Let’s say you are standing in your bathroom drying your hair. Most everyone does this. But what if you’re standing in a puddle of water? Being that you’re in the bathroom, you may think nothing about it. The bathroom is a wet place, but that wet place can be dangerous when you are holding an electrical device in your hand in water…barefooted.
While it’s a good idea to ensure the area is as dry as possible before using a hairdryer, having a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet in your bathroom and other areas where there may be water sources is going to protect you from electric shock. If that hairdryer is plugged into a regular outlet and a shock or surge would occur, the electricity is going to take the path with the least resistance and, unfortunately, you are that path. That path is through the arms and the legs until it gets to the puddle and that can be fatal.
The National Electric Code has a requirement for GFCIs to be placed in areas where electrical accidents can happen. These areas include:
- Near hot tubs
- And outdoor areas
How it works is this: The GFCI detects that the current is no longer flowing properly in the circuit. Within milliseconds, the current is shut off. If this irregular current would occur while using the hairdryer, the current would be shut off and your life would be saved. Because people are learning more about GFCIs and how they make using electricity safer, people turn to an electrician St. Paul residents are relying upon to install these outlets throughout their homes and businesses to ensure electrical shock is avoided.
Checking For GFCIs
GFCIs look different from your usual outlet. You will see two buttons that say “test” and “reset.” The “test” button is what you press to make sure the GFCI is working correct. The “Reset” button is what you press when the current needs to be restored to the outlet. If you have been using your hairdryer and your outlet has “tripped,” then you were most likely protected by some kind of irregular current. Being that hairdryers operates at a higher wattage, it is somewhat common for them to try to pull too much electricity, especially if the device itself has a problem.
So if you see the outlet with the two buttons, you do have a GFCI. Make sure you have one in all of the important parts of your home and, if you don’t, then you can contact your St. Paul electrician to take care of it for you. You will want to make sure you have one in each bathroom, in your kitchen near the sink, in your garage, in your garage, and anywhere where they may be a water source inside or outside of your home.
Need GFCIs In Your Home?
If you need GFCIs in your home, Edison Electric Inc. can install those for you. You can call 651-587-5512 to schedule your estimate and learn more about how GFCIs can keep you safe. You can even learn about other electrical issues that may be present and safety measures that can be taken to make the structure a safer one.