Whether you're going through the custom home building process or have recently had a home inspection completed on an older home, one topic that has certainly come up is the Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor, otherwise known as GFCI.
GFCI refers to an unintentional flow of electricity between an electrical current and a grounded surface. If you don't have some form of protection in place, anyone that comes in contact with the energized part could be shocked. Without GFCI protection, someone holding a broken electrical cord from a hair dryer could be electrocuted if they touched a plumbing fixture, for example.
A GFCI receptacle outlet contains small buttons that say "Test" and "Reset" on the outlet. GFCI can also be built right into a circuit breaker in an electrical panel.
Homes Built After 1971
Homes built from 1971 on are required to have GFCI receptacles, or a GFCI breaker box. When using the GFCI receptacle outlets, you'll want to place them in any room of your home that has the potential to come in contact with water. This means bathrooms, kitchens, and any exterior receptacles. Those going through the custom home building process have the benefit of working closely with the building contractor to design a house that functions well for their needs.
Size of Junction Box
Another factor that should come into play about whether to use a GFCI receptacle outlet or breaker box is the size of the junction box used within a physical room in a home. If you're using a larger box due to the amount of wiring within, it's probably smarter to use a GFCI breaker box.
Resetting a GFCI receptacle is not as easy as most people expect it to be, there are several standard plugs “looped” to the push button device. The push button device may be outside and looped with interior plugs as well, so it becomes a game of where is the correct push button. Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as pressing the 'Reset' button on the outlet due to the looping. With a GFCI breaker box, there's a single place for resetting everything and it's conveniently located inside your home. It's safe and makes it easier to get back to blow drying your hair!
As you can see, there are many factors that come into play when making the decision about whether to use a GFCI receptacle outlet or breaker box. Fortunately, when you're going through the custom home building process, your building contractor can help you to make the best decision to keep your home and family safe.
To learn more about the importance of GFCI placement in your home, please contact us at Empire Custom Builders. We've successfully completed more than 500 custom home building projects and offer a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to building your dream home.