GFCI Outlet Wiring Colorado Springs
It's no secret that electricity is a major part of our modern lives. We've built our entire society around our ability to manipulate and harness electricity, and it's certainly not something most people would be willing to live without. But that doesn't mean we've completely tamed electricity and bent it to our will. It can still surprise us sometimes and create unsafe situations, especially when combined with its old nemesis, water. If you're looking for ways to make your electrical system safer to use, so you can limit risk to your household, GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs should be at the top of your list.
There are some distinct benefits to GFCI outlet installation in local homes and business properties, and they are centered around preventing serious injury, along with avoiding accelerated wear and tear damage on some components, such as appliances. The GFCI outlet wiring process is a simple project for a professional electrician that doesn't take long but provides safety advantages that are well worth having.
If you'd like to improve the safety of your electrical system with GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs, count on your local Colorado Springs electrician to get it done efficiently and effectively. The team of expert electricians at Mr. Electric of Colorado Springs has the experience and training to deliver top-quality workmanship, along with customer service that goes above and beyond.
What Is GFCI Outlet Wiring?
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a type of outlet that is designed to cut power to the outlet when it senses an abnormal flow of electricity. That's important because it prevents electrical wiring from overheating and starting on fire behind your wall and interrupts ground faults that could cause severe electrical shock injuries to a person who tries to interact with a faulty outlet. A GFCI looks like a typical electrical outlet, but it has three-prong openings to accommodate a grounding plug, and there are two buttons in the center that are labeled "TEST" and "RESET." GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs is simply the process of having your local electrician install and wire GFCI outlets in your residential or commercial property.
What to Expect From Our Services for GFCI Outlet Wiring in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs homes that were built within the last 50 years should all have GFCI outlet installations, but it’s important to understand why they’re placed in specific areas. And as we all know, water is a fantastic conductor of electricity. That means the risk of injury from a ground fault is far greater in areas that feature a water source, such as your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, basement, garage, and the spaces where your water heater tank and sump pump are housed. The Colorado Springs Fire Department recommends GFCI outlet wiring by a qualified electrician in all the areas of a house listed below and also notes that all outdoor receptacles should be protected by a GFCI.
When it comes to new construction, the National Electric Code (NEC) mandates that all 125-volt, 15-, and 20-amp plug receptacles that are at risk of coming into contact with water need to be GFCI protected. That includes the following areas:
- At kitchen countertops
- Unfinished basements
- Laundry rooms
- Utility rooms
- Near water heaters
- Crawl spaces
- Near wet-bar sinks
- Unfinished accessory buildings
With the expert team at Mr. Electric on the job, you can rest assured that our services for GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs are tailored to your safety and specific needs. We always complete an initial home inspection, during which we’ll take a close look at your electrical panel, circuit breakers, and existing electrical outlets. Sometimes, we discover that a property doesn’t have the right plug receptacles for new devices, or homeowners don’t realize they have old or damaged outlets that need to be replaced.
When it’s time for GFCI outlet wiring, Colorado Springs service providers on our team will ensure a safe, efficient process!
Why Choose Mr. Electric for GFCI Outlet Wiring in Colorado Springs?
Some homeowners are tempted to try GFCI outlet wiring on their own, but dealing with your electrical system isn't a job for amateurs—just searching for "install GFCI outlet" is not going to give you the experience and expertise you need to handle GFCI outlet wiring by yourself. When you rely on a reputable electrical repair company such as Mr. Electric of Colorado Springs, you can rest assured that the finished result will be safe, correctly installed, and in compliance with all applicable electrical codes.
Our team of electricians doesn't limit themselves to just GFCI outlet installation. We also offer a wide range of electrical repair, installation and safety services, including ceiling fan installation, electrical panel upgrades and much more. Give us a call today to find out more about the services we offer and get all your questions answered by our customer service staff, or schedule a convenient time for a service appointment.
