Ground Fault Circuit Interruptors

Ground fault circuit breakers (or residual current device) are part of a circuit protection and safety system. They work by comparing the current leaving the power source to that returning on the other side. If it detects that there is a discrepancy, that could mean the power has been diverted along another path such as through a person. In that case, it automatically disconnects the power supply. Afterwards, it can be reset by pressing a reset button. There are two main types of ground fault circuit breakers. They can be installed in an electrical panel, rather like a circuit breaker, and protect several electrical circuits. The second is the receptacle type which is installed in the power outlet itself, attached to appliance cords or built into extension cords. Some newer appliances such as hair dryers are purchased with an incorporated ground fault circuit breaker. It is recommended that ground fault circuit breakers are installed in rooms where there could be water such as bathrooms and kitchens since there is a greater risk of electrocution. They are also found in outdoor locations like gardens or places where power tools might be used like sheds.

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