GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected receptacles are critical to ensure safe operations in institutional and commercial kitchens, and wet bars. Poorly maintained electrical appliances, damaged electrical cords, wet floors and lack of electrical safety training for employees results in the risk of electrical shocks in kitchens. GFCI protection has therefore, become mandatory. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that all receptacles (including 15- and 20A, 125V receptacles) be GFCI-protected, irrespective of whether they are located in countertop areas. More sensitive than circuit breakers, they act faster to protect you, your staff or patrons from electric shock which causes burns, heart arrhythmia or nervous system damage, even death. Kitchens in restaurants, hotels, schools, churches, dining halls, and similar facilities must have GFCI protection.
GFCI Protection vs Regular Circuit Breakers
It is important to understand how GFCI and regular circuit breakers work. Standard fuses and circuit breakers protect the wiring and electrical system from a fire in the event of an overload, but they are not adequate to protect people. Also, the current required to trip a regular circuit breaker is many times greater than the amount needed to inflict a fatal shock. The GFCI on the other hand, is specifically for protection from electrocution, not fire. The device typically kicks in as little as 1/40th of a second, potentially saving you or your staff from electric shock.
Types of GFCI Protectors
There are two types of GFCIs. GFCI receptacles are most common and similar to a regular wall outlet. GFCI circuit breakers replace traditional ones and provide protection to all receptacles on that particular circuit. An experienced commercial electrician can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each to make an informed decision. Test your GFCI receptacle or circuit breaker every month to ensure it is working properly.
At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer tailored solutions to install GFCI protection for the outlets in your institutional or commercial kitchen. Our expertise with design and installations helps optimize safety and energy efficiency. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.
Ask us for a custom GFCI installation plan to protect your business. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can rely on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions.
Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.