By Warren Lentz - October 18, 2023


If you live in an older home, there's a good chance your home doesn't have GFCI outlets. What does GFCI mean? Earth fault circuit breaker. By law, all newly built homes must include GFCIs. Code requires GFCIs to be installed

  • bathrooms

  • garages and accessory buildings

  • outdoors

  • crawl spaces

  • basements

  • kitchens

  • sinks

  • boathouses

  • bathtubs or shower stalls

  • laundry areas

Bottom line they save lives, here is how.

What do GFCI’s do?

GFCIs monitor current flow and immediately shut off power when a ground fault is detected. A ground fault is an unintended electrical path to ground. If a ground fault is not immediately detected and shut down, it can have fatal consequences. Laws require the installation of GFCI circuit breakers in all newer homes. Failure to have these puts you at risk of fatal shock, electrocution and electrical fire. These sockets automatically detect a ground fault within milliseconds. The great thing about GFCI outlets is that you don't have to go to the circuit breaker to reset the outlet, just press the button on the outlet and it should work again unless there is an underlying problem that must be remedied immediately.

How Do You Know You Have GFCI Outlets Installed?

The answer to this question is simple. Look in your bathroom or kitchen. Are there two buttons on the outlets labeled “Reset” and “Test”? Otherwise you won't have GFCIs and will be at risk. It is important that you hire an experienced electrician to replace these outlets and make your home safer.

How to Maintain a GFCI

No major maintenance is required after installing a GFCI. There are little things that can pull the plug. If you notice that your GFCIs are tripping frequently, please contact an electrician to ensure there is not a more serious problem. It is also recommended to press the “Test” button at least once a month to make sure it is still working.

FAQs that talk about "DO I NEED GFCI OUTLETS?"

  • What is a GFCI outlet?

A GFCI outlet, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlet, is a type of electrical outlet that provides protection from electrical shock. GFCI outlets work by monitoring the electrical current flowing through the outlet. If the current suddenly changes, the GFCI outlet will shut off the power to prevent shock.

  • Where are GFCI outlets required?

GFCI outlets are required in all wet and damp locations, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and garages. They are also required in outdoor locations and in unfinished basements.

  • Why do I need GFCI outlets?

GFCI outlets are important for safety. They can prevent electrical shock, which can be fatal. Electrical shock can be caused by water coming into contact with electricity. GFCI outlets can also help to prevent fires caused by electrical problems.

  • How much does it cost to install GFCI outlets?

The cost to install GFCI outlets varies depending on the number of outlets that need to be installed and the complexity of the job. However, GFCI outlets are a relatively inexpensive investment, and the benefits outweigh the cost.

  • How often should I test my GFCI outlets?

GFCI outlets should be tested once a month to make sure that they are working properly. To test a GFCI outlet, simply press the "test" button. The outlet should shut off the power. If the outlet does not shut off the power, it is not working properly and should be replaced.

Overall, GFCI outlets are an important safety device that can help to protect you and your family from electrical shock and fires. If you do not have GFCI outlets in your home, it is important to have them installed by a qualified electrician.


Make your home a safer place today. Call McBride Lighting & Electrical at (303) 367-9221 or schedule your service online now to install GFCI outlets in all applicable areas of your home.

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