Get Help Installing GFCI Outlets in Jacksonville, NC

Why GFCI Outlets Are an Essential Home Safety Feature

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets were invented in 1965. Since then, they have been protecting countless homeowners from electrocution every year. Most people will recognize their home’s GFCIs by the “Test” and “Reset” buttons. These special outlets should be found in areas of your home that have water, such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. If you don’t have GFCI outlets or if yours are not working, it’s crucial to install new ones as soon as possible. Mr. Electric of Jacksonville, NC is experienced at installing GFCI outlets in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas. Our expert electricians can help you understand where you need GFCI outlets and install them for you. Learn more about our GFCI outlet installation services.

Mr. Electric electrician inspecting outlet

Understanding GFCI Outlets

Except for their “Test” and “Reset” buttons, GFCI outlets will look very similar to the average outlet in your home. Most of the time, they will function just like any other outlet too. Understanding how your GFCI outlet is protecting you from potential electrocutions can be helpful. These outlets have a special internal device that monitors the flow of electricity for ground faults. A ground fault occurs whenever electricity leaves its normal path and finds a new grounding. This most commonly occurs when an electronic device comes into contact with water, such as a hairdryer falling into a bathtub. When a ground fault is detected, a GFCI outlet will instantly trip, stopping the flow of electricity within 1/30th of a second.

How to Test Your GFCI Outlet

It is a good idea to routinely test your GFCI outlets to ensure they are working properly. If your outlet is not offering sufficient protection, you can tell by following a simple test routine. Also, if your GFCI outlet trips without knowing it, it can seem like it’s not working. In those cases, you often just need to reset it. To test your GFCI outlet, use the following steps:

  1. Push the “Test” button on the outlet. This should trip the breaker inside the outlet, stopping the flow of electricity.
  2. Find a small electronic device, like a nightlight, and plug it into the outlet. The device should not light up or show signs of receiving power.
  3. Press the “Reset” button. The electronic device plugged into the outlet should begin working, showing signs that power has been restored to it.

Where Are GFCIs Required by the National Electrical Code?

Since the invention of GFCI outlets nearly 60 years ago, they have prevented many homeowners from being electrocuted. For over 50 years, GFCI outlets have been required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) in specific areas. As the NEC has been updated over time, it has required GFCIs in more and more locations to provide more and more protection for homeowners. Today, GFCI outlets should be present in nearly every room that is regularly wet. The NEC requires GFCI outlets in the following areas:

  • Near pools and spas since 1971
  • For exterior outlets since 1973
  • In bathrooms since 1975
  • On garage outlets since 1987
  • For kitchen countertops since 1987
  • In crawlspaces and unfinished basements since 1990
  • Near wet bars since 1993
  • Inside Laundry and utility rooms since 2005

Should I Install GFCI Outlets Everywhere?

When safety-minded homeowners hear about the excellent protection GFCI outlets provide, it’s easy for them to get a little overzealous. You may start to think about installing GFCI outlets everywhere, but that might not be such a great idea. There are some places where you shouldn’t install GFCI outlets. Devices that produce intense heat or electromagnetic interference can cause GFCI outlets to trip unnecessarily. This makes them a nuisance and may not provide the desired level of protection. For instance, refrigerators and freezers have internal components that emit a small electromagnetic field. This field is often enough to trip GFCI outlets when no ground fault is present. In cases like this, a GFCI outlet may not be advisable. Mr. Electric of Jacksonville, NC is happy to inspect your house and give you a recommendation for where to install GFCI outlets.

Schedule a GFCI Outlet Installation Appointment Now!

It’s essential to have GFCI outlets in your home. If you don’t, or if your GFCI outlets are old, you should have a team of professional electricians install new ones. A GFCI outlet can protect you from electrocution in several scenarios. Their relatively affordable price point makes them the ideal investments for a homeowner to make in their home’s electrical safety. Mr. Electric of Jacksonville, NC installs GFCI outlets in Jacksonville, Cape Carteret, and Morehead City. Our electricians love working with the community and keeping homeowners safe. Our electricians will meet with you ahead of time, inspect your home’s electrical system, and give you recommendations. We offer convenient appointment times and upfront pricing. So you won't be surprised by your final bill. Schedule your appointment to install GFCI outlets today!