How GFCI Circuit Breakers Work And Where To Place Them

How Do GFCI Circuit Breakers Work And Where Should They Be Located In Your Home?

GFCI Circuit Breakers are electrical fixtures we use quite frequently at Teague Electric. They’re a great way to safeguard electrical appliances throughout your home, especially whenever there’s ungrounded wiring.

Let’s go over the basics of GFCIs and where you should use them in your home.

What Are GFCI Circuit Breakers?

Ground fault circuit interactors, or GFCIs, are the main safety components in your home. You would position them anywhere susceptible to shock. That normally includes kitchens, bathrooms, unfinished basements, concrete floor garages, and all exterior receptacles. Those places must have GFCI protection.

These devices are built into all new homes, but old houses often need electrical upgrades to address these significant safety dangers.

GFCI devices are designed to protect a whole circuit. One GFCI device can protect several standard outlets downstream from it. Therefore, you don’t need a bunch all over the place. Usually one on either side of a large room would suffice.

Sometimes these circuit breakers have to be reset. This is a common explanation for malfunctioning kitchen outlets. If they aren’t working properly, look around and find the GFCI device and reset it. This saves you the need to call us out for a service trip.

Shock Hazards Are Preventable with GFCI Circuit Breakers

Any location with electricity and either water or concrete can be a potential problem. It’s simply not safe to have ungrounded wires in these areas, but if you do, GFCIs can address the problem.

How does a GFCI do that? These hazards come from a certain anomaly or leak in the current, which will produce a shock if nothing blocks it. The GFCI shuts off the device, thus preventing the leak from hitting you through an ungrounded current.

What about old appliances with compromised internal wiring? This can be really dangerous, which is nothing new to anybody who’s gotten shocked by a metal toaster or something similar. GFCI breakers are a safeguard against this problem by turning off the device before a shock gets through.

Other Electrical Outlet Upgrades

There are other useful electrical outlet upgrades you should know about as well. GFCIs are important, but you don’t need them in bedrooms, for example.

Those areas are protected by arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). They prevent the circuit from sparking, which is relevant because most fires occur in the bedroom as a result of overloaded arc currents. AFCIs are another way of shutting off the current, and they’re a great way to safeguard against the hazards of damaged cords/wires.

Then there are other forms of protective equipment like:

  • LED Night Light Outlets
    These carry a 20-year life expectancy as a plug-and-play replacement for traditional outlets. They require no wires or batteries.
  • USB Outlets
    Are you tired of having extension cords all over the place? USB outlets are a terrific alternative, and an electrician can install them in almost no time flat.
  • Recessed Outlets
    These are faceplate outlets that you can hide in the wall to maintain a wire/breaker-free ambiance. They reduce shock danger when you place them behind furniture, wall-mounted TVs, kitchen appliances, and other areas.

Call Teague Electric for a Home Safety Inspection Today

You may not know whether your home, especially an older one, has adequate protection against shock hazards and storm surges. That’s why we offer home safety inspection services to clients in the Kansas City area. It’s so much better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to electrical dangers.

Teague Electric is the most reliable electrical contract company in our community, with a reputation we’ve built with more than four decades of effective service. You should also consider us for all your electrical remodeling, installation, and home improvement endeavors.

We hope you learned a thing or two about GFCI Circuit Breakers, but, as always, contact us anytime you need professional installation or repair service.