Are You Using the Right Outlet?
Testing your Outlet IQ
Not all outlets are created equal. In fact, there are different types of outlets – also referred to as receptacles – required for different electrical needs and spaces in your home. But do you know which outlets to use where?
Here are the three outlets you should know about:
- Tamper Resistant Receptacles
Also referred to as child safety outlets, these outlets should be used throughout the home to help prevent a burn or shock from kids sticking their little fingers or objects into the outlet. The only time these aren’t required is if the outlet is out of reach, like the ones behind a washing machine or other large appliance, or outlets more than two metres above the floor. But ESA recommends putting them everywhere to be safe.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
Water and electricity don’t mix; that’s why there’s a specific kind of outlet to help prevent shock. All outlets within 1.5 metres of a sink must be GFCI-protected.
- Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)
Receptacles that are AFCI-protected actually reduce the risk of fire in the home by tripping the circuit and cutting off the electricity flowing to the outlet if it detects an electrical arc behind the walls. AFCI protection is needed throughout your home, with just a few exceptions. Your Licensed Electrical Contractor is required to know where AFCIs are needed and how they should be installed.
When you’re planning a renovation or an upgrade to your electrical, it’s best to speak with a Licensed Electrical Contractor early in the process to have the right outlets installed. Even if you’re not renovating, you can always make the switch – after all, it’s for the safety of you and your family.
Hire someone who can legally do electrical work in Ontario.