Chicago GFCI - Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), designed to prevent people from receiving electrical shocks, can be installed at an individual outlet or in the service panel. When properly installed in a circuit, a GFCI continuously monitors the current flowing in both lines in the circuit. If the GFCI detects a short circuit developing, it quickly interrupts the circuit before anyone is seriously injured. GFCI protection is provided either by special GFCI outlets or by special GFCI circuit breakers. Depending on how a GFCI outlet is wired, it may protect either that outlet only or all the outlets downstream from it. GFCI circuit breakers protect the entire circuit. The National Electric Code requires GFCI protection on all new outlets located outside of the house, in bathrooms, in garages, in basements, and in kitchens. GFCI outlets have two buttons on the face, one labeled “test” and one labeled “reset.” Both GFCI outlets and GFCI circuit breakers should be tested often to ensure proper function.