Like upgrades in the cell phone industry, the electrical industry has developed great new ways to serve and protect home owners. One of the best inventions of the past few decades is the GFI outlet.
What is a GFI outlet?
GFI stands for fault circuit interrupter. In layman’s terms it is the little button that sits between the two outlets in a double wall outlet. Some of these have a red test button and white set button and others have two white buttons.
What this means for those who have these new breakers is that instead of blowing a fuse or tripping a circuit breaker during an overload, the button will pop out and there will be no electricity in that outlet. It also will react if an electrical device comes in contact with water eliminating the possibility of shock.
You will find these safety devices around areas that may be subjected to damp areas like bathrooms, kitchens, hot tubs, swimming pools and outside plugs.GFIs are installed on electrical outlets to regulate power and direct currents. In most areas they are required by code to be placed in strategic areas.
If the test button does not work, or if the ready button has popped out and will not engage the electrical current again, you do need to call a licensed professional like Schumann Electrical.
What could be wrong?
There could be several different issues. However, we need to inspect a unit. It is not an answer we can readily answer over the phone. It could be the actual receptacle and it could be wiring leading to the receptacle. It is not a DIY job. This is a job for someone who knows how to cut the current so there are no live wires and investigate wall deep.
Underwriter’s Laboratories, LLC says, “By installing GFCIs in every home in the United States, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than two-thirds of the approximately 300 electrocutions occurring each year could be prevented.”
A working unit could save your life or the life of one of your family members. You want a license, bonded professional to handle this repair.
Things to tell your electrician
There are things you can check prior to the arrival of your service professional which may give him a head start on repairs. Are all other outlets in the area active or not? Have you checked your circuit breaker to see if it has not shut down the zone?
More than likely you will be instructed not to try to use the particular outlet until it has been repaired. This is for the safety of your home and your family. Since Schumann Electric has 24/7 service, a repair person will be quickly dispatched.
There is another thing to keep in mind. If you have an older home or condo you can have new GFI’s installed where you need them – in the bathroom, kitchen or wherever. It is an investment in the value of your home and your peace of mind.