• Greg Granger

GFCI? Do I need that?

Electrical failures are more common than you might think they are. In fact, many homes have at least one electrical appliance or connection that could be considered questionable, or unsafe. These failures may go unnoticed for many days, months, or years.


You're probably wondering how something like that can go undetected for so long - we sometimes wonder that too. Regardless of how long you've been in the industry and providing electrical services, you're always learning. The answer is quite simple.


You may have replaced that old lamp with a newer LED Lamp that is now flickering or running dimmed. You may have replaced that older television with one that is more sensitive to electrical faults. Quite simply, you may have replaced an older electrical fixture with something newer that will reveal these unknown faults.


Many older homes do not have ground-fault circuit-interrupters installed. These are what are known as GFCI or GFI. While there are very specific requirements for how and where these devices must be installed, there is one thing that local building authorities cannot control. The change-outs.


When you walk into a big-box store to purchase that new outlet, they're not asking you where you'll be installing it. They're not helping you ensure that you get the right outlet and rating for the device(s) that you're attempting to power. Considering that many circuits are rated to 20 Amps - what happens if you install a 15 Amp outlet where a 20 Amp should be? You could potentially create a dangerous situation for your home.


While breakers and the technology within them have advanced over the years, there are still many configurations out there that are outdated and have potentially unsafe characteristics during normal operation. The best way to ensure that you're safe is to have your electrical system inspected by a qualified electrician. There are many basic things that are checked to ensure that you're electrical system is ready to go when you need it.

Here are a few of the items that are checked during these inspections...

1. Are all outlets grounded 3-Wire Type?

2. Is the house wired with aluminum wire?

3. Are the outlets stab wired?

4. All outlets are operational?

5. All cover plates installed and safe?

6. Are there any open splices?

7. Is polarity correct on all outlets?

8. All lights and fans operational?

9. Is there any exposed surface wiring?

10. Are extension cords being used as wiring?

11. Are window A/C Units on dedicated circuits?

12. Are bathroom outlets GFI Protected?

13. All GFI Devices working properly?

14. Are kitchen outlets GFI Protected?

15. Is freezer or refrigerator on a dedicated circuit?

If you cannot answer the questions that are listed above with confidence, it's best to have a qualified electrician perform an annual safety inspection on your home's electrical system. Mention this article and receive a WHOLE-HOME ELECTRICAL SAFETY INSPECTION for only $29 (Normally $69). Call us today! 1-844-654-HERO

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