GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection is a safety mechanism designed to protect people from electrical shock hazards in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. It works by monitoring the current flowing through a circuit and quickly interrupting the power if it detects a ground fault, which occurs when electricity escapes the intended path and flows through a person's body or other unintended conductor.
GFCI protection is required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) for certain areas where electrical shock hazards are more likely to occur, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor areas. There are two types of GFCI protection: GFCI outlets and GFCI circuit breakers.
GFCI outlets are designed to replace standard electrical outlets and are commonly used in areas where water is present, such as kitchens and bathrooms. They have a test and reset button on the face of the outlet, and they constantly monitor the electrical current flowing through them. If they detect a ground fault, they will trip and cut off the power to the circuit.
GFCI circuit breakers, on the other hand, are installed in the electrical panel and provide GFCI protection to an entire circuit. They are commonly used in areas where GFCI outlets are not practical, such as outdoor areas and garages.
Overall, GFCI protection is an important safety feature that can help prevent electrical shock hazards and save lives. It is important to ensure that GFCI protection is installed and working properly in areas where it is required by code.