you and your electrical contractor will be talking about GCFI outlets. These are required by electrical codes in certain areas, and even if your local codes didn’t require them, you should have ones in every area of your home that’s exposed to moisture. Before you design your project, understand what these outlets are and where you need to put them.
A Basic Guide to GCFI Outlets
What They Are
GCFI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. This type of outlet is designed to automatically shut off the power when it detects a ground fault or short circuit. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity and will cause the current to leave the outlet, putting people at risk of electrocution.
A GCFI outlet will detect the problem and shut off the current before it can hurt you. They are typically more expensive than your standard outlet, but well worth the cost in meeting code requirements and preventing serious injury.
Where Your Electrical Contractor Will Install Them
These outlets started being required in homes in 1971. If you’re renovating an older house, chances are your electrical contractor will need to upgrade some standard outlets to accommodate the stricter codes that have been added since. GCFI outlets are now required in any areas near a water source, meaning within six feet of a plumbing fixture.
This includes every outlet in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and garage. Every exterior outlet should have a ground-fault circuit interrupter as well, such as those on the exterior of your house or in a shed. If you have swimming pool equipment, upgrade the outlets in this area as well.
You should never try to install or upgrade an outlet on your own; an electrical contractor should do this to ensure it’s done properly and safely. E-Con Electric, Inc. is a knowledgeable and reliable team of commercial and residential electricians in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. They can handle all your installations, upgrades, repairs and electrical maintenance. Contact them online or at (715) 423-8440 for an accurate cost estimate.