Home Inspection Electrical Tip

Maintenance Tips For Home Owners

Maintaining Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) electrical receptacle units protect persons from electrical dangers that exist around wet areas such as those located outdoors, in kitchens, bathrooms and garages, as well as in unfinished basements and basement crawl spaces.
The GFCI unit is an electrical outlet equipped with a ground fault sensor and a circuit breaker which senses a ground fault and is programmed to turn off the electric power to the electrical receptacle when danger is sensed.

GFCI units are easy to identify, they are equipped with test and reset buttons. When the test button is depressed, electric power to the receptacle is turned off; depressing the reset button restores electric power to the receptacle. It is good practice to test your GFCI units on a monthly basis to be sure that they are functioning properly, and to exercise the units. GFCI units that have not been tested on a scheduled basis may not reset after being tested and therefore, need to be replaced.

Some GFCI units may be located in the electric service panel; these units serve the same function as units located in the receptacles and should be similarly tested.

Should you have any doubt regarding testing of your GFCI units, consult with your electrician before testing.

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