GFCI Outlet Installation Services in Norman, OK
A Guide to Installing GFCI Outlets in Your Home
If you’ve noticed that the outlets in your bathroom or kitchen have “Test” and “Reset” buttons, that’s a good thing. These are called ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets and have saved more lives than we can count since they were first introduced in 1965. Having been around for more than 50 years, the use of GFCIs has expanded to several areas of the home. If you don’t have GFCIs in areas that are frequently wet or use high-powered appliances, then you might be running a safety risk. Mr. Electric of Norman offers GFCI outlet installation services in Norman, Oklahoma. Our electricians will help you upgrade all the necessary outlets in your home to safer GFCI outlets. Learn more about installing new GFCI outlets.
About Ground Fault Interrupter (GFCI) Outlets
When you plug something like a hairdryer into your GFCI outlet, a specific amount of power runs through your outlet. A GFCI outlet constantly monitors the amount of electricity. If the electricity flowing through the outlet suddenly begins to leak from the device, it will shut off the flow of electricity. By cutting off electricity in less than 1/30th of a second, these outlets can potentially prevent electrocution if the hairdryer were dropped into a sink full of water. GFCI outlets have been such effective safety devices that the National Electrical Code has required them in certain areas since 1971.
How to Test Your GFCI Outlets
Since GFCI outlets are often in wet and humid areas, experts suggest you test them monthly. Testing your GFCI outlet will confirm that it is working. If your GFCI outlet isn’t working, you should try resetting it first. If it was tripped without your knowledge, then it may just need to be reset. However, if it still is not working, you may need to get professional help installing a GFCI outlet. In order to test your GFCI outlet:
- Press the “Test” button. This will trip the breaker and stop electricity from flowing through the outlet.
- Find a small electronic device, like a nightlight, and put it in the outlet. It should not work or power on.
- Push the “Reset” button. Power should flow through the outlet, allowing the nightlight to light up.
- If hitting the “Reset” button doesn’t restore power, the outlet is faulty. Then, you should call Mr. Electric of Norman for GFCI outlet installation services.
Where Do GFCI Outlets Need to Be Installed?
GFCI outlets should be installed anywhere that is regularly wet because they are most effective at preventing electrocutions caused by electricity leaking into the water. They have proven to be so safe and effective that the National Electrical Code has required them in nearly a dozen different areas of the home. This list details each room that needs GFCI outlets according to the 2020 National Electrical Code alongside the year they were first suggested. The places where GFCI outlets need to be installed include:
- Since 1971 – Around pools and spas
- Since 1973 – On exterior outlets
- Since 1975 - In bathrooms
- Since 1987 – In garages
- Since 1987 – On kitchen countertops
- Since 1990 – In crawlspaces and unfinished basements
- Since 1993 - In wet bars
- Since 2005 – In laundry and utility rooms
Where Should I Avoid Installing GFCI Outlets?
As effective as GFCI outlet installation can be at preventing electrocutions, you should not install them in every room or for every appliance. Some types of appliances can cause issues with GFCIs. You should avoid installing a GFCI outlet where you will plug in your refrigerator or freezer. These appliances produce electromagnetic waves that can interfere with a GFCI outlet, causing it to trip more frequently than it should. Appliances that produce a lot of heat, like irons or space heaters, can also cause a GFCI outlet to trip too often. These devices are best used in a standard outlet. You should also avoid using power strips or extension cords in your GFCI outlet whenever possible. The power necessary to run multiple devices from one outlet can confuse your GFCI breakers and prevent them from working correctly.
Request Your GFCI Outlet Installation Appointment Online!
After reading the standards of the electrical code, you might be wondering if your home has GFCI outlets in all the right places. Well, don’t wonder for another second. Get help from the pros at Mr. Electric of Norman. Our world-class electricians will inspect your entire home and explain which rooms need GFCI outlets to meet the National Electrical Code standards. We also might recommend them in other areas based on our personal knowledge of electrical safety. Request your GFCI outlets installation appointment online now!