Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Maintenance

Posted on: November 25, 2016
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Electrician

GFCI MaintenanceThe Importance Of GFCI For Homeowners

The average homeowner might not even know what a ground fault is, but when a house’s ground fault is compromised, it can put the entire property in danger. Basically, a ground fault is an inadvertent electrical path between a power source and a grounded surface.

Ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, known as GFI or GFCI outlets, have dedicated ground wires. Install your own GFI outlets with step-by-step instructions from a residential construction consultant in this free video on installing GFI outlets.

GFCI Maintenance

Ground Fault – it’s when the electricity, instead of following its normal path – electrical wire – passes through a person’s body to the ground. That person becomes a conductor (wire) and you may know this condition as an electrical shock.

  • Never paint GFCI outlet receptacle! If you’ve just moved into the house and installed GFCI’s are covered with paint – replace them immediately. Removing paint from their surface is not enough, even if Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter appears to be responding to the test buttons.
  • Never insert into an outlet receptacle objects other than a plug designed for its configuration.
  • Avoid spilling liquids onto the device – it could result in permanent damage or malfunctioning.

You will want to check the working status of your GFCIs monthly by pushing the test button. This trips the circuit and allows you to reset it. If an outlet on one of these circuits stops working, it has probably tripped and you should look into faulty appliances. One of these GFCI breakers can easily control three to four nearby outlets.

Since the electrical system is a three grounded system, it’s important to not remove the bare wire which connects to the electrical box or device. Another safety concern is small children. Using safety plugs over unused outlets will prevent children from sticking something into the plug, which can cause severe damage to the plug, the item, or the child. Safety plugs also control air infiltration to these outlets. All small children should be taught to stay away from electrical outlets, sockets, and fixtures.

For safety on the outside of the home, make sure to check with the utility company before digging. It’s common for underground wires to run from the service panel to the nearest public utility pad, generally in a straight line. You will want to keep positive drainage around your foundation to protect this service. If you’re ever in doubt working outside, take precaution and call the utility company if you’re not sure about where or how far down you can dig.

Benefits OF GFCI

The benefits of GFCI outlets in your home almost go without saying. They work best in parts of the home where water may be splashing — the kitchen, the bathroom and the like — and can serve as an easy protection form those kinds of shorts. They protect whatever appliances are connected to them – helping to protect your property – as well as granting peace of mind for homeowners worried about electrical shorts. Call us at 713-766-3605 for your home service and repair needs.

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