Tips On GFCI Outlets In A Home

Quality Brand Of A GFCI Outlet

I wanted to talk to you about a GFCI receptacle. A lot of people say GFI, which is fine. It is slang term. The proper terminology is ground fault circuit interrupter, GFCI. The generic ones don’t have a TR stamp on it for the new tamper proof with the plastic tab to keep your kids from lighting themselves up. The older style GFCI have red & black push button. Personally, I like Leviton or Pass & Seymour. Some are from Home Depot, which is fine, but I prefer to have a real high quality on a GFCI because I don’t have to go back and warranty them.

Purpose Of A GFCI Outlet

Bottom line is when we put in one of these, the purpose of this is a lot like your hair dryer. If you look at the end of your hair dryer on your plug, you have what they call is basically a GFCI. If you drop the hair dryer in the sink, you will not get electrocuted because it will turn off. Another few examples are when someone goes and plugs something in, if their cord is shorting out or an appliance motor like a drill is not working properly, what is going to end up happening is that GFCI reset button is going to shut off  on you. It is also real common for someone to have a stereo sink, right there in their bathroom and bump into the water and then go in there to grab it. That is when you are going to get “locked up” really hard.

Misconception Of What A Breaker Does Verse A GFCI Outlet

A lot of people think their breakers are protecting them from electrocution, NOT TRUE! Breakers are there to protect your wire and house from over ampacity draws, dead shorts in short circuits or ground faults, but what a GFCI protects you from is from being electrocuted.

What Areas GFCIs Are Required As Of 2011 NEC Code

They are all required in all the areas of the house. Where you do not have a finished area, such as carpet, hardwood or tile, so outside garage, basements, crawl spaces, unfinished areas is where you are going to see GFCIs.

How To Properly Install A GFCI

On the back of one of these GFCIs, you are going to see line and load. This is for you brave souls out there, who want to mess with your house. Line means the power coming in and load means the power coming out, down stream. When you do this, you cannot mix up your neutrals. You want to make sure your “hot” and your downside is lining up with the line and load. Fairly easy to wire, but if you have a bunch of wires in there, you may not want to mess with it. When you start seeing three or four blacks in there and three or four white commons in there, that is because of the fact that you have to know where you are feeding your load side and what is your line side. You can pigtail all of the normal outlets and put in just one GFCI. This will kill the outlets, so that way you are not putting in $20.00 devices in each opening. Make sure the GFCIs are put in right and your connections are tight. If you need help with that, we can help you with that. Contact us!

Remember that if the GFCI is wired wrong, you are going to cause issues in your home  and you will end up calling an electrician any ways to figure out what is wrong with the outlets and why they are not working. Instead of a professional electrician wiring it quickly, it could end up costing you more because it has been messed up and they have to figure out the problem.

Bottom line, GFCI are really important, especially if you are renting your house or you have a property management taking care of it or if you have children in your home.

In the new NEC Code Book of 2014, which will be adopted in most cities by fall of 2014, GFCIs are going to be required in even more areas of a house!