Approximately two-thirds of all electrocutions in U.S. homes could be prevented if homeowners installed ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) outlets. Because of this, the National Electrical Code requires all new kitchen and bathrooms to have GFCI outlets. Although they appear in many homes, many homeowners are unaware of how these life-saving outlets work and how they differ from regular grounded outlets.
A Better Outlet
Regular grounded outlets are connected to your home’s breaker system, which is designed to shut off power to the outlet when the current exceeds the breaker’s radian at approximately 15-20 amps, or when the circuit is not complete. However, if you are not careful, you could receive a shock before the breaker exceeds its radian.
GFCI outlets offer an extra layer of protection. GFCI outlets are designed to shut off all electricity to that outlet when it senses the tiniest variation in the current, reducing your chances of getting electrocuted. This type of outlet is required for outlets located in bathrooms, outside, and on kitchen counter tops.
Making the Upgrade
GFCI outlets are a great upgrade to incorporate into your home remodeling project. Retrofitting GFCI outlets costs around $15 per outlet. It is always a good idea to hire a professionally licensed electrician to install GFCI outlets. The electrician will test the outlet to make sure it is working once it is installed.
Once installed, your GFCI outlets will need to be tested regularly. To do this, simply press the “test” and “reset” buttons while a light is plugged into the outlet and turned on. If the light stays on when you press the “test” button, the GFCI outlet will need to be examined or replaced by an electrician.
If your home does not have GFCI outlets, they are a smart and easy addition to any bathroom or kitchen remodel. At Irish Accents and Renovations in Virginia Beach, we specialize in bathroom and kitchen remodels. We can help you update your outlets and your style. Give us a call (757) 287-5612 to get started today.