GFCI Outlet Installation in Birmingham, AL

Mr. Electric of Birmingham, AL electrician installing a power outlet.

When and Where to Install GFCI Outlets

Invented in 1965, ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets have saved countless people from electrocution. You’ll recognize GFCI outlets by their “Test” and “Reset” buttons. Hopefully, you have noticed these outlets in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. In rooms that are frequently wet, GFCI outlets are essential safety devices, and in most cases, they are even required by the National Electrical Code. If you have a home without GFCI outlets in Birmingham, Alabama, let the team at Mr. Electric of Birmingham provide you with the GFCI outlet installation services you need. We’ll inspect each outlet in your house and give you a detailed recommendation for where you should install GFCI outlets. Learn more about how to install GFCI outlets in your home!

What Is a GFCI Outlet?

GFCIs may not look much different than the average outlet, other than their “Test” and “Reset” buttons. However, they offer an advanced safety feature that traditional electrical outlets do not. Your GFCI outlet constantly monitors the amount of electricity flowing through the outlet. If a device suddenly pulls more electricity from the outlet or begins to leak electricity, this causes the GFCI outlet to trip, grounding the excess electricity. This can be a potentially lifesaving feature in cases where something like a hairdryer is dropped into a bathtub. A GFCI outlet will trip, cutting off the electricity within 1/30th of a second.

Put Your GFCI Outlets to the Test

If you don’t know how to operate your GFCI outlets, it can cause a lot of confusion. When your outlet trips without you noticing it, you may think it’s broken if you don’t know how to reset it. You also need to know how to test your GFCI outlets to ensure they always provide you with the proper level of protection. If your GFCI outlet is not giving power to a device, you should first press the reset button. If that does not restore your device’s power, you should try testing your GFCI outlet. If it is broken, Mr. Electric of Birmingham can help you with GFCI outlet installation services. To test your GFCI outlet:

  1. Push the “Test” button to trip the breaker, cutting off the flow of electricity.
  2. Plug in a small electronic device, like a nightlight. The device should not light up or receive power at this point.
  3. Press the “Reset” button. Power should return to the outlet, allowing the electronic device to light up or power on.

Are GFCI Outlets Required by the National Electrical Code?

Since their introduction, GFCI outlets have proven to be so safe that the National Electrical Code has increased the scope of their use. Initially, GFCI outlets were only required around spas and swimming pools. Now, the electrical code requires them in almost any room that is regularly moist or wet. The following list includes every room that should have GFCI outlets according to the 2020 Electrical Code. If you have any of these areas that lack GFCI outlets, let Mr. Electric of Birmingham help you get up to code. GFCI outlets have been required:

  • Around pools and spas since 1971
  • On exterior outlets since 1973
  • In bathrooms since 1975
  • In garages since 1987
  • On kitchen countertops since 1987
  • In crawlspaces and unfinished basements since 1990
  • In wet bars since 1993
  • In laundry and utility rooms since 2005

Is There Anywhere I Shouldn’t Install a GFCI Outlet?

While GFCI outlets can be a real lifesaver in the right situation, they are not suited for every area or appliance. Some devices produce heat or electromagnetic interference that can cause GFCI outlets to trip regularly, making them ineffective. Refrigerators and freezers produce a slight-but-noticeable electromagnetic field. This field can confuse the GFCI outlet and cause it to trip. Similarly, devices like space heaters, irons, and toaster ovens can produce enough heat to repeatedly cause a GFCI outlet to trip. On top of that, you should avoid plugging extension cords or power strips into GFCI outlets whenever possible. The electricity required to power multiple devices can prevent your GFCI outlet from working correctly.

Request your GFCI Outlet Installation Appointment Online!

If your home does not have GFCI outlets in the right rooms, you could be at risk of electrocution. GFCI installation services are relatively quick and affordable, considering their immense safety benefits. Let us help you decide which rooms need GFCI outlets and install GFCI outlets for you. Request your GFCI outlet installation appointment online now!