Why Do I Need GFCI Outlets in My Kitchen?

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It wasn’t too long ago that electrical systems in homes didn’t have a lot of grounding. In fact, knob and tube electrical systems, used well into the 1940s, weren’t grounded at all: this type of system only used two wires instead of three, as today’s electrical systems do (the third wire is the ground). The result is that a lot of homes still have ungrounded electrical outlets, which can be very dangerous. The best way to tell whether or not you have a ground outlet is to look at the prong openings: if there are only two, and not a third prong opening beneath the two, then the outlet isn’t grounded. But you can upgrade your ungrounded outlets in Denver, CO, and the experts at Bell Plumbing and Heating can help.

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What Does GFCI Stand For?

The acronym GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. These outlets do much more than allow you to plug in appliances; they actually protect you and your home from power surges that can be dangerous.

How Do They Work?

GFCI outlets work somewhat like mini circuit breakers. Just as a circuit breaker monitors electrical flow, so does a GFCI outlet. As soon as a surge is detected – as little as 6/100ths of an ampere – the outlet shuts down the electricity and re-directs the excess electricity to the ground that is part of the outlet. And also like a circuit breaker, the outlet turns off. There are test and reset buttons on the face of the outlet so that should it trip, you can easily reset it for use.

What About My Kitchen?

It’s required by the NEC (National Electrical Code) that all 15 amp, 20 amp and 125 volt outlets within kitchen surface space be GFCI outlets. If you don’t have these kinds of outlets in your kitchen, we can help you upgrade them.

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