Ground Fault and Arc Fault Breakers
GFCI vs AFCI : Everything you need to know about GFCI‘s & AFCI’s
Ensuring that your home is equipped with both GFCI’s (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) and AFCI’s (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters)
Our number one priority at ARC Electric is safety, which is why we offer a FREE home inspection with every service call. In our inspections we focus on ensuring that your home is equipped with both GFCI’s (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters ) and AFCI’s (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters). These devices have been developed to protect you from electrical shock and to prevent home fires. Below we illustrate how these devices work and why they are important as well as provide videos that can demonstrate their effectiveness.
What is A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)?
GFCI’s come in two forms, which are pictured above. One is an outlet that has a test and reset button typically found in kitchens, bathrooms, garages and exterior outlets, the other is in your breaker panel, the GFCI breaker. The GFCI breaker pictured on the right will typically protect exterior circuits that require GFCI protection but do not have an outlet, such as pool equipment, the GFCI breakers and outlets do the same task just in different locations in your home.GFCI’s trip when they sense a short to ground by measuring the difference in current between the line and neutral of the circuit. These can prevent electrical shock when water presents an opportunity for a short.
What is An AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter)?
AFCI breakers were adopted by the National Electrical code in 1999 in efforts to prevent fires. This breaker trips when it senses low or high current arcs that can be caused by damaged wiring or loose connections which can cause fires. At ARC Electric we highly recommend that if your home was build before the year 2000 to check and see if AFCI breakers have been installed in your panel. And what is an AFCI breaker? They can be identified by markings on the front and a trip test button also located on the front of the AFCI breaker. If your home does not have AFCI breakers you should consider having them installed by a licensed electrician to protect your home and family from potential fires.
Below are a few videos further detailing how an AFCI breaker works to protect you. They play sequentially.