Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection is shock-hazard protection for you and your family. These devices became required in homes in the early 1970s. A GFCI receptacle is an outlet with a sensing device that monitors the amount of current flowing through the conductors (wires) of a circuit. It ensures that there is a proper balance of power on the electrical wires that bring power to that outlet. If there is a “fault”, or a difference in the amount of current on those wires of more than 5 milliamps (just enough to give you a small tingle), then the device shuts itself off, thus preventing this “fault” current to go elsewhere, possibly through your body!
The National Electrical Code currently requires GFCI protection for private residences in the following locations:
- Kitchen countertop outlets
- Unfinished Basements
- Swimming Pools
- Wet Bar Sinks
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