Protect Yourself Against Accidental Electrocution with GFCI Outlets. Richard Marton Electrical Contractor explains all you need to know.

A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is an electrical outlet with an extra line of defense against electrocution. A GFCI immediately removes electricity from the circuit when it detects a difference in the amount of energy passing through and returning back to the device.

GFCI’s are to be installed in any bathroom or garage. The code also requires all kitchen outlets for countertop use to be GFCI protected. GFCI outlets must be installed in any area where electricity and water may come into contact, including basements, pools, spas, utility rooms, attached garages and outdoors. At least one GFCI outlet is required in an unfinished basement and for all outdoor outlets.

There are two types of GFCI’s in homes, the GFCI outlet and the GFCI circuit breaker. Both do the same job, but each has different applications and limitations:

1) The GFCI outlet is actually a replacement for a standard electrical outlet. A GFCI is not dependent of a ground to function. It does not measure shorts to the ground, it measures the current difference between the hot and neutral wires. A sudden difference of 5 milliamps of electricity or more, indicating that there is another path for the electricity to flow through will trip this device. The GFCI protects any appliance plugged into it, and can also be wired to protect other outlets that are connected to it.

2) The GFCI circuit breaker controls an entire circuit, and is installed as a replacement for a circuit breaker on your home’s main electrical panel. Rather than installing multiple GFCI outlets, one GFCI circuit breaker can protect the entire circuit. There is a test button and a reset button on these units. If you press the test button the reset should pop out. To reset just push the reset button in.

It is not a good idea to put lights on GFCI protected circuits so you aren’t left in the dark if the circuit trips. Generally, equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, and sump pumps that cannot go without electrical power for an extended period of time without causing costly losses or property damage should not be placed on a GFCI protected circuit. GFCI’s are very sensitive and subject to nuisance tripping.

It’s recommended by Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC that you consider installing GFCI’s – ground-fault circuit interrupters – throughout your home to make it a much safer place. Contact us today with any questions you may have.

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Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC is a full service electrical contractor serving homeowners and businesses in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Morris County New Jersey with electrical installations and repairs. We are also a  Generac Generator installer.

Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC works with general contractors, residential architects, interior decorators, interior designers, painters, property management and property maintenance professionals, and professional organizers. We work with these professionals to give clients top of the line electrical installations within such projects as residential remodeling, residential renovations, plus build outs of new kitchens, bathrooms, home offices, add-a-level residential project and more.

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