You may have heard the term GFCI Outlet before, but did not know what it meant. You have certainly seen these outlets before, however: they resemble standard two-socket outlets, except with a pair of buttons between them marked “reset” and “test.”

GFCI outlets are now standard for most new buildings and homes, and they serve a very vital safety role. If your home does not have GFCI outlets installed yet, please contact Mister Sparky today, and our experienced electricians can arrange to provide this important service for you. Our electricians are available for electrical services to take care of jobs both large and small.

What GFCI Outlets Do?

The initials “G-F-C-I” stand for “ground fault circuit interrupter.” Essentially, a GFCI outlet works like a small circuit breaker or fuse inside an outlet that will interrupt the flow of voltage when necessary. However, there is an important distinction between a circuit breaker and a GFCI outlet: a circuit breaker or fuse is designed to prevent damage to the electrical system from an increase in voltage, while a GFCI outlet is designed to prevent damage to a person from a high voltage shock.

A GFCI outlet monitors the flow of electrons from the hot to the neutral side of an outlet (the two different-sized slots for the prongs). If the flow becomes imbalanced, this means that excess electricity is leaving the outlet and entering into another source, such as a person. In this situation, the GFCI immediately cuts off the voltage within a fraction of a second. Should a person sustain an electrical shock from an appliance plugged into a GFCI outlet, the outlet will stop the shock from continuing any longer than it takes for the person to notice the effects. Afterwards, power can be restored to a GFCI outlet by pressing the “reset” button.

GFCI Outlet Installation

You cannot purchase a GFCI outlet at a hardware store and fit it in place of an older outlet. Only a licensed, experienced electrician should handle this job to make sure that the new outlet properly matches the electrical system.

Our team at Mister Sparky wants you to maintain safe electrical conditions in your home. We will gladly install GFCI outlets throughout a house to help prevent people from receiving dangerous high voltage shocks. We can also provide other electrical services in Santa Rosa, CA that will increase the safety of your home, such as replacing old fuse boxes with new electrical panels and replacing worn and outdated wiring. Call us today to find out more about the services we offer for homes.