What is GFCI?

GFCI is a ground fault circuit interrupter. It is a device typically incorporated into an electric outlet or circuit breaker. The device will detect an unintentional electrical path between the power source and a grounded object. If detected, the device will interrupt the power immediately.

Why Use GFCI In Our Homes?

If a fault is detected, the GFCI device will cut power in a circuit immediately. This will protect people from electrical shock and possible electrocution. It also provides some protection from electrical fires.

Where Are They Located?

GFCI devices are used in areas in which electric devices may come into contact with water. These areas include the exterior, garages, kitchens, bathrooms, crawlspaces, and laundry rooms.

How Are They Installed?

GFCI outlets are not difficult to install and can be purchased at most hardware stores. However, some basic electrical knowledge is required to perform the installation. If you are not comfortable working with electrical components, then a licensed electrician can install the outlets for you.

On a particular electrical circuit, only the first outlet on the circuit is required to be a GFCI device. All downstream outlets will be protected. The diagram below explains this in more detail.

GFCI protection can also be added to circuits by installing a GFCI circuit breaker. The breaker itself has the GFCI device built into it and the entire circuit is protected.

More Information

If you would like to know more about GFCI protection, please visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for more information. The link to their GFCI page is below.


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