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Should I Be Using GFCI Outlets?

Nowadays, we use more gadgets and appliances than ever before in our homes. Whether you use yours to make your life more convenient and comfortable, or merely to entertain yourself and your family, you need to know that you are accessing the electricity needed to power your appliances and electronics safely. That is why you need to make use of GFCI outlets in Needham, MA. You don’t need to replace every outlet in your home with a GFCI outlet, of course—though we’re happy to do the job if you want that extra level of security. There are certain areas in which they are advisable, though, and even mandated by local codes and regulations. Read on, and contact FB Electrical Services Inc. for more information.

What Is a GFCI Outlet?

While you may not know them by name, you’d probably recognize a GFCI outlet if you saw one. These are the outlets that not only have the outlets themselves on their face plates, but also 2 small buttons. One says test, and the other says reset. These outlets are commonly located in areas of the home where water is often present, such as in bathrooms, outlets around the kitchen sink, and any outdoor outlets on your property. Essentially, they serve as an added safety feature in your home, protecting residents therein from the threat of electric shocks.

How They Work

GFCI outlets measure the voltage level as electricity passes from the “hot” to the “neutral” side during use. Should the voltage not match up, the outlet registers that electricity is escaping and traveling through something to ground itself—potentially a human user of whatever device is plugged into the outlet. When this imbalance registers, the GFCI outlet basically acts as a circuit breaker. It nearly-instantaneously stems the flow of electricity through the circuit, protecting the user from danger. The outlet will then have to be reset before being used once again.

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