21 Apr Reasons to Install GFCI’s in Your Home
GFCIs or ground fault circuit interrupters are safety devices that have been extremely effective in reducing the total number of home electrocutions by almost 50%, in Australia. Most new homes and businesses now have these devices installed in locations where water is present in and around the premises. It’s important that electrical installations in outdoor locations be protected from wind and rain; that’s the one way to prevent shock hazards.
Before we understand what a GFCI is, let’s understand what a ground fault is. It is the unintentional flow of electrical current between the source and any grounded surface. If the electrical installation isn’t properly protected, an individual that comes into contact with an energised part can suffer an electrical shock.
For instance, if the person is holding any deteriorated electrical cord attached to the hair dryer, and it happens to touch a plumbing fixture they are using, they can get electrocuted and will suffer a painful shock.
What is a GFCI?
This small receptacle has “test” & “retest” buttons on it. It may sometimes be built into circuit breakers that are installed in the main electrical panels. When electricians are conducting an electrical audit, they also test whether the GFCIs are functioning properly. They might also recommend that you get GFCIs installed in the vicinity of plumbing fixtures.
These are extremely useful electrical safety devices which trip the electrical circuits in case they detect any leakage current or ground fault. An individual that’s become the pathway for a leaked current can get a severe shock or will get electrocuted. It is important to get GFCIs installed in any outdoor or indoor areas where you feel that water might come in contact with the electrical installations or fixtures you have on your property.
Where Do GFCIs have to be Installed?
Ideally, the areas where GFCIs should be installed include:
- Outdoor structures like kitchens
- Pool areas and other alfresco spaces
- Spas and steam rooms
- Near water features such as waterfalls and ponds that have lighting installations near them
How To Test a GFCI?
It is important that these devices be checked with regularity. If you have opted for an electrical maintenance contract, the electricians will ensure that the GFCIs are checked along with all the other installations; this will help confirm they are working as they should and that they provide the necessary safety to those living or working on your premises. You can also test the GFCIs on your property, by following these basic steps:
- Push the GFCI’s “reset” button to prepare that outlet for testing.
- Next, just plug in any standard plug tester/ordinary light into the GFCI & switch it ON. The light should come on.
- Depress the GFCI’s “test” button – its light should now go OFF.
- Push its “reset” button one more time and the indicator will light up again
- If this light doesn’t get turned off when you push the button, there is a possibility that the GFCI is either damaged or that it hasn’t been wired right. This means it will not be able to provide the shock protection it has been specifically designed for.
Call a Local Electrician
If you aren’t too sure about whether you have GFCIs installed at the right points on your property, call in your local electrician. They will inspect all the fixtures and inform you if GFCIs have to be installed in any specific rooms or outdoor spaces. Aside from this, they will also audit the rest of the installations and tell you if any upgrades are required.
You can consult with our experts and they will provide you the best advice and quotes for all your electrical needs. You can call us at 1300 169 263 or write to us at our email address.
Thanks for reading,
1300 169 263