FAQs About GFCI Outlet Wiring: Colorado Springs, CO
If you have questions about ground fault circuit interrupter installation or you'd like to know more about our other reliable electrical services in Colorado Springs, call us to chat with our friendly customer service representatives and find out more about what we can do to make your residential or commercial property safer and more comfortable. You can also find our responses to a few common questions below.
What Are the Benefits of GFCI Outlet Wiring in Colorado Springs?
We've mentioned that there are some big advantages of GFCI outlet installation that are related to keeping your family and property safe from fire and electrical injury. Here's how our team of licensed electricians can give you back your peace of mind with reliable GFCI outlet installation services.
- Avoid Serious Electrical Shocks: The term "ground fault" refers to any scenario in which electricity takes an unintended path to the ground. Electricity will always try to find the fastest route to the ground, so when it escapes from its insulated wires because the wiring has been damaged or wasn't installed correctly, to begin with, electricity tries to get to the ground by any means possible. When a person tries to plug something into an outlet that is experiencing a ground fault, their body provides a path to the ground, and the resulting electric shock can cause severe injury or even be fatal. GFCI outlet wiring prevents the risk of shock because a ground fault circuit interrupter will trip and shut itself down when it detects a ground fault.
- Reduce the Risk of Electrical Fires: Ground faults don't just have the potential to cause serious shock injuries. Because electricity is running rampant outside of insulated wires, it can heat up wires until they are hot enough to combust surrounding material and start a fire inside your walls. Needless to say, a house fire can lead to staggering property loss, as well as injury and sometimes death. Suppose you've had GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs taken care of by an experienced electrician. In that case, you can sleep soundly at night knowing that your ground fault circuit interrupter will cut power if it detects a ground fault before the wires have a chance to heat up to the point where they pose a risk of an electrical fire.
- Prevent Damage to Appliances: Avoiding damage to your property isn't as important as protecting yourself and your family from harm, of course—but it's a nice bonus to have. Over time, your appliances deteriorate, and it's possible that small cracks may develop in the insulating material that is intended to keep electricity away from conductive surfaces such as metal. That can actually cause an electrical shock, but if the outside shell of your appliance isn't metal, it won't cause injury. However, that exposure to electrical current accelerates the wear and tear damage on the appliance and can cause it to break down much sooner than it would otherwise, necessitating a costly replacement. It also uses more electricity than it needs to operate, which increases the energy charges on your monthly utility bill. A GFCI circuit breaker can prevent this from happening because it will trip and shut off when it detects that the appliance is drawing far more electricity than necessary.
Is GFCI Outlet Installation Mandatory in Colorado Springs?
The National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates that newly constructed homes must have ground fault interrupters in specific places that are prone to water exposure, such as outdoors, in bathrooms, and above kitchen countertops. If you have an older home that was built prior to 1976, before those regulations were put in place, you are not obligated to upgrade your system with GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs in most cases.
That being said, it's a very simple, effective, inexpensive measure that can prevent serious injury and extensive property damage, so it's certainly worthwhile whether or not it is legally mandated. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 50% of existing American homes were built before GFCIs were available, meaning that around 43 million American homes do not have the protection afforded by ground fault circuit interrupter installation. They also estimate that 47% of electrocutions could be prevented with adequate ground fault circuit interrupter protection.
Is GFCI Outlet Wiring in Colorado Springs Required for Refrigerators?
You may have heard that refrigerators are legally required to be plugged in to GFCI outlets, and that is partially true. According to the NEC:
- Commercial buildings are required to have GFCI outlet wiring for refrigerators
- Refrigerators in the kitchen of a residential dwelling unit (house or apartment/condo) do not have to have GFCI outlet wiring
- Refrigerators in the garage or unfinished basement of a residential dwelling unit must have GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs
Homeowners and business owners sometimes worry that a minor power surge will cause a refrigerator's GFCI outlet to trip and turn off, leaving them to deal with costly food spoilage when the non-operational refrigerator is discovered. However, this is not typically an issue for modern refrigerators. If your refrigerator is less than about 20 years old and has been shut down by a tripped GFCI outlet, there is something wrong with the outlet or potentially the refrigerator that should be investigated by a professional.
