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What Are GFCI and AFCI?


When it comes to your home electrical system, safety is key to protecting both your home and your family. Safeguards like GFCI and AFCI both work to help protect your outlets from electrical accidents.

Without these electrical upgrades, you’re at risk for issues like burned outlets, shocks, electrocution, and electrical fires. 

GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters)

A GFCI, or ground-fault circuit interrupter, is a type of outlet protection that works by sensing power leakage by monitoring the electrical current going in and out. When the current is unbalanced, the GFCI instantly shuts down the circuit to stop the flow of electricity. By sensing this leak, or ground fault, GFCI outlets help to prevent electrical hazards, including burns, electric shock, and electrocution. 

Since water is an exceptional conductor, GFCIs are recommended in any areas where water may come in contact with an outlet. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor living spaces.

AFCI (Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters)

An AFCI, or arc-fault circuit interrupter, also protects your outlets and electrical system by preventing arc faults by monitoring current flow, much like a GFCI. By shutting down the circuit during unwanted arcing, an AFCI outlet can help to prevent serious electrical fires. 

The National Electrical Code has established requirements for AFCI installation in many areas of the home. Bedrooms are notorious for fires and are required locations. Other requirements vary by state, but AFCI outlets are typically installed in shared areas like living or family rooms. 

The Difference Between GFCIs and AFCIs

While both GFCIs and AFCIs work to monitor current as a means of protection, they do have a few main differences. 

  • Electrical issues: GFCIs provide protection against ground faults, while AFCIs protect against arc faults.
  • Hazards: GFCIs prevent issues like burns, electric shock, and electrocution, while AFCIs prevent electrical fires.
  • Location: GFCIs should be used in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas, while AFCIs are required in bedrooms and other common living spaces.

It’s important to note that GFCIs and AFCIs are highly complementary and work together to provide comprehensive electrical protection. For this reason, it’s important to install both throughout your home to protect you and your home from danger.

The Consequences of Not Having GFCI and AFCI Protection

Without GFCI and AFCI protection, homeowners leave their homes and family at risk of electrical hazards. If outlets do not shut down current when ground or arc vaults occur, you’re far more likely to experience electrical accidents, fires, and electrocution.

For both homeowners and business owners, this can be a legal issue that impacts your property’s insurance, especially with the National Electrical Code requiring the installation of these safeguards.

Choose JDV Electric for Your Outlet & Circuit Breaker Needs

Don’t leave your home and family vulnerable to serious electrical accidents. Ensure that your home is safe and up to code with installation and routine testing of GFCI and AFCI outlets for proper electrical safety. At JDV, we offer superior outlet and electrical services with expertise in installing and maintaining these protections.

We’re proud to deliver unparalleled honesty and integrity, and with an A+ BBB rating, your satisfaction is guaranteed. 

Keep your home and family safe with outlet protection and electrical service from our licensed electricians. Call us today at 610-364-5099 or contact us online!

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