Electrician in Lexington, Winchester, Richmond, Georgetown, KY
 
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The picture to the left is what’s known as a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI for short.  The purpose of the GFCI is to protect us from severe or lethal electrical shocks by sensing ground faults which are inadvertent electrical paths between a grounded surface and a power source. They can also prevent some electrical fires and can lessen the severity of others by disrupting the flow of electric current. In a home’s wiring system, the GFCI continuously monitors electricity flowing in a circuit to sense any loss of current. If the current flowing through the circuit fluctuates by a slight amount from that returning, the GFCI rapidly turns off the electricity to that particular circuit. The GFCI interrupts electrical flow faster than a blink of an eye to thwart a deadly dose of electricity.

Now you might be asking yourself, well what happens after a GFCI interrupts the electrical flow?  In order to restore power back to the GFCI and each circuit that is connected to it the reset button must be pressed.  Then, if the GFCI determines that there is no longer a hazard energy flow will be back to normal. 

I bet you’re wondering what the purpose is of the other (test) button on the GFCI.  By pressing the test button the GFCI, if working properly, will turn off power to the attached circuits.  So, essentially the test button will “test” to see if you have a properly working GFCI.  If nothing happens when the test button is pressed then it is time to call up Threewire Electric to have them replace the GFCI. 

GFCI outlets are typically installed in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas near water.  As you learned in science class, electricity and water do not mix.  Thus, the responsibility of the GFCI is to keep you safe and prevent serious or lethal electrical shocks by turning off electricity immediately after detecting a disruption of electrical current.


 


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