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GFCI Outlets 101 – What They Are & How They Protect Your Family
With electricity being such a common part of our everyday lives, you may be surprised to learn that there are more sources of dangerous electric current in your home than you may expect. For example, a ground fault is an unintentional path of electricity between an electrical source and a grounded surface which causes electrical current to flow into the ground.
A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is a common and necessary device for preventing electrocution in your home or business. The ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International) reports that potentially 43 million American homes may lack GFCI protection and 47% of electrocutions could be prevented with proper GFCI outlets. Keep reading to learn what you can do to protect your family from dangerous ground faults.
What You Need to Know About GFCI Outlets
How Long do GFCI Outlets Last?
GFCI outlets last for approximately 10 years. During their 10 years of life, their circuitry will become worn out and lose functionality, which will require them to eventually be replaced.
And whether you’ve just bought a home or you’ve lived in the same house for years, it’s important to know how old your GFCI outlets are. If your home was built before 1976, it may be lacking GFCI outlets, which poses a safety risk to you and your family.
Luckily, the experts at Electric City are trained to recognize and handle outdated outlets. Our team can bring your home up to code and help ensure that your house is a safe place to live.
Signs Your GFCI Outlets Need to be Replaced
GFCIs work to prevent the risk of electrical shocks in your home or business. Because GFCIs are vital to your safety, it’s crucial to ensure these outlets are functioning properly at all times. If you notice the following signs it can indicate you need to replace the outlets:
- Frequent Tripping: If your outlet is tripping more than usual, you should test it to determine if it’s functioning properly. To do this, plug an item into the outlet and press the Test button. The item should turn off. Then press the Reset button. This should cause the device to turn back on. If it doesn’t, then the outlet is not functioning properly.
- Cracks or Damage: If you notice any signs of damage or cracks, the outlets should be replaced. This can expose the wires, leading to potential electrical hazards.
- Plugs Slide Out of Outlets: As they age, outlets can show signs of wear and tear. This can cause loose connections and signal that it’s time to replace the outlet.
How do GFCI Outlets Work?
These specialized outlets are capable of measuring and monitoring the amount of electrical current flowing from the outlet into whatever device is plugged into the outlet. A GFCI outlet also contains an internal switch that allows it to shut off the outlet’s flow of electricity.
When an electrical fault (any variation in the normal flow of electrical current) occurs, the monitoring component detects the issue and the internal switch kicks in to shut off the electrical flow. So, if you accidentally drop a hairdryer or an electric razor into a sink or tub full of water, the GFCI detects the electrical current’s interruption and cuts off the electricity.
For more information about GFCI outlets and outlet safety, call Electric City. Our team of experts can answer your questions and ensure your home is a safe place to be.
Stay Safe with Inspections
To ensure your outlets are functioning, you should have them inspected by an electrical contractor. Our licensed team will be happy to inspect your home’s wiring and outlets for potential safety hazards and offer solutions and guidance to help you make an informed decision about your best options. Contact us today to learn more.
Trust Electric City Take Care of You
The Electric City team works hard to provide same-day service and quality care for your business, home, and family. Whether you need proactive upgrades or emergency electrical services, we’re here to deliver reliable service that protects you and your loved ones. Call us to find out how we can prevent electrical risks in your home or business.
Electric City: Top-Quality Electrical & Wiring Services in Katy, TX
Electric City is proud to serve Katy, TX with the expert electrical services that keep your home and family safe. Our family business stands for customer service and integrity—you can trust our expert workmanship and the quality of the products and tools we use because we offer a lifetime warranty on everything we do. Don’t wait for an electrical emergency—schedule your wiring inspection today to prevent the risk of electrocution. Call Electric City at 832-724-1781 to make your appointment and have one of our professionals sent out to you as soon as possible.