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Sounds confusing? Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are surprisingly simple and incredibly important for your home and electrical system. AFCIs are required to be up to date by code, but before you go messing with exposed wires be safe – call Electric O for all your electric needs and leave the updating to professionals!


Most people are familiar with the term arcing, which relates to an electrical discharge and makes energy last longer, but what exactly are arc fault circuit interrupters? AFCIs are required by the National Electrical Code for certain residential circuits. Much like smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and other emergency equipment, AFCIs are designed to detect a wide range of electrical faults to reduce the change of a fire, even if the threat of fire is low.
electrical plug
While there are naturally occurring arcs in your home such as light switches, this system detects and reacts to dangerous arcs such as tree damage to power lines, damage to electrical conductors, insulation, and more. Upon detection, AFCIs will de-energize a circuit when the fault is detected to divert the threat and avoid damage.


A ground fault circa interrupter helps prevent electrocution and are usually installed where electricity may come in contact with water. This includes kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms, and even garages where power and garden tools may be used. By definition, a ‘ground fault’ is a conducting connection between an electrical conductor and any conducting material that is grounded or may become grounded.

Electricity will always find the shortest path to the ground, which is what makes GFCIs an indispensable and life saving safety feature.
There are three types of GFCIs: a ‘receptacle-type’ similar to wall outlets, circuit breakers, and temporary or portable GFCIs that are frequently used in construction or outdoor settings for tools, mowers, trimmers, and other devices. Despite its importance, most consumers don’t check their GFCIs to see if they’re working, making professional involvement even more crucial.

Don’t doubt if your system is up to date or not, call the professionals at Electric O for AFCI and GFCI service today.