Outlets throughout your home allow you to connect appliances and electronics to the electrical grid, providing them with power for operation. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a type of receptacle that prevents hazards and improves the safety of homes and properties. The following guide outlines more about the functions and importance of these features.

How Do Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters Work?

A ground fault is an abnormal current that occurs due to a break in the grounding path of electrical wires and equipment. This type of short circuit causes electricity to flow directly into the earth and through anything in its path, rather than following the lines to or away from appliances. 

A GFCI outlet is a circuit breaker that automatically detects the amount of electricity being conducted through an outlet. When the difference between the current leaving and returning to a piece of equipment differs by 5 milliamperes or more, the receptacle interrupts the flow and shuts off the power source in as little as one-fortieth of a second.

Why Do You Need Them?


GFCI outlets block abnormal current flow from making direct contact with people. They prevent electrocution if individuals touch items within a home that have direct conductive paths to the earth, such as plumbing fixtures, walls, and furniture. 

The features monitor electrical circuits 24-hours a day to provide constant protection for residences. Depending on the area of the home and age of the property's electrical system, state law may also require their installation 

Where Should You Install Them?

Since water contains positively charged ions, it is a good conductor of electricity. This makes outlets in wet or damp areas of the home more susceptible to causing electrocution. A professional electrician should install GFCI outlets within 6 feet of sinks, water heaters, and washing machines in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

Outdoor receptacles should have ground fault circuit interrupters because they're consistently exposed to rainwater and humidity. Since a basement is vulnerable to flooding, have these outlets installed in this area of your home, as well. Though you likely use standard plugs in living spaces and bedrooms, you can add an extra layer of security to your residence by upgrading to GFCI outlets.


Promote home safety with GFCI outlet installation from A-Abel Family of Companies in Dayton, OH. These contractors have been providing advanced electrical services to homeowners and businesses throughout Greater Miami Valley since 1937. They also offer heating and air conditioning repairs and plumbing work. Call (937) 434-4343 to request an estimate, and visit the website to learn more about their electrical and HVAC services.