When renovating a Kitchen or Bathroom, there are a wide variety of things that should be paid attention to which are very different than every other room in the home.
One of the most notable of these items is obviously the plumbing aspect of things that is always associated with Kitchens & Baths.
Whether you are just changing out a sink or gutting the Kitchen or Bathroom entirely, plumbing is a component that is often connected to someone’s main desire to embark on one of these types of projects in the first place.
An important facet to pay attention to, that is directly related to these kinds of projects, even though it is an entirely different trade than plumbing, is the appropriate electrical applications being laid out that safely wire up your newly improved Kitchen or Bathroom.
One of the more important components of the electrical portion makeup of your Kitchen or Bathroom, is the proper utilization of GFI (or GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets.
So, why are GFI outlets used?
GFIs protect us from being electrically shocked from faults in the electrical devices we use in our home.
GFIs work by comparing the input current on the “hot” side to the output current on the neutral side.
It is electrical code for a GFI outlet to take the place of a standard outlet at any location that may be exposed to moisture.
GFI outlets can be recognized by the addition of two buttons that control the GFI functionality – labeled “Test” and “Reset”.
The “Test” button is to, literally, test if the GFI is working. By clicking the “Test” button and plugging something into the outlet, if the device you plug in does not work, the GFI is functioning correctly.
To make the outlet active again, either after a test or after the GFI “pops” in a real application scenario, click the “Reset” button and you will be good to go.
The GFI will not allow itself to be reset if it were not safe to do so.
Although I see debate all the time as to people trying to rationalize which outlets in a Kitchen or Bathroom require a GFI and which “technically” do not, I refuse to participate in them.
Maybe it is my deep down fear of electricity.
Whatever the reasoning, I always say that if the electrical outlet has the slightest chance of being exposed to moisture, be sure a GFI is there – especially because of any relatively small, incremental cost in using a GFI than a traditional outlet.
I would much rather prefer to err on the side of caution.
GFI outlets are there to protect us, should be approached as such, and, in my opinion, if anyone is trying to talk you out of using one in a place where they should really be used, they should be ignored and the proper, safe action of installing the GFI should absolutely be done.