Beginning in 2008, it has been required for garages to have a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet for every single-phase, 125-volt, and 15 or 20-amp outlets as set forth by the IRC (International Residential Code) and NEC (National Electric Code).
Safety Reasons for GFCIs
The requirement for GFCIs in garages was instituted because they aid in the prevention of ground fault events that are capable of causing electric shocks that may cause injuries and fatalities. Very effective in the prevention of electrical shock, a GFCI will trip and cut electricity almost immediately after the detection of even a very small loss of electricity caused by straying current.
Ground Fault Basics
A GFCI was designed to make constant comparisons of the electrical current that flows from the outlet and into the appliance to the electrical current flowing returning to the outlet. Both flows of current are equal when things are properly working.
If the two flows of electrical current are unequal, this is an indication that there is straying of the electricity away from the path intended. As a result, the straying current seeks a path that is unintended to the earth, which is described as a ground fault. People who are in contact will be used by the stray electricity as a path leading to the ground, which results in a strong electrical shock.
You can tell that your garage’s electrical outlets do not have GFCI protection if they are not equipped with a test or reset button. Those that don’t will need to be replaced with a GFCI outlet to meet code. As this will require installing electrical wiring, work with an experienced and licensed electrician for your safety and best results.
Importance of Meeting Code
Electrical code violations found through a customary pre-sale inspection will render your house much more difficult to sell. State law typically requires homeowners to provide a full disclosure of electrical code violations to buyers who are interested. A home that is up to code will have greater resale value.
Electrical Services You Can Trust
Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.