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    GFCI & AFCI Protection



    Mainstream Offers Installation or Repair of Any Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) and Arc-Fault Interrupters (AFCI)

    The National Electric Code (NEC) sets the standard for electrical work and requires ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets to be installed near sinks, plumbing fixtures, and any other place that has water or moisture. According to the NEC, GFCI outlets should be installed in all of the following locations:

    • Outdoors
    • Bathrooms
    • Kitchens
    • Wet Bar Sinks
    • Garages
    • Crawlspaces
    • Accessory Buildings
    • Unfinished Basements

    GFCIs are also installed for use by heavy-load equipment such as power tools. It is also highly recommended that you use GFCI protection for electric lawn and garden equipment. The goal is to promote safety, whether you’re getting ready for the day at home or hard at work in a shop. GFCI outlets protect you from accidents and electrocutions caused by faulty equipment or wiring and helps to prevent fires, overheating, and destruction of wiring insulation and equipment.

    Instead of a receptacle, a circuit breaker with built-in GFCI protection can also be installed. This will protect all of the wiring, lighting, receptacles, and appliances that are connected to that circuit from overloads and ground faults.

    Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)

    The NEC also requires homes to be outfitted with arc fault protection, which protects against fires rather than electrocutions. Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) operate as a circuit breaker that protects against circuit overloads and electrical arcing, which can cause fires or damage sensitive equipment.

    They do this by constantly monitoring the electrical current for unintentional arcing and shutting the power off before a fire starts. Arcing can happen for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most common reason is damaged cords and wires.

    AFCIs differ from traditional circuit breakers in that standard circuit breakers only trip in the event of an overload or short circuit. AFCIs monitor and detect unintentional arcing on your circuit and shuts down power before enough heat is generated to create a fire.

    GFCI and AFCI Safety Tips

    • Only a certified electrician should install AFCIs and GFCIs in your home.
    • Test your AFCI and GFCI devices every 30 days. Plug a lamp into the protected circuit and press the “test” button (located on the receptacle or breaker). If the light doesn’t turn off, call an electrician to repair or replace the defective circuit interrupter. If the light does turn off, press the “reset” button to restore power. If the light doesn’t turn back on, replace the AFCI or GFCI.
    • When you notice a faulty AFCI or GFCI, call a qualified technician to replace them immediately. Just because you have had the devices installed in the past does not mean that they will protect you in the future.
    • Always work with a professional electrician when repairing or replacing any electrical equipment in your home. Make sure the AFCI and GFCI equipment is tested by a recognized independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Always keep and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Because of the complicated and potentially dangerous nature of your electrical system, it is required that you have the necessary safeguards in place against electrocutions and fires. GFCIs and AFCIs give you that peace of mind by monitoring the electricity running in your walls, floors, and ceilings, and shutting it off before you get hurt.

    Mainstream Electric, Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is fully capable of installing, maintaining, or repairing issues dealing with both GFCIs and AFCIs. Call us for expert electrical repairs and installations. If you don’t know if your home is up-to-code, one of our expert electricians will conduct a full safety inspection to ensure that you meet National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements.

    Mainstream Electric, Heating, Cooling & Plumbing Services:

    • Residential GFCIs & AFCIs
    • Commercial GFCIs & AFCIs
    • Circuit Breaker Systems
    • Surge Protection Systems
    • Electrical Safety Inspection

    We are your go-to electrical service technicians for all your commercial and residential electrical needs. It doesn’t matter if you need a code update for your home or business, or simply want to upgrade your existing equipment for peace of mind, Mainstream is there for you.

    Schedule an appointment for any GFCI or AFCI services within Spokane or North Idaho by calling Mainstream Electric, Heating, Cooling & Plumbing at 509-927-9277 today!


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