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Types of Receptacles
A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet protects against electrical shock by interrupting power to a circuit when the amount of electrical current going out is different than the amount coming back. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires GFCI outlets in certain rooms including the garage, bathrooms, kitchen, porch, and laundry room if within 6 feet of a sink. AFCI/GFCI outlets protect against both ground faults and arc faults.
AFCI OutletAn AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet protects against electrical fires caused by an arc fault. Arc faults occur when there is damage to the wire insulation, allowing current to flow from one conductor to another, either within the same wire or a neighboring wire. The heat from the uninsulated current can burn and eventually ignite the damaged insulation. Arc faults can be caused by:
- nails driven through wiring in the walls (be careful hanging pictures!)
- furniture pressed against cords
- cords pinched in doorways
- frequent bending and unbending (wrapping up a computer cord or phone charger)
- cords damaged by heat, sunlight, or humidity
- too many devices plugged into a single circuit
A combination receptacle includes two USB chargers so that you can charge USB compatible devices directly from the wall instead of having to charge from your computer or other device. Keep your game going by plugging your game controllers into the wall, or power up your headphones before your morning run.