What you should know about Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
- What they are: A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is an overcurrent protection device designed to interrupt the electricity circuit to the load when a current to ground exceeds a predetermined value. GFCIs are designed to almost instantly sense an electrical ground fault and interrupt the protected circuit to stop the flow of electrical current before someone is hurt.
- In Ontario GFCIs are required for exterior outlets, bathroom outlets, and in new kitchen construction/renovation where receptacles/outlets are being installed within 1.5 meters of the edge of any sink (wash basins complete with drain pipe), bathtubs or shower stalls.
- Test GFCIs regularly according to manufacturers’ instructions (usually monthly) to ensure that they are in proper operating condition.
To test your GFCI you should:
- push the “reset” button on the GFCI.
- plug in a light or small appliance (turn on).
- push the “test” button – the light or small appliance should turn off.
- push the “reset” button – the light or small appliance should turn on.
- If your GFCI does not function as outlined above, contact a licensed electrical contractor to replace the GFCI.
Thanks to the Electrical Safety Authority for the above information.