Staying Safe in the Kitchen: Electrical Basics You Need to Know
Getting ready for a major kitchen remodel or just making a few updates? You're likely to bump up against some electrical problems, but may not be sure what you can safely do yourself versus when to call the professionals. Electricians, contractors and other industry professionals have a deeper understanding of where the dangers can occur when you're dealing with electrical systems, so involving them sooner rather than later may be a good idea for major projects.
Keeping your family safe in the kitchen means having electrical appliances that are safely hooked up, including GFCI and lighting circuits that support the needs of your systems. Anytime you consider shifting around large appliances in your kitchen, you will need to make special arrangements to be sure you've got the correct outlet structure to safely support your needs. This can play into how your kitchen is arranged, so it's important to work with a contractor or installer who is familiar with the building codes that dictate the distance between outlets over countertops, or how to install tamper-resistant outlets, for instance.
Did you know that dishwashers and garbage disposals require their own dedicated circuit or that countertop sections that are wider than 12 inches require a GFCI? As you can probably imagine, this can require some creative design work to recreate a kitchen that has the proper flow of traffic yet still keeps in mind all the safety considerations that building codes require.
What is a GFCI?
A GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, is a device that automatically shuts off electric power to a particular circuit by determining that the current is flowing somewhere that it does not belong. This could be through water, or even through a person, but the GFCI is smart enough to know that something is wrong and to terminate the current to that outlet immediately -- potentially saving you from a nasty burn or even electrocution in the case of water. An electrical outlet that is not properly grounded can also cause a fire if the electricity comes into contact with a metal conduit. These devices are especially important in places like bathrooms or kitchens, and anywhere that children are present and could potentially place unintended items into an outlet. GFCIs are also available in breaker boxes, so if you're not getting power to your kitchen, you may need to perform a reset at the breaker level instead of the outlet level.
Want to learn more about best practices for updating your kitchen? Contact Kitchen Tune-Up today to see how our professionals can provide you with a kitchen remodeling plan that meets your needs and keeps you and your family safe at the same time. Drop us a note via live chat on our website, or call us today at 704-248-8847.