Electricity is an essential part of everyday life, but sometimes it can also lead to very serious damage. But one of the most common problems regarding electricity comes in the form of outlets and the damage that they cause during a short circuit. To prevent damage from such an incident, people tend to get GFCI Outlets. If you don’t know what GFCI outlets are or what they do, then here is a little brief to help you get started.
What Are GFCI Outlets?
GFCI outlet, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet, is very special in both its design and its implementation. As the name implies, these outlets detect a ground fault in a circuit and react accordingly. In other words, these outlets can detect and react before the ground fault can malfunction a circuit and cause damage.
A ground fault occurs when current escapes from the circuit. This is a very rare instance, but it is not impossible.
Under natural conditions, appliances connected into a socket complete the circuit and essentially lets current pass throughout the circuit freely. This is how appliances work, and is the reason why they shut down after disconnecting them from the socket.
On the other hand, under more serious conditions, the appliance or the socket may come into contact with water or any other conducting liquid. This liquid creates a ground fault, as the current can now escape from the circuit and flow into the ground fault. This flow is dangerous, as there is no breaker or end connector. Instead, current will freely flow throughout the liquid and anyone in its way.
Now normal outlets stay functional throughout this ground fault, which makes it such a concern. A ground fault can cause serious injury or even death in the worst of cases. Luckily, GFCI outlets are the exact opposite.
What Do They Do?
Whereas normal outlets would remain on during a ground fault, GFCI outlets can detect when the ground fault is going to occur and can adapt accordingly. These outlets can shut down at a moment’s notice, essentially stopping the ground fault altogether. Simply put, in the event that liquids do come in contact with the outlets, it can break the circuit instantly, stopping the flow of current to the liquid.
Why Does It Matter?
GFCI outlets are very versatile, in that they can work exactly like regular sockets, but can close down when the time calls for it. This can save you or members of your family from burns or other forms of serious damage. This is especially good for outlets that are close to the ground, as puddles or splashes of water can lead to a ground fault.
The GFCI outlet is a must-have in anyone’s home, as they can come in handy when danger strikes. And while many will tell you that installing this outlet is quite easy and you can do it on your own, that can be very risky. Therefore, if you are relatively inexperienced with proper electric equipment, then it is best that you call a professional or Calgary Electrician.