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Where Should GFCI Outlets be Installed?

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Fusion Electric receives lots of phone calls and emails asking us about where to put GFCI outlets. This is a great question because they’re an essential safety device, and all the electrical codes require them. Let’s look at the best ways to position GFCIs in your home to minimize shock hazards.

What are GFCI Outlets?

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. The basic concept is to “interrupt” high current levels from flowing into your household appliances, which can lead to a painful shock. If you’ve lived in older homes that came before GFCIs, then you’ve probably suffered a shock or two.

By installing this type of ground protection, you introduce a safety mechanism that halts the current flow whenever it rises too high. This is a common occurrence for high-energy appliances near water sources. It’s an important matter for residential and commercial properties alike.

Benefits to GFCI Protection

  • They can prevent damage to your appliances.
  • With the aid of the outlet’s third prong (the grounding prong), these outlets prevent you and your family from experiencing a shock.
  • Whenever there’s a shock potential, you’re also at risk for fires. GFCIs drastically decrease this hazard as well.
  • According to the trade group, Electrical Safety International (ESFI), electrocutions have decreased by 83% since the invention of GFCI technology.

That should show you what they are, and why you want them in your home. What areas of your property should you prioritize with GFCIs?

Where Should You Put GFCIs?

GFCI protection should go within six feet of a water source. This always includes outlets in your kitchen, bathrooms, unfinished basements, and garages. They also have important applications for heated floor systems, along with many exterior purposes.

Fortunately, there aren’t any hard limits on the number of GFCI devices, provided someone installs them properly. You can put them anywhere to offer reliable ground-fault protection. Just make sure you let a licensed electrician do the job because it’s common for homeowners to put them in backward, thus rendering them ineffective.

Important Do’s and Don’t for GFCI Installation

Finally, don’t forget to follow these dos and don’ts for GFCI installation.

  1. Don’t: Open or tamper with electrical outlets if you don’t know what you’re doing. Electricians have to go through years of education and apprenticeship for a reason. It’s because you can easily make a mistake and incur serious injuries.
  2. Do: Get a licensed and trained professional to do a full safety inspection and point out the weak spots around your home. An electrician can also show you how to test your outlets with minimal effort.
  3. Don’t: Assume you can change or repair outlets just because you saw a tutorial online. Contrary to what you may have heard, this is not “do it yourself” work.
  4. Do: Test your outlets frequently. We believe you can get much more shelf life out of your electrical devices if you treat them like a car. That means checking them often and having professionals inspecting things periodically.

Call Fusion Electric to Install New GFCI Outlets in Your Home

We hope this entices you to add GFCI protection to your home. Chances are unless you’re in an older house, you already have some, but if you aren’t sure, we can perform an inspection and make recommendations. Again, this is a high-priority task if you don’t have GFCIs around your kitchen or bathroom.

Fusion electric also helps Kansas City clients with larger projects like panel upgrades, wire installation, toner plate service, and much more. We’re the ones you should call if you want to make your home’s electrical systems safer, energy efficient, and more reliable.

Contact Fusion Electric to learn all about GFCI outlets, and to request installation service anytime.

Jeff LeSuer avatar

Jeff LeSuer

Owner

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