Category: GFCIs

Is Your Home Up to National Electrical Code?

Unless you’re a professional electrician, you probably don’t have the time and energy to keep up with annual changes and updates to the National Electrical Code. But as anyone in the electrical profession knows all too well, this book is critically important when it comes to buying and selling property or building new construction projects.

Even if you aren’t planning to put your house on the market any time soon, there are a few electrical code updates you shouldn’t ignore. As the technology we use every day develops so quickly year after year, our electrical systems need updates to keep them functioning correctly.

In honor of National Electrical Safety Month this May, our team at The Happy Outlet wants to share a few useful National Electrical Code requirements. Below are a few common upgrades your older home might need.

Do you have dedicated circuits for specific rooms or appliances?

Since our appliances have developed to serve us more effectively in the last few decades, they have also started to consume more and more electricity to work. Old school circuitry doesn’t always cut it anymore for washing machines, HVAC units, refrigerators, and other large appliances.

According to the National Electrical Code, your kitchen alone will need at least seven dedicated circuits for specific appliances (your fridge, dishwasher, and microwave are all examples). Even your garage must have its own dedicated circuit for receptables that power outdoor tools.

Most modern homes will already comply with dedicated circuit requirements. But many older homes will need new circuits added to the electric panel.

Do you have GFCI outlets outdoors and in every kitchen and bathroom?

The National Electrical Code now requires Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in any space where there is a source of water. GFCI outlets are designed to detect any disruptions in the flow of electricity. If they notice a surge of power, they will disconnect from the circuit completely. This feature is designed to protect homeowners from electrocution (which happens most frequently when electronics come into contact with water).

Your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, garage, basement, and all outdoor spaces should have GFCI outlets since there is always a chance that water could interfere with your electrical appliances. This is a relatively inexpensive upgrade that is critically important for your safety.

Do you have smoke alarms outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home?

Most people already know that smoke alarms are required in every bedroom. But in recent years, the National Electrical Code has updated its policy on smoke alarms.

You should have smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of your home (including the basement). This ensures that even if one smoke alarm fails, there is a safety net of other alarms to alert you to a fire immediately.

Is your home up to National Electrical Code?

In answer to the greater consumption of electricity and greater number of electronics in our homes, the National Electrical Code has created some new rules to keep homeowners safe.

If you have any questions about how to upgrade your home to meet electrical code requirements during a remodeling process, give us a call at The Happy Outlet! One of our expert electricians will be happy to help you.

For more information on electrical safety at home, check out our list of tips.

If you need any electrical repairs, replacements, or upgrades in your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.

20 Home Electrical Safety Tips

home electrical safety tips

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and we believe in spreading awareness at The Happy Outlet! National Electrical Safety Month serves to educate the public with tips to keep them safe while using electricity every day at home.

To kick off the education celebration this month, our team of expert electricians has compiled a list of 20 electrical safety tips for our customers to remember at home. Check them out before you plug it in!

General Electrical Safety Tips

These general electrical safety tips apply to all rooms in your house, and even your backyard. Think carefully before using electrical appliances and be sure to teach your kids these safety rules.

  • Check electrical cords for damage frequently. Frayed cords can cause electrocution or electrical fires.
  • Never yank electrical cords out of outlets. Gently pull them out by their plastic base.
  • Don’t plug too many devices into the same electrical outlet or power strip at once. This can overload your circuits and trip a breaker.
  • Only use extension cords as a temporary fix, not a permanent solution. Never cover them with blankets or rugs because the heat this generates is a fire hazard.
  • Remember that even if an appliance is turned off, it is still connected to an electrical current as long as it is plugged in.
  • Install GFCI outlets that will shut off your power if they detect a problem with the flow of electricity to an appliance. They prevent electrocution, and they are required in every room with a source of water to meet the National Electrical Code.

Kitchen Electrical Safety Tips

These electrical safety tips apply specifically to the kitchen. Since kitchens have a source of water from the sink, it is important to stay extra vigilant about electrical safety.

  • Always unplug handheld appliances before cleaning them or removing a piece of stuck food. (This includes toasters, blenders, coffee pots, and more.)
  • Plug handheld cooking appliances into GFCI outlets only.
  • Vacuum the coils of your refrigerator regularly. If dirt builds up on them, it can create a fire hazard.
  • Make sure there is some space left behind your refrigerator for air to circulate.
  • If you feel even a tiny shock from a major appliance, turn it off right away. Turn off the power to the appliance from your circuit board, and then call a professional immediately. There could be a serious problem with your wiring.

Bathroom Electrical Safety Tips

Here are a few electrical safety tips for the bathroom. Between the sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub, there are lots of opportunities for water to come into contact with electronics. Stick to these rules to help you prevent a dangerous electrocution.

  • Never operate electrical appliances near a bathtub full of water or a running shower.
  • Leave unnecessary electronics such as radios or laptops outside of the bathroom. Use hair tools with caution.
  • Never use any electrical appliances while your hands are wet.
  • Never install regular recessed lighting in your shower area. Use a vapor-tight recessed light instead.
  • If you notice any electrical problems like flickering lights or dead outlets, have a professional inspect and troubleshoot them right away.

Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips

Electrical safety doesn’t stop when you step out the back door. Bring these tips along with you to your next barbecue or pool party and keep your guests safe.

