GFCI outlets

Install GFCI outlets is part of the typical work our electricians do on a daily basis. It is overall cheap and easy to install and can prevent significant hazards. GFCIs are necessary for safety and are required in modern homes under the National Electrical Code. We asked our Santa Barbara electricians a few of the most common questions we get:

What are GFCI outlets?

Designed to protect your home’s electrical system is unlike traditional outlets and circuit breakers, GFCI circuit breakers are designed to protect people from electric shock or ground faults. Easily recognizable GFCI holders are recognized by the Test and reset buttons on the front of the holder.

Why should I use GFCI outlets?

It was estimated that about 800 people/year were dying before the GFCI requirements came into force. These fatalities ocurred from electrocution in their houses. Since GFCIs are common, estimates count less than 200 a year today. These numbers are still high as they can be easily avoided just by installing GFCI outlets in the areas near water. This is cheap and quick. GFCI outlets prevent electric shock and reduce the risk of fire by monitoring electrical current, monitoring power outages, or “shutting down” when sockets detect imbalance or unwanted overcurrent. Hypersensitive and with much faster response times than circuit breakers or fuses, GFCIs are designed to react before electricity can affect your heart rate in just 30 seconds and will even operate at unprecedented outputs.

Where should I install a GFCI outlet?

GFCI sockets are legally required in areas near water or moisture. It is meant to protect people from shocks:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Laundry and utility room
  • Garage
  • Basements
  • Wet rods
  • Spa and pool areas
  • Outdoor barbecue

What does the law says?

GFCI has been legally required outdoors and in bathrooms since the 1970s and is hardly a new concept. They are designed to protect people, not wiring, is an important safety feature that modern homeowners and homeowners are trying to protect themselves from, and they can perform or cut an electrical safety check of a home.

If so, can you prevent this from turning into statistics? Check all GFCI outlets in your home at least once a month and regularly after storms

Do I need an electrician to install GFCI outets?

Some people happen to have some basic knowledge about electrical wiring. Maybe you are very curious and researched about it, or maybe you observed/worked with someone who knows. If you have basic knowledge of electrical wiring and are confident with it, you probably can do it on your own. However, if you have older wiring and outlets, it may be best to hire an electrician nearby handle the job for peace of mind.