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  Jul 12 2020

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Outlets

Maybe you have seen the term GFCI before but are not sure what it is or why it is important. At Mr. Electric, we provide premium electrical services for home and business owners in Katy and Houston, Texas area neighborhoods. Our certified electricians proudly offer a wide range of services including GFCI outlet installation, repair and replacement. If you are unsure what a GFCI outlet is, then continue reading for more detailed information that can help you make the best choices for your electrical needs. 

Identifying GFCI Outlets 

It is important to know if you have GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in appropriate areas of your home or commercial property. Thankfully, GFCI outlets are easy to distinguish from conventional outlets due to the two buttons located on the front of the receptacle. One button should say “reset” and the other should say “test. 

How to Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Outlets Work? 

GFCI outlets are designed to monitor and control the amount of electricity flowing into the circuit. If an imbalance is detected, the circuit will be tripped, and the outlet will stop working right away. Rather than rely on the main circuit breaker in your electrical panel, a GFCI has its own ultra-sensitive breaker built into the outlet. This helps to keep individuals safe when using a device that is plugged into an outlet that is at risk of water exposure or other dangers. It can also be easily reset using the buttons located on the cover plate, rather than going all the way to the breaker box. 

Where Should Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Outlets Be Installed? 

GFCI outlets have been a standard requirement for homes since the early 1970s. In the early days, they were only legally mandated for use near swimming pool or hot tub equipment. Now, properties must have GFCI outlets in a wide range of locations in order to be considered up to current codes and regulations. A GFCI outlet should be installed in the following locations:

  • Swimming Pool and Hot Tub areas
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Wet Bars
  • Outdoor Entertainment Spaces
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Garages
  • Unfinished Basements and Crawlspaces

What to Do If Your Property Does Not Have GFCI Outlets? 

If you live in an older home and notice that one or more of these areas are without a proper outlet, be sure to contact a reliable local electrician. Neglecting to upgrade your outlets could put you and your loved ones at unnecessary risk of electrocution or electrical fires. In addition, you will need to update the outlets before you can sell or rent your property due to code compliance. 

Do You Need a GFCI Outlet Installation or Repair Service? Call Mr. Electric Today 

Have you moved into an older home without GFCI outlets? Do you have a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet that is damaged or dysfunctional? Get the help you need by calling the experts at Mr. Electric. Our licensed and insured electricians are ready to help improve the safety and efficiency of your electrical system. Contact our office to discover more about our commercial and residential electrical services or to schedule an appointment with a certified electrician in Katy, Spring, Cypress, The Woodlands or another surrounding Houston, Texas area community. 

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  • Are GFCI Outlets Required in Bathrooms?

    Since 1975, it has been required that bathrooms have GFCI outlets installed. A GFCI, or a ground fault circuit interrupter, is used to regulate the flow of electricity. If there is an imbalance and a surge of electricity flows through at once, it can stop the current and save you from electrical shock.

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