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What is a GFCI?

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May is National Electrical Safety Month and the Viva Electric team wants to provide you with the tools and information you need so that you can keep your home safe from electrical hazards

One tool every homeowner must have in their toolbelt to keep their home safe from electrical hazards is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

In 1975, the National Electrical Code required bathrooms to have GFCIs. Prior to 1975, only outdoor receptacles and receptacles near swimming pools required GFCI protection. Since its introduction to bathrooms, there has been an 80% drop in electrocutions. 

Now, GFCIs are required in various rooms throughout the house and outside including outdoor receptacles, bathrooms, garages, spas and hot tubs, residential kitchens, unfinished basements and crawlspaces, around all sinks, laundry/utility rooms, commercial kitchens, outdoor hardwired outlets/ sump pumps. 

If you’re reading this and realizing that your home is not up to code and does not have GFCIs in these rooms throughout your house, it’s important to know that GFCIs should only be installed by a professional electrician. 

On the other hand, if you’re reading this and realizing you have GFCIs installed throughout the house but wonder if they are working, there’s a simple way you can test your GFCIs. 

  1. Push the RESET button 
  2. Plug in a nightlight or similar device
  3. The nightlight should be ON 
  4. Press the TEST button 
  5. The nightlight should turn OFF
  6. Push the RESET button 
  7. The nightlight should turn ON 
  8. If the nightlight did not turn OFF, the GFCI is not working properly

It’s common knowledge that water and electricity do not mix, but thanks to modern technology, there are devices you can use throughout your home to fight against electrical fires, electrocution and other electrical hazards. 

If you need GFCIs installed throughout your home or if your current GFCIs are not working properly, you can make an appointment with the expert electricians at Viva Electric. Call our team or book your appointment online today!

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