Colorado Springs GFCI Installation
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, Colorado Springs GFCI installation services should be at the top of your list.
There are some distinct benefits to GFCI installation in Colorado Springs 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 installation 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 installation, 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 a GFCI Outlet?
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 inside 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."
What Parts of a Property Need Colorado Springs GFCI Installation?
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 Colorado Springs GFCI installation by a qualified electrician in all the above areas of a house 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
What Are the Benefits of GFCI Installation in Colorado Springs, CO?
We've mentioned that there are some big advantages of Colorado Springs GFCI 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 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 in to 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. Colorado Springs GFCI installation 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. If you've had GFCI installation in Colorado Springs, CO taken care of by an experienced electrician, 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.
Why Choose Mr. Electric for GFCI Installation in Colorado Springs?
Some homeowners are tempted to try Colorado Springs GFCI installation 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 breaker installation or outlet installation 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About GFCI Installation in 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, CO, 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.
Is GFCI Installation in Colorado Springs Mandatory?
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 installation in Colorado Springs, CO.
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.
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 Colorado Springs GFCI installation 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 Colorado Springs GFCI installation services.
- 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 installation in Colorado Springs, CO:
- 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 has failed the test. It likely needs to be replaced, and you should call a Colorado Springs GFCI installation expert to take a look at it as soon as possible.
How Long Will a GFCI Installation in Colorado Springs, CO Last?
You can typically expect to go about 15 to 20 years before you'll need a replacement Colorado Springs GFCI installation service. 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 Colorado Springs GFCI Installation
If you're living in Colorado Springs, CO, or a nearby community such as Manitou Springs, Woodland Park or Cripple Creek, you need the GFCI protection that comes along with Colorado Springs GFCI installation by a licensed electrician. Call the team of experienced 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.
Pick up the phone and give us a call today at 719-401-6131 to find out more about our trustworthy professional services, or to schedule an appointment at a time that works best for you.