How to Prevent Electric Shocks Using Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) refer to the devices that you can install in your home or business unit to cut out electric power circuits as soon as they sense a flow of electric current along an unintended route, for example, through a human body or water. In the past many decades, the installation of GFCIs have contributed to the prevention of many deaths that could have caused electrocutions to people in various parts of Los Angeles, CA. These electric faults also occur with the existence of defective or damaged equipment, especially where the live parts of electric power circuits lack the sufficient protection from unintended connections.

With a comprehensive assessment of various homes and business in the Los Angeles area, many of them lack correctly installed GFCIs to protect residents from electrocutions, especially in outdoor and wet settings. As heavy rains pour and strong winds blow in such regions, you should ensure that you protect yourself from the risk of being electrically shocked. With the assumption that the circuit is located at the beginning of the line, while the other outlets are loads, you only require one GFCI outlet for every circuit to cut out unintended flow of current. These circuits have to be wired properly and parallel to each other because you would not get the right voltage if they were in series or if there are other existing types of loads.

Essentially, you should make sure you install GFCIs in every indoor or outdoor zone that may have water exposed to various electrical parts. To guarantee the overall safety of individuals both at residential areas and in businesses, GFCIs should be installed in all garages, bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoors.

Furthermore, GFCIs can be faulty at times; therefore, they need regular testing at least every month to ensure that they are functioning correctly. A faulty GFCI cannot properly protect an individual from the risk of electrocution, and any individual who exposes his or her body on the path for leakage current could be mortally shocked or electrocuted.


How to Test Your GFCIs Correctly

In order to know if your installed GFCIs are working properly, you need to test them by running the following simple steps:

  • On the GFCI, ensure you press the “reset” button to get the outlet ready for the test.
    Turn ON the GFCI after plugging in a plug tester or normal light into it. This will ignite the light.
    By pushing the “test” button of the GFCI, the light needs to go OFF. Once more, push the “reset” button to turn ON the light.
  • The above steps demonstrate a correctly working GFCI, however, when you push the test button and the light fails to turn off, then the GFCI may be faulty due to incorrect wiring or damaged parts. As such, the device would not provide the necessary protection against shocks and electrocutions until its repair or replacement by a licensed electrician.
  • The GFCI outlets help in the prevention of lethal electric shocks by cutting out power as soon as they detect an abnormal flow of electric current as long as the flow of current into the circuit does not conform to the returning amount of flowing current.

If you have any questions about the safety of the GFCIs in your home, or if you would like to have them installed, please contact Penna Electric. We will make sure the job is done safely and correctly the first time, every time.