Ground fault protection has been around since about 1975, and has proven to be one of the most important developments in the electrical industry to date.
GFCI devices are programmed to watch for situations where electricity is finding a path to ground that does not align with the design of the electrical system. In some cases, this path to ground could be through YOU. If a ground fault interrupter senses this dangerous condition, it instantly shuts the power off to protect you from the dangers of shock or electrocution.
The GFCI will not protect you from line contact hazards (i.e. a person holding two “hot” wires, a hot and a neutral wire in each hand, or contacting an overhead power line). However, it protects against the most common form of electrical shock hazard, the ground-fault. It also protects against fires, overheating, and destruction of wire insulation.
What is a Ground Fault Protection GFCI?
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) can help prevent electrocution. If a person’s body starts to receive a shock, the GFCI senses this and cuts off the power before he/she can get injured. GFCIs are generally installed where electrical circuits may accidentally come into contact with water.
Codes now require the installation of these devices in places where electricity and water come into close contact with each other such as:
- Laudry Rooms
- Unfinished parts of your home
Although not required, you can install them anywhere you have receptacles for added protection.
What is the difference between a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) and an AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters)?
GFCIs and AFCIs funtion differently and offer different protection. GFCIs are used to protect people from the deadly effects of electric shock. This can occur if parts of an electrical appliance or tool become energized due to a ground fault.
AFCIs are used to protect branch circuit wiring from dangerous arcing faults that could start an electrical fire. Find out more about Arc Fault Breakers.
Don’t’ take a chance with your family’s safety.
GFCI and AFCI technologies can co-exist with each other and are a great complement for the most complete protection that can be provided on a circuit.