It is never a good idea to use electrical devices in, around, or near water; doing so runs a very high risk of electric shock because electricity will always take the shortest path. When your device is plugged into a normal electrical outlet, this event could easily lead to death.
In order to avoid accidents like this from happening, the National Electric Code has required that special GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) outlets be used in areas where this could occur. This includes places like garages, kitchens, pools, outdoors, bathrooms and anywhere else water could be present. These outlets are designed to detect when electricity is not flowing along the proper channels, or if there are any other power problems present. When it detects a problem, it will shut the power off immediately. In the example above, this could potentially save your life.
You can recognize a GFI outlet by the “TEST” and “RESET” button located on the front, in between the outlets themselves. To test these outlets for proper operation just press the “TEST” button. This will shut off power to the outlet and cause the “RESET” button to pop out. Simply depress the “RESET” button to restore the outlet to its normal operation. Be sure to check your GFI on a regular, monthly basis. For more information, read these tips for GFIs.
If your kitchens, bathrooms, garage, and outdoor areas do not have GFI outlets, or if you have any damaged or malfunctioning GFIs, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can help you repair or install these potentially lifesaving, yet inexpensive outlets.