GFCI vs AFCIs: What's The Difference
When it comes to electrical safety, there are so many preventative measures you can take within your home or business to keep yourself and others safe. An example of this is the incorporation of GFCI and AFCI outlets. While these units look similar, they both have different and important jobs when it comes to keeping you safe. Learn the difference between GFCI and AFCI outlets, why you need them and how we can help when it comes to the installation process.
What is a GFCI?
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. They are also commonly referred to as a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter). A ground fault sensing device can be a circuit breaker in your panel or it can be a receptacle or stand alone device located somewhere else in your house or structure. These devices measure both the current flowing to the appliance or connected device as well as the return current coming back from the appliance or device. When the GFCI senses that there is more current flowing out than coming back in from the appliance or device, it knows that there is either a ground fault path or leakage of current from the circuit and so it trips and opens the circuit to stop current flow. These devices are designed to protect people from receiving an electrical shock or worse.
What is an AFCI?
AFCI is also an acronym which stands for Arc Fault Current Interrupter. An AFCI device can be a circuit breaker in your panel or it can be a receptacle or stand alone device. There are special rules on how the wiring is to be connected from the panel circuit breaker to an AFCI device if it is a receptacle or stand alone device so be sure to use a licensed and insured electrical contractor for this type of installation. An AFCI device senses an arc in the circuit or wiring connected to it. These arcs can be caused by deteriorating wiring or even just loose connection points. Sometimes these arcs can even get hot enough to ignite wood and other flammable materials located close by. An AFCI device would sense arcing in the circuit or wiring and trip to stop current flow and extinguish the arc in the circuit. These devices are used to prevent electrical fires from occurring in the home due to failed wiring or loose connections.
Installation Made Safe and Easy
While GFCI and AFCI devices provide different types of protection, both can be critical when it comes to your safety. Protect yourself and others with the installation of GFCI and AFCI breakers or devices in your home or business. They are an extra step to help prevent electrocution or shock and to prevent electrical fires. If you are in need of an AFCI or GFCI installation, trust Wichita’s safest electricians to help! Poor installation leads to damaged wiring or substandard connections, so do it right the first time when you trust the experts at Young Electric.