What are GFCI Outlets?

The term GFCI might sound foreign to you, but if you saw a GFCI outlet you would recognize it right away. GFCI, or ground-fault circuit interrupter, outlets are the outlets commonly installed in bathrooms and kitchens that have the little buttons on them. The purpose of them is to keep you safe. CodeRad Electrical Ltd. in Calgary are electrical experts and share more information about GFCI outlets in your home.

What is the purpose of GFCI outlets?


By Gordonrox24 [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

A GFCI will shut off the electrical power circuit when it detects that the current flow is going along an unintended path, like through water or through a person. It’s used to reduce the risk of electric shock which can cause serious injuries, even death. GFCIs can also help in preventing fires caused by electrical issues, like when a live wire touches a metal conduit.

Where are GFCIs in my home?

Nowadays, GFCIs are found in kitchens, bathrooms, unfinished basements, garages, outdoors and anywhere near a sink. These are places where a short circuit is more likely to happen. They didn’t used to be required to meet electrical safety code standards, but recent Canadian electrical code states that GFCI outlets must be installed within 1.5 metres of a sink, tub or shower stall.

Homes that were built 20 or more years ago might not have GFCIs in the kitchen or laundry room, but would likely have one in the bathroom. It is highly recommended that you have them installed in those areas to improve the electrical safety of your home. Learn how to install GFCI outlets.

How do GFCI outlets work?

GFCI outlets work by measuring the amount of current leaving one side of a power source and comparing it to the current coming in on the other side. If these currents are not equal, then it means that some of the current must be leaking in an unwanted way, like into a person. Then the GFCI shuts off power right away. After the problem is fixed, you must manually reset the GFCI by pushing the reset button. If the issue isn’t fixed, the outlet will keep shutting off.

Testing your GFCI outlets:

There is also a test button on the GFCI that allows you to check and make sure it is still working properly. You should test your GFCI outlets every month by simply pushing the test button. If you determine they are not working properly, contact Calgary Master Electricians to inspect and replace your outlet.

Master Electrician in Calgary

CodeRad Electrical Ltd. is an electrical company in Calgary that offers full residential and commercial electrical services. Whether you need to install new electrical for a new home or major renovation, are interested in home automation, require electrical repair or electrical services for your commercial business, they are dedicated to code quality and customer satisfaction.

Contact CodeRad Electrical!


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