Are GFCI Outlets Required in the Garage?

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Are the outlets in your garage GFCI protected? If not, you could be in harm’s way and likely to receive danger to you and your family at any time. Are GFCIs required in the garage? Well of course they are! GFCI outlets ensure your safety and protect people. 

GFCI stands for “ground fault circuit interrupter”. They sense harmful electrical imbalances. It’s able to break the circuit. This is when there’s an imbalance between incoming and outgoing current. This helps prevent electrocution. 

Protection is something we all want and need. If something can prevent danger to you, then you should get it!

Why GFCI Outlets Are Required in the Garage

According to the National Electric Code (NEC) and the International Residential Code (IRC), 125-volt through 250-volt receptacles installed need GFCI protection. This is for certain locations.

These locations include garages, bathrooms, outdoor areas, basements, kitchens, sinks, boathouses, and laundry areas. They also require it for indoor wet or damp locations, accessory buildings, crawl spaces and bathtubs or shower stalls. 

Yes, you must have GFCI outlets installed to follow local building codes and regulations. But also to prevent ground situations. Ground situations are usually caused by faulty electrical equipment. Ground faults cause more than 80 percent of all electrical equipment failures. Moisture, dust, worn insulation and old electrical appliances can all cause ground faults. 

And guess what? Those are all commonly found in garages! 

GFCI protection protects you from high voltage shocks. It’s specified for garages below the ground. This is because there are high risks of flooding and water damage with a lower floor. Making your garage outlets GFCI protected, will help keep you and your family protected. 

How Do GFCIs Work?

The GFCI outlet senses the difference between the amount of electricity flowing into the circuit, and the amount flowing out. If there happens to be an unequal amount of current between both sides then electricity is getting away from its willful path. It’s now looking for a new path into the ground. 

For example, when using an electrical appliance, if it happens to fall into the sink or bathtub, you instantly get a deadly shock. That won’t be pretty. But with a GFCI outlet installed, it’ll immediately shut off the electrical flow before you’re even injured or harmed. Since there’s a potential shock in these cases, GFCI outlets are meant to protect human lives. 

GFCI outlets prevent electrical fires. Your home’s wiring can age, causing it to deteriorate over time. Exposed or loose wiring goes through a surge in the electrical current. This can cause a fire inside the walls. GFCI outlets stop any leakage from electrical currents before it sparks a fire.

GFCIs can also prevent damage to your appliances. The insulation of an appliance will most likely break over time. Some electric current will leak through to the appliances, causing future damage to the equipment. If any of the appliances have a metal body then you’ll also experience electric shocks.

When you connect those appliances to GFCI outlets, you likely won’t have to worry about this. The GFCI will sense the leak and shut off the circuit. This will prevent your expensive equipment from damaging due to electrical leaks. This will also save you money by not having to always pay for repairs or replacements of damaged appliances. Who doesn’t love saving money?

What to Do if the Outlet Isn’t GFCI?

If you are using a non GFCI outlet then you must change it right away. You might be exposed to danger. So, you have two options: you can either change it yourself or get professional help. Professional help is recommended, but if you have experience with being a technician then you may do it yourself. 

To find out if your outlet is GFCI compliant, check it for test and reset buttons. Lucky for you, GFCIs are easy to install and inexpensive. But installing one requires running electrical wiring. This can be very dangerous, so it’s best to just contact a professional. 

Get GFCI Protection ASAP

Garages do require GFCI outlets and ensure your safety when they’re installed. The NEC and IRC require GFCI protection in your home. If your house isn’t up to code, you’ll have a hard time selling it in the future. Not only that but you’ll bring harm to yourself and those living with you. 

Avoiding this puts you at risk of starting a fire in your home, or receiving a deadly shock when you least expect it. Do not put a price on safety. Contact a professional now to have GFCI outlets installed in your garage. For more information, visit our website or contact us today!

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