GFCI Outlet Installation in San Antonio, TX
When & Where GFCI Outlets Get Installed
Ground fault circuit interrupter outlets (GFCI outlets) were invented in 1965 and have saved many people from electrical shock. You can identify a GFCI outlet by its “Test” and “Reset” buttons and may already have these outlets in your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room. These outlets are essential safety devices in rooms with frequently wet conditions. In most situations, the National Electrical Code requires them to meet code requirements and keep you safe. If your home doesn’t have GFCI outlets in San Antonio, Boerne, or Bulverde, TX, let Mr. Electric of San Antonio’s talented team help you stay compliant with quick and careful GFCI outlet installation services. Our electricians will inspect all your house’s outlets and provide a detailed list of recommendations explaining where you need to install GFCI outlets. You can learn more about installing GFCI outlets around your home and contact us for an estimate and to schedule service.
What Is a GFCI Outlet?
GFCIs may not seem so different from the standard outlets in your home, except for the “Test” and “Reset” buttons on the receptacles. However, you get advanced safety features with GFCI outlets that traditional electrical outlets don’t have. A GFCI outlet continuously monitors how much electricity is flowing through your outlet. It will trip and ground any excess electricity if a device plugged into it starts leaking electricity or suddenly pulls more electricity from it. This feature can potentially save your life in situations like when you drop a hairdryer into your bathtub. GFCI outlets will trip and cut off electricity flow within 1/30th of a second. Mr. Electric of San Antonio will gladly explain all the details about GFCI outlets and how your property can benefit.
Test Your GFCI Outlets to Ensure They Work
If you’re unfamiliar with operating GFCI outlets in your kitchen, bathroom, or another room, you might be confused about how they work. When a GFCI outlet trips and you don’t notice it, you may assume your outlet is broken if you’re unaware of how to reset it and restore its functionality. Furthermore, you must know how you can test your GFCI outlets to verify they provide you with the correct level of protection whenever you need it. If your GFCI outlet does not provide power to a plugged-in device, you should start by pressing its reset button. If pressing the reset button fails to restore your device’s power, the next step is to test your GFCI outlet. Mr. Electric of San Antonio will gladly help you restore your reliable power source with GFCI outlet installation services if your outlet is broken. Follow the steps below to test your GFCI outlet:
- Trip the breaker and cut off electricity flow by pressing the “Test” button on your outlet.
- Plug in a nightlight or another small electronic device. The device shouldn’t turn on or receive electricity while plugged in at this step.
- Finally, press the “Reset” button to restore power flow to the outlet, effectively letting your electronic device turn on or light up.
Does the National Electrical Code Require GFCI Outlets?
Since GFCI outlets were first introduced, they have been proven so safe in homes and businesses that the National Electrical Code (NEC) has expanded the scope of their use. At first, the NEC only required GFCI outlets around spas and swimming pools. Today, the electrical code stipulates using them in nearly every room with regular exposure to moist or wet conditions. We’ve provided the following list to show which rooms must have GFCI outlets, as required by the 2020 Electrical Code. If any of these areas around your property don’t have GFCI outlets, let Mr. Electric of San Antonio will get your structure up to code. The NEC requires GFCI outlets in the following areas:
- 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
Where Shouldn’t I Install a GFCI Outlet in My Home?
While GFCI outlets can save people’s lives in various situations, these outlets are not suitable for installation in every area or use for every appliance. Many household devices emit heat or electromagnetic interference, which can lead to GFCI outlets tripping regularly, and this issue makes these outlets ineffective. Freezers and refrigerators produce a slight yet noticeable electromagnetic field that can confuse a GFCI outlet and make it trip. Similarly, irons, space heaters, toaster ovens, and other devices can create sufficient heat to repeatedly cause a GFCI outlet to trip. In addition to these examples, you should never plug power strips or extension cords into GFCI outlets whenever you can avoid it. The electricity multiple devices require to power them can affect your GFCI outlet’s ability to work correctly.
Request an Appointment for GFCI Outlet Installation
If you don’t have GFCI outlets in the correct rooms in your home, your risk of electrocution can be much higher. GFCI installation services are fairly quick and affordable, considering their incredible safety benefits. Let Mr. Electric of San Antonio help you determine which rooms require GFCI outlets and install these outlets quickly and safely. Contact us to schedule a GFCI outlet installation appointment at your San Antonio, Bulverde, or Boerne, TX property.