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JN Electrical Temperature Control, Inc Blog

Upgrading Your Outlets to GFCI and AFCI Outlets


We use more electricity in our homes today than ever before, and this has required improvements in home electrical systems. These improvements not only allow for greater electrical use but also safer electrical use. 

One of the key safety features for modern electrical systems is GFCI and AFCI outlets. If your home doesn’t have these modern outlet upgrades, you definitely want to schedule installation as soon as you can. We’re the local experts when it comes to electrical safety and electric repair service in Madison County, and we can give you the important details on these outlets and why you need them in your house.

What Are GFCI and AFCI Outlets?

These are two outlet types designed with dedicated internal circuit breakers that help to prevent electrical shocks that can harm people and damage appliances in a home.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are placed in areas where water is commonly used, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. GFCIs monitor the electrical current running from the “hot” side of the outlet to the “neutral” side of the outlet. When there’s a change in the balance, it means the current is escaping into the ground, likely through a person, and the breaker immediately trips to cut off voltage flow and prevent a high voltage shock.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are placed in the living areas of a house, such as bedrooms and living rooms. AFCIs protect from arcing faults, when electricity jumps between wires that are damaged or loose. AFCIs are important defenses against electrical fires in a house.

How Can I Tell If I Need GFCI and AFCI Outlets?

If you live in a recently built home, it was constructed with GFCI and AFCI outlets to comply with the current electrical code. For an older home, you’ll need to check the outlets in all the rooms. GFCI and AFCI outlets have two buttons located between their sockets, marked “TEST” and “RESET.” Some types don’t have these buttons (they’re instead reset at the breaker box), but they will be clearly marked as GFCI/AFCI. If you don’t find these outlets in key places like bathrooms and bedrooms, you’ll need to have an upgrade.

Can I Make the Upgrade Myself?

You can find plenty of online guides on how to attempt to install these outlets on your own, but please don’t do this. You need to leave this type of job to professional electricians. First of all, you may violate code compliance for your home and void your home insurance. Second, you’re at a high risk of an electrical shock. Third, any mistake will lower the safety of the outlet.

You can depend on our licensed electricians to handle making full upgrades to your home’s outlets. We can also determine if you need to have a panel upgrade along with the new outlets to better handle the increased electrical load in the house.

JN Electrical Temperature Control, Inc works hard to ensure customer satisfaction with custom comfort solutions. Call us today for electrical upgrades to your home.

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