Electrician, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Safeguard Your Family & Home With Circuit Interrupters – Part 2

As covered by Part 1, AFCIs and GFCIs are circuit interrupters that provide essential protection against electrical fires and electrical shocks in homes where they are both installed.

Part 2 will continue discussing their fundamentals, covering AFCI Locations, GFCI Locations, and Maintenance and Testing.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Locations

AFCI devices must be installed in readily accessible locations inside a home. This lets licensed electricians reach them quickly for inspection, operation, testing, and repair. As set forth by the National Electrical Code (NEC), AFCI protection is required in the following locations:

  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Closets
  • Dens
  • Dining Rooms
  • Family Rooms
  • Garages
  • Hallways
  • Kitchens
  • Laundry Areas
  • Libraries
  • Living Rooms
  • Parlors
  • Recreation Rooms
  • Sunrooms

A homeowner should always refer to the NEC for a comprehensive and up-to-date list of places within a home where AFCI protection will be required.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Locations

Similar to the NEC requirement regarding AFCI devices, the NEC sets forth about 50 places in a home where GFCI protection is required for receptacles. The most typical places are listed below.

  • Bathrooms
  • Crawl spaces
  • Garages
  • Kitchens
  • Laundry areas
  • Unfinished portions of basements not intended to be habitable

As mentioned previously, professionals recommend that homeowners refer to the NEC to ensure having the most updated and complete list of places in a home that require GFCI protection.

An additional requirement is having GFCI devices installed in easily accessible locations, allowing licensed electricians to access them swiftly for inspection, operation, testing, and repair.

Maintenance and Testing

Both circuit interrupters feature a test switch. Both the AFCI and GFCI should be tested every month by homeowners. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) provides simple step-by-step testing instructions for each device. The instructions can be found in the following links:

AFCI Testing Procedure

GFCI Testing Procedure

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be happy to help you.