Ground fault circuit interrupters

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Updated: 4/13/2007 7:47 am
A ground-fault circuit interrupter, or 'G-F-C-I,' is a special kind of outlet, that protects people from electrical shock. Ground faults can occur when a hot, bare wire in an appliance comes in contact with the appliance's metal frame. If a person touches both the defective appliance and any grounded surface, a severe shock can result. The G-F-C-I works by interrupting the electrical circuit, anytime it senses a ground fault of six amps or more. It takes less than one second for the G-F-C-I to kick in, and stop the flow of current. Because of the increased hazard from water, G-F-C-Is are mandatory for new outlets in bathrooms, outdoors, and near the kitchen sink. Typically, these receptacles will also provide ground fault protection for outlets further down the same circuit. Your electrician can easily install G-F-C-Is in your existing receptacle boxes; the device itself is usually inexpensive. To find out more about G-F-C-Is, also called just 'G-F-I', consult a qualified electrician.

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