A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a special type of outlet that detects imbalances in the electrical current and shuts off power to that outlet to prevent damage and diminish the risk of shock.
Why do you need a GFCI outlet?
GFCIs are required by the National Electric Code (NEC) in all kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, garages, and outdoor receptacle locations. GFCIs protect people from electrocution, whereas circuit breakers protect from a fire.
Do all circuits need to be GFCI on outlets?
The NEC requires GFCIs on all exterior and bathroom receptacles (another term for outlets). GFCIs are also required on all receptacles serving kitchen countertops. In bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas where water fixtures are not found, regular outlets are fine—and they are still installed in todays new homes.
What is GFCI outlet and where is one needed?
GFCI protection is required for 125-volt to 250-volt receptacles supplied by single-phase branch circuits rated 150 volts or less to the ground. GFCI receptacles are required in bathrooms, garages, crawl spaces, basements, laundry rooms and areas where a water source is present.
What happens if you dont have a GFCI outlet?
Without the GFCI outlet, if something were to happen and an appliance was plugged in and fell into water, the electricity would travel through the water and could cause a deadly shock.