Tripping GFCI (Ground Fault Interrupter) and AFCI (Arc Fault Interrupter

A tripping GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) or a tripping AFCI (Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter) is usually a sign that something is wrong, or was wrong, on an electrical circuit. GFCI’s and AFCI’s are very sensitive, and are designed to trip very quickly, to kill power on an electrical circuit whenever there is a problem.

GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter):

The GFCI is technically referred to as a Residual Current Devise or RCD, meaning that it is designed to shut off power very quickly to a circuit when it detects that current is flowing in an unintended path. For example, if a hair dryer fell into a bathtub, the GFCI is designed to detect the unintended flow of current into the bath water, and trip very quickly to prevent electrocution of the person in the bathtub. For this reason, you will see GFCI protection used primarily in wet areas of the home, or on the exterior and garage areas of the home. GFCI protection can be present on a circuit in the form or either a GFCI device (wall receptacle) or a GFCI breaker (in the electrical panel).

AFCI (Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter):

The AFCI is designed to shut off power very quickly to a circuit when it detects that here is a current fluctuation (arc-fault) present. It has been determined by the U.S. Fire Administration that current fluctuations or arc-faults (generally caused by loose electrical connections), are responsible for 45.5 percent of all home electrical fires. Requirements for arc-fault protection have been steadily increasing during recent years to the point where under current National Electrical Code Safety Standards all areas of a home are required to have some form of GFCI or AFCI protection, in order to be in compliance.

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What Should You Do When A GFCI Or AFCI Trips?

When a GFCI or AFCI trips it is usually preventing, or has prevented, a shock or fire hazard by shutting off power to a problem area on the electrical circuit it is protecting. If you reset the GFCI or AFCI and it trips again, do not make another attempt. That is confirmation that you have a real problem, and it is time to call a licensed electrician. Repeated resetting of the GFCI or AFCI may cause it to fail, and not operate as designed. If the faulty circuit remains energized, it could create a fire or shock hazard within the structure, that would potentially be very dangerous.

When faced with a situation like this, you need an electrical expert to properly troubleshoot the problem. You need someone equipped to provide the right repair options to get your electrical system up and running as designed. This is not the time for amateurs, technicians, or handymen. You need a qualified electrician.

All Right Touch licensed electricians are Home Safety Experts, and receive advanced diagnostic training. They have the specialized equipment and training needed to ensure the proper evaluation of your electrical system, each and every time.

Call Right Touch Electrical, The Trusted Houston Electricians:

  • At Right Touch Electrical, we constantly train our professional electricians to ensure their proficiency at troubleshooting electrical problems.
  • We are diagnostic experts that excel at pinpointing the problem, and engineering the proper repair solution.
  • We will give you the right information, and keep you thoroughly informed throughout the entire discovery process.
  • We will go over each repair option available, provide firm pricing for each option, and will courteously answer any questions that you may have.(Note: All pricing is up-front. You approve costs before they are incurred)

  • Your safety is always our top priority.
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    At Right Touch Electrical, the right way is the ONLY way