All Articles

GFCI vs. Standard Electrical Outlet: Which Is Better For My Iowa Home?

GFCI outlet with a RESET and TEST button and a standard outlet

A GFCI outlet (left) versus a standard outlet (right)

You’ve probably seen GFCI outlets around. They always have two buttons: one is a RESET, and the other is a TEST button. But what do they do, and are they better than standard electrical outlets for your home?

Professional electricians will always recommend ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) outlets over standard outlets for Iowa homes. GFCI outlets are much safer for your home and family and are in line with the state’s updated electrical code.

In this blog, we’ll review:

We’ll also explain the safety benefits of GFCI outlets and where to install them in your home.

Contact Golden Rule PHC for a Reliable GFCI Outlet Installation

Protect your family and electrical appliances with GFCI outlets installed by your friends at Golden Rule PHC. We have more trucks on the road than anyone else in the Des Moines Metro area, and we offer the best guarantees and warranties in Iowa. Call us today at (515) 393-4526 for same-day service!

How GFCI Outlets Work

A graphic image that shows how plugging a device into a standard outlet with an electrical current loss creates a ground fault.

A ground fault occurs when a standard outlet has an electrical current loss.

GFCIs are designed to constantly monitor the amount of electricity flowing out of the outlet through the electrical appliance and back into the outlet. Usually, this electrical current is balanced.

However, once there’s an unequal amount of current between the two sides, electricity will stray from its intended path and go toward the ground. This is called a “ground fault.”

Ground faults cause over 80% of all electrical equipment failures and happen due to:

  • Worn-out electrical wiring insulation
  • Moisture
  • Dust
  • Old electrical appliances

If you come into contact with a ground fault, the stray electricity can use your body as a conduit to the ground, and you’ll receive an electrical shock. A GFCI outlet has built-in safety features to protect against electrical shock, preventing accidents. It will trip and cut power almost instantly, within 1/40th of a second, when it detects even a minor current loss.

Which Rooms Require GFCI Outlets

A black device cord plugging into a GFCI outlet

A GFCI electrical outlet in a kitchen.

Not only does installing GFCI outlets help you prevent electric shock, but it also keeps your home up to electrical code. Code violations can make your home hard to sell in the future, as Iowa sellers must disclose electrical code violations to interested buyers.

According to the state's electrical code, homeowners must install GFCI outlets in damp areas in their homes to prevent any electrocution accidents should water come in contact with an electrical appliance, device cord, or outlet.

These specific areas in your home will need GFCI outlet protection as they have a higher risk of ground faults:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Garages
  • Within 6” of sinks or any water sources
  • Unfinished basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Laundry areas
  • All outdoor outlets

Ready to Protect Your Family and Appliances with GFCI Outlet Installations? Contact Golden Rule.

Golden Rule PHC branded service truck in front of Des Moines Metro home.

Contact Golden Rule PHC for a reliable GFCI outlet installation.

When Des Moines Metro homeowners call Golden Rule PHC for service, they know they’ll receive a highly-skilled professional at their door for a GFCI outlet installation that is up to electrical code.

We pride ourselves on our fast response times, in-house training, high-quality standards, and reliable service. From having the most 5-star reviews in the area to offering the best guarantees and warranties in Iowa, we strive to provide homeowners with the best electrical service possible.

Contact us today or call us at (515) 393-4526 for same-day service!