GFCI’s to Protect Your Home Wiring System

WHAT IS A GFCI?
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is a device designed to trip when the current to ground is 6 milliamps or higher.  It is designed to protect you from electric shock.

GFCI RECEPTACLES
are common in areas such as kitchens, bathroom, garages, outside and in other locations where damp conditions exist.  A GFCI receptacle fits in place of a standard duplex receptacle.

GFCI BREAKERS
Breaker type GFCI’s provide protection at all outlets supplied by the branch circuit.  The GFCI breaker not only shuts the circuit power in a fault current; furthermore, it also shuts down the circuit if a short circuit or overload occurs.


AFCI’s

WHAT IS AN AFCI?
An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter is a device intended to provide protection from the effects of arcing.  The basic objective is to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.

WHERE IN THE HOME ARE AFCI’s REQUIRED?
According to the latest edition of National Electrical Code, all 120 volt single phase 15 and 20 amp branch circuits supplying outlets installed in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways or similar room and areas are required to have AFCI.

What is a surge protector?

A protective device for limiting transient voltages by diverting or limiting surge current. It also prevents continued flow of follow current while remaining capable of repeating these functions.

HOME SURGE PROTECTORS AND WHY THEY ARE RECOMMENDED

Power surges are spikes in electrical power. If the surge or spike is high enough it can inflict heavy damage on your components’ and appliances. Even if increased voltage doesn’t break your equipment it may put extra strain on the equipment wearing them down over time.  Anything with internal electronic equipment is under attack; power surges can also destroy air conditioner components, garage door openers, electrical outlets, switches and light bulbs. Surge protectors can prevent these things from happening.

SURGE PROTECTION DEVICES

There are two types of surge protection most commonly used to prevent most damages from occurring.

1. A service entrance surge protector or whole house surge protector which protects all incoming power lines, lights, light switches, outlets, motors and other items that do not plug into an electrical outlet.  If the surge originates from lighting strikes or power fluctuating on the utility lines, the whole house surge protector can reduce the power surge to the incoming lines.

2. A point of usage surge protector is used for individual appliances or electronics; this is the type of surge protectors that plug into a wall socket. It is recommended that both types of surge protection be used. Use the individual plug in type surge protection for individual components. If a lighting strike occurs and hits an outside light fixture or socket creating a power surge on that particular circuit (which means the surge) then every outlet or switch that is tied into the outlet or light fixture may negatively affected any components plugged into that circuit. That is why the second type of surge protector is recommended.  The plug-in-type individually plugs into an appliance or electrical device.

It is recommended that both types of surge protection be used.

Call Pacific Coast Electricians, Inc. at 408-728-8377