Difference Between GFCI and AFCI

4/24/18
GFCI-AFCI-Differences-Stafford-Home-Service-Blog

What is a GFCI?

What is an AFCI?

Do you know the difference between a GFCI and an AFCI?

If you answered at least one of those questions, you’re ahead of the curve! If you couldn’t answer any of them, that’s okay. That’s what we’re here for.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. Its purpose is to prevent humans from becoming an electric path to the ground. GFCIs have sensors that measure the electrical current moving in and out of an outlet. Basically, when the current makes contact with a human, the GFCI senses it and interrupts the flow of the current by shutting down the circuit. It’s a shock protection device that acts quickly when something goes wrong.

It is important to install and maintain GFCI outlets in areas where water and electricity could come in contact since water conducts electricity. This includes bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and garages. These outlets are the ones you’ve most likely seen in your bathroom that have the red reset button and test button on them. Test them once a month and if the outlet stops working, reset the breaker.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter

AFCI stands for arc fault circuit interrupter. Its function is to help prevent electric fires caused when electricity leaks out of decaying or damaged wiring. An AFCI will shut the electrical system down once it senses an electricity leak in order to prevent the spread of dangerous fire behind walls or prevent fire all together. AFCIs will also protect against electrical fires caused when appliances such as an iron or radio fault.

AFCI outlets or circuit breakers are required in most rooms of your house.

If you find you don’t have AFCI or GFCI outlets in your home, or think there is an issue with one or many, contact us today for an electrical repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting service.

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