Updated: August 12, 2020
Have you ever heard an outlet click—right before you lost power to a kitchen appliance, TV or tech device? Here’s why, and here’s why some of your home outlets are GFCIs.
Power outlets with two buttons, test and reset, are known as ground fault circuit interruptor (GFCI) outlets. A GFCI outlet is specially designed to prevent an electrical accident. When everything works as planned, electrical current runs through wires, switches and outlets to provide your home with power. A “ground fault” occurs when there is a break in the intended circuit and the current takes a different path.
That’s where things get dangerous. If there is faulty wiring or a damaged cord, the current may take a path that runs directly through you or other humans in your home. In case of a ground fault, a GFCI acts as a circuit breaker: shutting off power in a fraction of a second. When you hear a click from a GFCI outlet and your appliance stops, now you know why.
No. GFCI outlets aren’t required in every part of your home, but they are installed in many locations—especially those in close proximity to water. Even if an outlet is not a GFCI, that doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t protected when using it. When a GFCI outlet is installed close to the circuit breaker, all other outlets on the circuit are also protected.
Simple: the letter “C”. A ground fault interrupter (GFI) outlet is just another name for a GFCI outlet.
When a GFCI outlet is tripped, it may be as simple as an overloaded circuit or faulty appliance. In those cases, unplug the offending device and hit the outlet’s reset button for a quick fix. If the problem persists or you’d like to add GFCI outlets to a new or existing home, it is time to call in the pros. Maglio Electric ensures your family’s safety and provides you with the reliable energy you need, when you need it. Here at Maglio Electric, we consider education a big part of our job. Our knowledgeable staff will always take time to talk with you about GFCI or other home safety questions. Learn more or schedule GFCI service today: 908.735.6218.
“The electricians at Maglio Electric were professional and knowledgeable. They were prompt and did an amazing job solving all my electrical issues. I would highly recommend!” Jan H. Warren, NJ
“Maglio Electric is the best. Family run, supports the community. They are very professional and the quality is top-notch. Not only do I trust them with my house; they also take care of our firehouse.” Dan V. Asbury, NJ