  • Stay away from power lines. Don’t fly kites or drones near them. If you see one on the ground after a storm, call to report it to the police.
  • Don’t touch transformer boxes, and don’t let kids play near them.
  • Keep all electronics at least 10 feet away from swimming pools.
  • Use only extension cords designed to withstand outdoor wear and tear.
  • Never run extension cords through doors or windows, even temporarily.
  • Use GFCI outlets outdoors to protect yourself and your electrical system from moisture caused by precipitation.

Now that you know some basic electrical safety tips, remember one more important lesson: never attempt any DIY electrical repairs or replacements. Always call a licensed and insured professional to handle your electrical panel, circuits, and wiring.

If you need any electrical repairs, replacements, or upgrades in your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.

3 Benefits of GFCI Outlets

benefits of gfci outlets

Have you ever noticed that not all outlet receptacles look exactly alike? Some simply have smooth plates with two-prong or three-prong holes, and others have buttons sandwiched between them. If you haven’t ever studied electricity for the home, these differences might appear insignificant at first glance. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Outlets with three-prong holes and two buttons labeled “reset” and “test” are ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. They are specifically designed to keep you and your electronics safe from electrical hazards.

If you have never heard of GFCI outlets, or you know they are beneficial but aren’t really sure why, The Happy Outlet is here to help. Here are three benefits of GFCI outlets explained by our team of expert electricians.

1. They prevent electrical shock.

GFCI outlets have sensors inside of them that monitor the flow of electricity. If even a minuscule amount of electrical current travels along an unintended path, most three-prong outlets will redirect it into the ground. However, if that current is conducted through a human being during a “ground fault,” it can have deadly consequences. GFCI outlets cut off electrical power to their receptacle completely as soon as they detect discrepancy in the current. This keeps us from receiving painful shocks from power surges, faulty technology, or contact with water.

2. They prevent electrical fires.

As the wiring in a home ages, it’s insulation can slowly deteriorate. If loose or exposed wiring experiences a prolonged surge in the electrical current, it can spark a fire inside the walls of your home. A GFCI outlet stops any electrical current “leakage” in its tracks before it has the chance to spark an electrical fire. If you live in an older home that could be prone to electrical oddities, GFCI outlets are a major asset for fire prevention and protection.

3. They bring your outlets up to modern electrical codes.

Because GFCI outlets are such an advantageous safety sensor, they are required by the National Electrical Code in all new kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements laundry rooms, outdoor spaces, and more. Older homes built before this requirement was standard often do not have GFCI outlets installed next to sources of water. Upgrading existing homes that don’t meet modern electrical code standards is not required by law, but it is much safer for your property and your family. It is also significantly important if you ever decide to rent or sell your property. Any safety inspector will immediately notice if there is an old-fashioned outlet receptacle near a water source posing a potential hazard. Upgrading to GFCI ensures current and future residents of your property will stay safer from electrical dangers.

Are you interested in installing GFCI outlets in your home?

If these benefits of GFCI outlets appeal to you, an upgrade is only a phone call away! Switching from old school outlets to GFCI is an effective tool to keep your family and your technology safer.

If you are interested in installing GFCI outlets in your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.

The Safety Benefits of GFCIs


Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are an important part in any household. Their capabilities span beyond a normal electrical outlet. They are a safe, modern outlet that guarantees protection for your household. GFCI outlets are designed to protect against electrical shock from short circuits, and are required in homes today, specifically bathrooms and kitchens. A GFCI outlet can easily be identified by the test and reset buttons that are in between the plugs on the outlet. Knowing where your GFCI outlets are is important, but you should also be mindful of the safety benefits they possess.

The experts at The Happy Outlet have compiled some essential information on the safety benefits of GFCI outlets.

Personal Safety

  • A GFCI is dedicated to keep those in your home safe from electrical shock.
  • Electricity can dangerous, and you may not always know if you are at risk of shock.
  • With GFCIs ability to limit the severity of short circuit damage, your personal protection is increased greatly while you use your electrical system.

Fire Prevention

  • Preventing shock means preventing chances of fire.
  • Electrical fires are a major danger to homes, and their occurrence increases during the winter.
  • Electrical fires are usually caused by electricity heating up flammable material such as cloth, further spreading flame to other areas of a home.
  • Halting electrical shock via GFCI offers strong prevention from any sort of electrical fire, and reduces the risk of damaging your home.

Damage Reduction

  • Not only does electric shock lead to fires, it can also cause damage to your appliances and electrical devices.
  • Plugging in an appliance only to have the outlet short circuit can severely damage your appliance and ruin the circuitry immediately.
  • A GFCI outlet shuts down an electric power circuit when it detects a current flowing through an unintended path – which can hurt appliances and other electrical devices.

Child Safety

  • Children, when left unattended, can be curious about electrical outlets.
  • A GFCI acts as the strongest line of defense for your children and accidental shock, and are known to save lives on many occasions.
  • GFCI outlets offer substantial protection for your children, and we recommend having added safety such as plastic covers for your plugs and outlets.

GFCI outlets are more than just an outlet; they are what keep your home electrically safe. If you are ready to receive the highest level of safety for your home, contact The Happy Outlet today! We are the trusted electrical company of Carson City, and our electrical safety services have kept Nevada homeowners safe for over 17 years. Give us a call at 775-841-9473 to schedule an appointment and give your home the GFCI installations it deserves.