What is a ground fault?
A “ground fault” is where there is an unintended connection between an electric circuit and the ground. Electricity always finds a path to the ground. In a ground fault, electricity has found a path to ground, but it is a path the electricity was never intended to be on, such as through a person’s body. Because of this, GFCI protection is used to protect human life.
What is a GFCI
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) can help prevent electrocution. If a person’s body starts to receive a shock, the GFCI senses this and cuts off the power before any injury can occur. The two most common types are the outlet and circuit breaker. The outlet type looks like a normal electrical outlet, with a button in the center. It works for that outlet only. The circuit breaker type goes in the breaker box and controls all the outlets on a whole circuit.
Where should GFCI’s be used?
It’s strongly recommended that GFCIs be installed wherever appliances or power tools are used near any source of water. Tap water or wet objects conduct electricity very well and can connect your body to a ground potential, thus increasing your chances of receiving a shock from a ground fault. Appliances that have built-in GFCI protection, as now required for hair dryers, may not need additional GFCI protection, but there are still many appliances not equipped with GFCI protection.
GFCI’s are generally installed where electrical circuits may accidentally come into contact with water. They are most often found in kitchens, bath and laundry rooms, or even out-of-doors or in the garage where electric power tools might be used.
GFCI’s should be tested monthly to insure they are working correctly. For the outlet type GFCI, pushing the TEST button should cause the RESET button to pop up. (push RESET to re-establish power and protection.) For the circuit breaker type GFCI, pushing the TEST button should cause the handle to move to the tripped position. (reset the handle to re-establish power and protection.)
To find out more, or have GFCI’s installed in your home, call us at;
(813) 855-6969 or (727) 787-0913