What is GFCI?
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. They are designed for wet locations and are meant to stop water from carrying hazardous electrical current.
If water is in contact with a GFCI or they detect a ground fault, GFCIs will trip and keep you safe.
If you have a GFCI that trips for no known reason, it could be sounding the alarm of a bigger issue. Contact a Licensed Contractor to diagnose and correct the issue.
These will work to prevent Ground Faults as listed above. In addition they have AFCI (Arch Fault) protection. They can detect and disable Arch Faults.
They are 5 times the cost of regular breakers but the added safety to your home and expensive electrical equipment is worth the cost.
What is an Arch Fault?
Most people are familiar with the term arcing. Arcing may be intended when using an arc welder or unintended due to a fault.
An arc fault is an unintended arc created by current flowing through an unplanned path. Arcing creates high intensity heat resulting in ignition of surrounding material, such as wood framing or insulation. The temperatures of these arcs can exceed 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do we really need AFCI Protection?
An AFCI is a product that is designed to detect a wide range of arch faults to help reduce the electrical system from being an ignition source of a fire. Conventional beakers do not detect many hazardous arch faults that have the potential to ignite electrical fires.
It is well known that electrical fires do exist and take many lives and damage or destroy significant amounts of property. Electrical fires can occur in areas of the home that are hidden from view and early detection. The objective is to protect the circuit in a manner that will reduce its chances of being a source of an electrical fire.