A GFCI is required in any areas with an increased risk of shock due to electrical hazards, such as water. In order to protect you from electrical hazards, a GFCI monitors electrical current, turning off an electrical circuit when it detects an imbalance - current flowing along an unintended path.
What is a GFCI outlet used for?
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) can help prevent electrocution. If a persons body starts to receive a shock, the GFCI senses this and cuts off the power before he/she can get injured. GFCIs are generally installed where electrical circuits may accidentally come into contact with water.
When should you use a GFCI outlet?
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.
Where are GFCI outlets required?
The NEC mandates GFCI protection in many areas of the home: bathrooms, garages, outdoor receptacles, crawl spaces, basements, kitchens and anything within six feet of a sink or water source. While that may seem like a lot, the entirety of a home is not covered.
How do I know if I need a GFCI?
A GFCI receptacle is easily recognizable. Simply look for the test and reset button on the face of the outlet. When installed, any electrical device that is plugged in will be protected in the case of a ground fault. This also includes any electrical outlets that are connected on the same line.