The Importance of Having GFCI Outlets at Home


What are GFCI Outlets ?

GFCI Outlets stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Outlet. Pretty tough to learn for newbies right? It’s also called RCD or residual current device beyond Canada and the US. These electrical wiring devices help disconnect any circuit when it detects that the current is no longer balanced between its usual nodes of transportation. For short, when any person accidentally gets electrocuted, GFCI Outlets can immediately stop the disaster to prevent further shock damages.
The first of its kind high-sensitivity electric leakage device ever used was made in South Africa by Henri Rubin. It had been of utmost importance to South African gold mines that their workers be safe while at work. It gained widespread acceptance in the 1970s due to its very potent life-saving features.
portable GFCIHowever, GFCI Outlets, for their life-altering usages also has limitations. The device cannot remove all risks of electric shocks or fires on itself as it cannot detect overload conditions and short circuits. Luckily, commercially available fuses and circuit breakers can work in tandem with current RCDs for a well-rounded protection against any electrical maladies at home and beyond.

Why are GFCI Outlets important?

In today’s modern society, GFCI Outlets devices are not just used for home use but in occupational settings as well, like the way it was first discovered in South Africa. Regardless of setup though, its importance in preserving life in times of electric danger cannot be underscored. Its reaction time sensing some anomalies in the electric circuit from hot to neutral nodes is one thirtieth of a second with sensitivity of current flow mismatch of as small as 4 to 5 milliamps.
Indoors, it could be one of your home’s main security features but outside, it’s a great lifesaver especially when you’re in contact with anything electric and it’s raining. Most countries in Europe and the rest of the developed world have different regulations regarding its adoption and usage.

How to install GFCI Outlets ?

This can be done by yourself but Inspect My House advises that if you’re not one to mess with electrical circuits or is not adept at such types of tasks (especially which line wires is which when connecting a new outlet and removing an existing one), you’ll be much better off with a professional doing the installation for you.
It’s fairly easy when you’re already exposed to wiring before since you only need to purchase the right materials from your trusted sources and make sure safety is your number one concern. Power must be turned off prior to any work done on any electrical panel where you wish to install a GFCI outlet then carefully remove existing outlets, replace with new ones and seal. As additional precautionary measure, it is generally advised to not use RCDs for refrigerators and other heavy duty appliances to prevent tripping.
As parting words, GFCI devices are extremely helpful ones that work to your advantage in unlikely moments and as we’re all better off prepared beforehand, making the move to installing RCDs in your home is the best tip we can ever provide you today for an electric shock-free, comfortable living.

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If you have any question or concern regarding your GFCI Outlets, feel free to call me at (647) 861-4499 or fill the contact us form.

Written by

Navid Aghili, a visionary P. Eng., and professional house inspector, certified by InterNACHI, he has worked his way into many a home within Toronto and the GTA and wishes to extend his trusted services to more residential homes regardless of type (from condo to townhouse). He leads a group of other similarly talented, experienced and certified only inspectors to complete his Inspecting Dream Team. His InterNACHI membership number: #NACHI15041619.