If you’re fond of outdoor home renovations, you must wonder how you can work with outdoor electricity. You should know that it has never been an easy task, and it should require expert hands. According to professionals from Eagle Rock Residential Electricians, outdoor connections are complex ones to deal with as they’re affected by external factors.
Electrical renovations and upgrades often work around different changes in the electrical system. Most updates require you to change or add outlets. The GFCI outlet is one very popular outlet type for electrical upgrading because it provides added safety and protection. GFCI outlets also fit the outdoors, making them a great choice.
You sure have some idea what a GFCI outlet is, but there’s more you need to learn. A guide to an outlet installation service should help you familiarize yourself with the perks of using GFCI outlets and how to install them. Below, we have listed steps to assist with your home improvements and keep your home safe for you and your family.
Keep Your Home Safe with Our Home Guide to GFCI Outlet
If you plan to have or replace GFCI outlets in your home, you want to know how to work around their installation. If you have an existing one, it’s important that you have acquired ideas to troubleshoot it in the case of a malfunction. Yes, it will not be a walk in the park to do so, but we’re here to make things easier for you.
How to install a GFCI outlet?
Although it’s recommended that you hire professionals for any electrical work, installing an outlet might be one you want to try your hand at. It can be a DIY job you can learn, as long as you follow safety measures. Here’s how you can install your own GFCI outlet:
Step 1: Shut off the power from the panel. It is one safety precaution to follow first and foremost before working on any electrical tasks.
Step 2: Remove the outlet’s cover. Outlets have protective covers that enclose the connections inside. Remove the cover plate and also detach the old outlet from the box.
Step 3: Remove the attached wires. You must have already known how the colors work, but in case you need reminding, here’s a little review.
- HOT wire (black) = gold or brass screw
- NEUTRAL wire (white) = silver screw on the opposite side
- GROUND wire (green/copper) = bottom of the outlet
Step 4: Remember how you removed the old outlet? Attach the new GFCi outlet the same way. Notice the tape and leave it in its place to use for future electrical changes or upgrades.
Step 5: You’re on to the last steps. Now, place the new GFCI outlet in the outlet box.
Step 6: Finally, install the outlet’s cover plate.
If you think your GFCI outlet is ready, you can test it for its standard function.
How to test and troubleshoot GFCI outlets?
After installing GFCI outlets, you might think you can just leave them there to do their jobs. Although GFCI outlets are proven and tested for their protective abilities, you want to be a more responsible homemaker and test them regularly. You want to know where the problem is coming from in the case of any outlet malfunction.
- Using the TEST button. Remember any mention of the TEST button above? This is when it serves its purpose. You want to push this very button to flip the switch inside. Doing this will also cut off electricity to the GFCI outlet. Expert advice is to do the testing once every month.
- Using the RESET button. Now, imagine plugging something into your outlet and discovering it’s not working. Here’s how you can get around it. Just push the other button labeled RESET to flip the internal switch. By doing so, you are allowing the flow of electricity through your outlet AGAIN. Mostly, this troubleshooting step will solve your problem. If it doesn’t, there’s another way.
- Checking the breaker panel. If resetting the GFCI doesn’t do the work, you will have to check your breaker panel for any trips. If there’s any, you can simply flip the breaker and expect your outlet to work again. If the odds do not favor you and the outlet still refuses to work, it’s time you leave it to the experts.
If you do not succeed in installing or fixing your GFCI outlets at home, we recommend you hire a professional to do the work. There are always available services to help you out. At Eagle Rock Residential Electricians, you can hire a licensed electrician to inspect your outlet and do the required work.
A Home Guide to GFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets will never be this popular for nothing. They are some of the newest emerging technologies in the electrical world that offer an incredibly long list of benefits. The installation of a GFCI outlet provides enhanced protection and safety.
Below is how GFCI outlets work to achieve this:
- Avoid electrical shocks. Electricity is meant to go the path intended for them, hence the use of wires. However, when wire insulation gets frayed or worn-out, it allows for the escape of electrical current called a surge, which can cause shocks. Especially with water contact, electrical shocks can be dangerous and deadly.
How a GFCI outlet helps is by cutting off the power after the detection of surges. A GFCI monitors current flow, making sure that only a sufficient and safe amount of electricity enters.
- Prevent fires. Electrical problems have caused several house fires. So, you want to confirm the safety of your electrical system so as not to harm anyone at home. Fires can start in many forms; for example, a wire is frayed, an outlet sparks, or an appliance overheats.
With GFCI outlets, you will have a device to monitor the flow of electricity. A GFCI outlet will automatically shut off power in the case of the mentioned situations. It is something ordinary outlets can never provide.
- Protect appliances and gadgets. Yes, it’s true! The help of using GFCI outlets extends to your appliances and gadgets. As you know, power surges can happen without a device to monitor electricity. Electricity leaks can hurt appliances connected to a defective outlet, cutting short their lifespan.
A GFCI outlet helps with this by tripping the power to avoid any damage to the appliance. Damaged appliances can lead to further electrical problems.
- Monitor electricity flow. Here’s what really is the main function of this outlet. It makes sure that there’s a safe and sufficient flow of electricity. A device to monitor electricity flow can detect even the tiniest of inconsistencies and changes and automatically responds.
With GFCI outlets’ built-in sensors, you can guarantee that you, your appliances, and your home are safe.
- Identifiable from other outlet types. A GFCI outlet is, of course, unique-looking! You can easily identify one among standard outlet types. GFCI outlets have built-in buttons for testing and resetting; sometimes, they may have an indicator light.
- Good for both indoor and outdoor use. You’re here to get one for outdoor use, and we say yes! A GFCI outlet is good for outdoor use. You want to look for one rated for use outside the home. Any 15-20 amp or 120-volt outdoor outlet should have GFCI protection. You should put at least one in front of the house and one in the back.
When installing outdoor GFCIS, ensure to locate them above 6 ft 6 in. off the ground.
Need more content like this? We have more in store for you. We’ve got all the help you need to maintain an efficient electrical system and a safe home. Please feel free to explore our website. If you need the help of a professional electrician, you can call Eagle Rock Residential Electricians anytime.