GFCI maintenance is a very simple and extremely important procedure. Just like many other house maintenance tasks, maintaining functional and properly operating GFCI outlet receptacles will ensure that you and your family are protected from a ground fault.
Ground Fault – it’s when the electricity, instead of following its normal path – electrical wire – passes through a person’s body to the ground. That person becomes a conductor (wire) and you may know this condition as an electrical shock.
* Never paint GFCI outlet receptacle! If you’ve just moved into the house and installed GFCI’s are covered with paint – replace them immediately. Removing paint from their surface is not enough, even if Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter appears to be responding to the test buttons.
* Never insert into an outlet receptacle objects other than a plug designed for its configuration.
* Avoid spilling liquids onto the device – it could result in permanent damage or malfunctioning.
Testing is the most important part of the GFCI maintenance routine and it should be performed on monthly basis. The reason is very simple – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet receptacles are just like any other electronic devices – sometimes they fail.
All of the house safety maintenance checklist items listed below are extremely important for household members, especially for children. While performing home inspections I’ve noticed that many home owners, parents of small children, are simply not aware about the critical safety issues in their homes. They don’t realize that sometimes things need to be updated / replaced to perform as required, and to provide protection.
GFCI outlet safety / GFCI without Smart Lock
I’ve been running into this particular GFCI outlet safety issue quite often lately, and since it can easily stay undetected creating serious safety hazard, I’ll explain it for you.
This GFCI outlet safety problem applies to older receptacles, manufactured before 2003 – the year when “Smart Lock” type GFCI receptacle has been introduced by Leviton. GFCI receptacles equipped with the “Smart Lock” feature include a small padlock sign on the face of the device.
So, if you have any GFCI outlet receptacles without the “Smart Lock” logo, make sure that you test them properly / [...]
Kitchen GFCI receptacle
Kitchen GFCI receptacles are required by the 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code) to be installed along the countertop surfaces.
GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Actually, this requirement has been in place since 1996 NEC, and an important thing to remember:
If you have an older kitchen, and for any reason decided to replace a regular electrical outlet – you should have a GFCI receptacle installed as a replacement.
Kitchen Electrical Requirements
Kitchen electrical outlets installed above the countertops require at least 2 small appliance branch circuits.
Kitchen electrical circuits serving countertop outlets must be rated for 20 ampers (#12 wire)
Kitchen GFCI receptacles installed [...]