What are the Signs That a GFCI Outlet Needs to be Replaced?
If you already have ground fault circuit interrupters installed in your home, it may be time for a replacement. The best way to determine if you need GFCI outlet wiring services to replace a faulty outlet is by testing it and making sure it responds appropriately. However, there are some other indications of faulty GFCIs that homeowners should be aware of, including:
- Continuous Tripping: It's not unexpected for a ground fault circuit interrupter to trip every now and then in response to a brief power surge or similar issue—that's its job, after all. But if you find it is constantly tripping and needing to be reset for no obvious reason, that's a sign that something is not right, and it needs to be checked out by a qualified electrician.
- Visible Damage: If you can see visible signs of damage on your outlets, such as cracks in the cover, missing parts, scorch marks around the outlet openings, or excessive sparking when you plug something in, that's a clear sign that the outlet is way past its prime and needs replacement.
- Plugs Fall Out of Outlet: When you plug something into a receptacle, you expect it to be held firmly in place. If the plug sags downward or falls out of the GFCI receptacle altogether, that is a strong indication that you should give us a call to get it replaced with professional services for GFCI wiring in Colorado Springs.
- Power is Flickering: This particular problem is easiest to detect when a light is plugged into the outlet because you can see the problem visually if the light flickers. If it's not a problem with the light bulb, it could be an issue with the GFCI outlet wiring.
- Test Failure: If you try to test your outlet and it fails the testing process, that's a clear indication of trouble. It's possible there's something else going on that would cause this to happen, but it usually means you need a replacement installed. Our expert electricians will be able to diagnose the problem and come up with the best solution.
How Do You Test a GFCI Outlet?
Once per month, or at least once per quarter, it's a good idea to test your GFCIs and make sure they are working correctly so you know there's a reduced risk of electrical injury or damage occurring on your property. Testing is a simple, easy process that pretty much anyone can do. Here are the steps to test your GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs:
- Unplug anything that is currently plugged into the outlet you want to test.
- Firmly press the "TEST" button on your GFCI outlet. You should hear a snap or click sound that indicates it has been tripped and power has been cut to the two plug receptacles.
- Plug something like a lamp into each of the plug receptacles and try to turn it on. You can also use a voltage meter or multimeter if you have one. There should not be any power coming from the outlet.
- Once you've confirmed that power to the outlet has been cut off, press the “RESET” button firmly to turn it back on and restore your GFCI to normal function.
If you get to step three and the outlet is still powered, it means your GFCI outlet wiring has failed the test. It likely needs to be replaced, and you should call Mr. Electric so a qualified GFCI outlet installation expert can take a look at it as soon as possible.
How Long Will GFCI Outlet Wiring in Colorado Springs Last?
You can typically expect to go about 15 to 20 years before you'll need replacement GFCI outlet wiring in Colorado Springs. However, there are some situations where replacement is warranted after a much shorter period of time, like five years. That's why it's important to test your GFCI breaker or outlet frequently to make sure it is still in fine form and functioning as intended.
Protect Your Family and Property with Expert GFCI Outlet Wiring in Colorado Springs!
If you're living in Colorado Springs or a nearby community such as Manitou Springs, Woodland Park, Falcon, or Black Forest, you need the GFCI protection that comes along with GFCI outlet wiring. And who can do it better than your local, licensed electrician?
Call the team of skilled electricians at Mr. Electric of Colorado Springs for reliable electrical service, including ceiling fan installation, light switch wiring, hot tub and spa installation, and much more.
Make use of our GFCI outlet installation service by picking up the phone and calling us today! Find out more about our trustworthy professional services and how we can help increase your family’s safety and prevent electrical issues. Schedule an appointment at a time that works best for you.