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What Are AFCI and GFCI Outlets & What Do They Do?

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Outlet

Electrical problems can pose some serious risks to you, your family and your home. Every year, over $1.6 billion in property damage is caused by electrical fires, failures and faults. This is in addition to the more than 4000 people who suffer electrical-related injuries.

With this much at stake, it’s important to take safety precautions and put preventive measures in place with your electrical system. One way to do this is by upgrading your outlets. Here our expert electricians at Anthony's Cooling-Heating-Electrical, Inc. discuss two types of safety outlets and where you can use them in your home.

What is a GFCI Outlet (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)?

One of the most common issues encountered by an experienced electrician is when the current is somehow thrown out of balance by something that has come into contact with your wiring. The usual culprit in this issue is water. When this happens, a ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, immediately turns off the outlet to stop electricity from flowing.

A GFCI is a type of outlet that acts like a mini circuit breaker, able to trip the circuits whenever water or any conducting object draws current away from your wires. Because of this, it’s usually required by building codes to be installed in wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.

What is an AFCI Outlet (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter)?

Many electrical repairs actually take place in an arc fault circuit interrupter, or AFCI, outlet. This type of outlet can detect damaged wires that can cause arcing and ignition. Examples of when this might happen is when a rodent chews on a wire or a nail pierces straight through one. AFCI turns off the outlet automatically to prevent electricity from arcing, keeping you and your family safe.

Explore more electrical safety measures with the help of our professionals at Anthony’s Cooling, Heating & Electrical. Give us a call at (941) 347-0779 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation and request a free estimate on electrical repairs today.