GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

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Home Inspection Lingo

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are electrical safety devices designed to protect people from electric shock hazards, particularly in areas where water and electricity may come into contact, such as kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor outlets, and garages.


A GFCI constantly monitors the flow of electricity through a circuit.

If it detects even a small imbalance in the current, indicating that some of the electricity is flowing through an unintended path, such as through water or a person’s body, it quickly interrupts the circuit to prevent electric shock. This rapid interruption of power helps to minimize the risk of serious injury or electrocution.

GFCIs are typically installed in electrical outlets and are required by electrical codes in certain areas of residential and commercial buildings. They can be installed at the outlet itself or at the electrical panel to protect an entire circuit. GFCIs are an essential safety feature in modern electrical systems and play a crucial role in preventing electrical accidents and protecting occupants of a building.

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