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ABC’s of GFCI’s

Any outlet within 6 feet of a water source is required, by code, to be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

GFCIs are commonly seen in bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior outlets. These important safety devices cut off power when a circuit is experiencing a drain of amperage. A single GFCI device protects everything “downstream” on that circuit. For example, bathrooms are typically not on an isolated circuit and a triggered GFCI will kill the power to outlets and lights that may seem unrelated. The GFCI for a circuit is sometimes installed at the electrical breaker box which can create additional confusion for homeowners trying to troubleshoot the issue. GFCI outlets do wear out, be sure to test them about once per month. 1. To test the outlet, press the RESET button, and plug in a night light or other electrical device. 2. The device should turn on. Then press the TEST button. 3. If the GFCI is working, the power will immediately be cut. 4. Press RESET again, and your device should turn on again. 5. If so, the outlet is working as it should.

IMPORTANT: If the light doesn't turn off when you press TEST, you have a problem. The GFCI might be improperly installed or malfunctioning, and it won't protect you from shocks. You'll need to replace it, call a SheWorks Electrical licensed electrician for help.

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