GFCI Outlet Installation and Replacement
Have you, your family, or your coworkers experienced getting a shock from your electrical outlets? If you’re using your outlets properly and still getting shocked, then the problem likely isn’t you. In this case, the outlets themselves need upgrading.
GFCI outlets, or ground fault circuit interrupters, protect against the risk of electrical shock. GFCI outlet installation provides an inexpensive solution to prevent electrical shock and offers the bonus of bringing your home or business up to modern building code standards. Parker Service Company, LLC will help keep your family and coworkers safe by performing your GFCI outlet installations and replacements.
What Is a GFCI Outlet?
Ground fault circuit interrupter outlets are now required in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and garages, where the risk of electrical shock is greatest. However, some older homes may still have the original, standard outlets in these locations. GFCIs can be identified by the “test” and “reset” buttons located on the receptacle. These outlets help protect you from electrical hazards by monitoring the amount of electricity flowing in a circuit. The moment the outlet detects an imbalance in the flow of electricity, the GFCI cuts off power to the outlet.
Installing a GFCI outlet greatly reduces the risk of electrical shock. They also help prevent fires, an especially important function in areas like kitchens where high-voltage appliances are frequently in use.
How to Operate a GFCI Outlet
If your GFCI outlet stops the flow of power under normal operating conditions, press the “reset” button to restore power. GFCIs are much more reliable than depending on the circuit breaker in your electrical panel to stop current flow, as GFCIs are more sensitive to small variations in current. In fact, they are designed to cut off power flow before an electric shock can affect your heartbeat. Because of this critical safety function, it is important to test all the GFCI outlets in your home monthly.
How to Test GFCI Outlet Performance
To make sure your GFCI outlet is always working, it needs to be tested at least once a month. Thankfully, testing them is easy — here’s how you can do it:
- Press the “test” button to stop the electrical flow to the outlet.
- Plug in a night light or other small device that uses a minimal amount of electricity to ensure current is no longer flowing to the receptacle.
- Press the “reset” button to return the power flow to the outlet.
- If your GFCI outlet fails any part of this test, you need to get it replaced by a professional.
Where Are GFCI Outlets Required?
GFCIs have been required in homes since 1971 when they were mandated for use with swimming pool equipment and along the exterior walls surrounding pools. Today, there are many other areas of your home where GFCI outlets are required, especially in areas where the risk of electrical shock is increased due to possible exposure to risk factors such as water.
GFCI outlets have been required in:
- Spa and pool areas since 1971
- Your home’s exterior since 1973
- Bathrooms since 1975
- Garages since 1978
- Kitchen countertops since 1987
- Crawlspaces and unfinished basements since 1990
- Wet bars since 1993
- Laundry and utility sinks since 2005
- Limitations of GFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets should not be used as receptacles for refrigerators or freezers. These appliances can generate electromagnetic interference that will trip GFCI outlets. Most stoves and dryers also require 240-amp power outlets and are not compatible with GFCIs. Some small appliances with heating elements, such as irons, hair dryers, or toaster ovens, can also trip GFCI outlets. Lastly, plugging too many devices into one extension cord will also trip the GFCI outlet the extension cord is plugged into.
Upgrade Your Home’s Power Receptacles to GFCI Outlets
Many older homes have lacked GFCI outlets for quite some time, putting their occupants at increased risk of electrical shock. Don’t wait to install these inexpensive, potentially life-saving devices. Call Parker Service Company, LLC at (334) 734-0801 or click to submit a service request to protect yourself and your family with GFCI outlet installations.
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Parker Service Company, LLC in Auburn, AL is proud to be part of the Neighbor family of home service providers. We know that not everyone is able to perform home repairs – and electrical work is not a good DIY project! When you want electrical repairs or installations at your home, you need a professional electrician you can trust to do the job right. So, use the search bar below to find your local Parker Service Company, LLC today: