What Is A GFCI Outlet, And What Is It For?

Electricity powers almost everything in our lives at this point, but it’s also dangerous. It can be even riskier when you’re outside because there’s a higher chance of being in contact with water. But even though there's a lot to watch out for, you can rest easy if you take the right precautions. In this article, we’ll go over one of those precautions to protect you and your home.

GFCI Outlets: For When Water, Electricity, And You Might Meet

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GFCI (or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets cut the power if they sense it isn’t going where it should. That’s because they assume it’s going through you. You can usually find them near wet places like kitchens, bathrooms, or exterior walls.

A GFCI outlet will have buttons that say “Test” and “Reset." It acts like a breaker in your electrical panel, so you have to switch it back on when it trips. That can happen when the outlet gets wet, when it senses a power spike, or if it senses a short. GFCI-protected outlets help prevent fires and injury in each of those cases.

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exterior gfci outlet

GFCI protection is also essential when considering exterior Christmas lights. Because you expose the lights and cords to the elements, they have a higher chance of weather damage. That means a higher chance of exposed wires and a higher chance of water finding its way in where it shouldn’t.

If you’re stringing lights along your roofline, you’re already familiar with the risk of being up that high. But using the right outlet is as important as a stable ladder when setting up Christmas lights. Using GFCI-protected outlets ensures the power will shut off if there's a problem.

If your GFCI outlet is giving you trouble, the first thing you can try is to push the reset button. If your outlet is still working, that should restore power to the circuit. If you push the reset button but it won’t click back in, you may need to replace your outlet. If you’re comfortable working with electricity, this is something you can do yourself. If you aren’t comfortable with it or you feel like you’ve gotten in over your head, Any Hour Services would be happy to help. You can give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

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Author: Nathanael Stuver
Copyright © 2022 by Any Hour Services


Oct 2nd 2023

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