Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) — A major breakthrough innovation in electrical safety equipments, that has made our houses much more safer providing protection against electrical shocks and hazards. Usually they are used in areas where appliances and sockets are in close proximity to water such as kitchen, bathroom, or laundry, etc. The reason being; tap water or wet objects are able to conduct electricity very easily especially when comes in contact with the human body which than act as a ground potential for current flow and thus increases your chance of receiving shock from ground faults. Such fault arises when the electrical current flowing through the equipment strays outside its normal path, and starts flowing through the human body. If the current voltage is high and if the flow persist for longer time, it will ultimately result into death. However, GFCIs are designed in a way that automatically sense wrong flowing current and immediately cut off the power supply before person get injured, resulting in prevention of electrocution from ground faults.
Typically GFCI outlet comprises of three connections; centre one for ground wire, while the other two are of hot and neutral wires. GFCI sense the difference in the amount of inflow and outflow electricity, flowing in through the hot wire and returning through the neutral wire. If there is a detection of even slight power variation, it will immediately trip off the circuit, interrupting the entire electricity flow. Power leakage as small as 4 – 5 milliampere can easily be detected by GFCI. The device is easy to place at your home premises or other commercial work areas but it is important to carry out test before it is installed. Monthly check ups are also required after installation, as GFCI is an electronic device that may get damaged or wear out.
The foremost benefit is prevention of electrocution, catastrophe or any hazardous incident. As though GFCI comes with 99% of safety assurance, regular test are mandatory to make it run efficiently for long duration. Many times it has been seen wiring insulation breaking down go unnoticed as a consequence of which certain amount of current leaks into household appliances or other electronic items. Now if the outer body is not made of metal like computer monitors, you may not get any electrical shock as the leakage itself is too less, however for prolonged period it will damage the appliance. Computer hard disk drive failure is one such example resulting from electricity leakage. GFCI outlet detects even small leakages and prevent your expensive equipments from getting damaged. Additionally, with GFCI outlets your replacement cost is saved as they are reusable unlike fuse which are to be replaced after every short circuit. Once the fault line is repaired, in order to restart the power flow, simply switch on the GFCI reset button that allows you to re-establish power and protection. In many GFCI outlet instead of button, reset handles are provided which are to be pulled for continuation of power supply.
Recent studies have shown every year on an average 300 people get affected due to electrical shocks, some even lose their lives, this itself is a primary reason to get GFCI outlet installed at your homes. Furthermore being an important preventive measure, government has also laid down certain compulsory rules and regulations for encouraging the installation of GFCI outlets. In many countries National Electric Code (NEC) has made it a mandatory law; that all the houses must be equipped with GFCI protection. While earlier GFCI outlets were required only near water, now it has been extended to cover all single phase outlets of 125 volts.
Make your resident safer, secure, and risk-free with GFCI outlets!!!