It's Blogday again!!
This week is going to be a shorter read than usual; we're just going to talk about Ground Fault Protection... why it's required, where it's required and what it actually does.
Ground-Fault protection is super important for any device that may accidentally come in contact with water... or a wet person for that matter. Water and Electricity do not go together well (or actually they go together much too well), and these protection devices can protect you from being electrocuted.
So, everyone has probably seen one of these in their home, a big beefy receptacle with some buttons on it and an indicator light in some colour and state of being lit or not. GFI receptacles have changed over the years and they're not all made equally, but this is typically what they look like now.
These receptacles are protected against ground faults and they act to protect other receptacles down the line on their circuit from ground faults as well. This is why, if a ground fault occurs in a regular receptacle in one of your bathrooms, this guy will trip no matter which room it's in, because it is the "feed" for the other bathroom receptacles.
Most commonly, these will be located in bathrooms and kitchens where the receptacles are near sinks and don't require Arc-Fault protection.
As technologies develop and new factors are considered, things start to get slightly more complex. So, let's look at areas requiring Ground-Fault protection above the two discussed above.
- Switches within certain distance of a shower or tub.
- Receptacles within certain distance of a shower or tub (may also require Arc-Fault protection.)
- Receptacles for bidet toilets, under sinks for dishwashers or other appliances, by laundry or garage sinks (Also requires Arc-Fault protection.)
- Receptacles for exterior outlets (Also requires Arc-Fault protection.)
All of these will be fed off a circuit with a Ground-Fault receptacle or breaker in front of them to protect them and in the case of requiring dual-protection, we will use either a Combination Ground-Fault/Arc-Fault breaker or an Arc-Fault breaker feeding a Ground-Fault receptacle before going to the next items in the circuit.
So, as inconvenient as it may be to have to reset that outlet when you step out of the shower soaking wet and brush that switch while reaching for a towel, remember that this device stops you from a potential shock and ending up with an Einstein-esque hair style.
If you have any questions, comments, feedback or suggestions for future topics, then definitely send me an email at Blog@rkayelectrical.com! I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, have yourselves a great weekend!