New Bern NC Electrician's
The following list of Electricians all do work in the New Bern area.
Jones Electric-252-244 1802
Keith Eubanks-252 671-6762
This information is brought to you as a courtesy of
Realtor Steve Tyson
What is a Ground Fault Interrupter?
If one of your outlets does not work, check the ground fault breaker that is located either in the electrical panel or on one of the outlets.
A ground-fault circuit interrupter,(GFCI), is there to protect people
from electrical shock,
so it is completely different from a fuse. The idea behind a
fuse is to protect a house from an
electrical fire. If the hot wire
were to accidentally touch the
neutral wire for some reason (say,
because a mouse chews through the
insulation, or someone drives a
nail through the wire while hanging
a picture, or the vacuum cleaner sucks up an
outlet cord and cuts it), an
incredible amount of current will
flow through the circuit and start
heating it up like one of the coils
in a toaster. The fuse heats up
faster than the wire and burns out
before the wire can start a fire.
A GFCI is much
more subtle. When you look at a
normal 120-volt outlet in the United
States, there are two vertical slots
and then a round hole centered below
them. The left slot is slightly
larger than the right. The left slot
is called "neutral," the right slot
is called "hot" and the hole below
them is called "ground." If an
appliance is working properly, all
electricity that the appliance uses
will flow from hot to neutral. A
GFCI monitors the amount of
current flowing from hot to neutral.
If there is any imbalance,
it trips the circuit.
It is able to sense a mismatch as
small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it
can react as quickly as
one-thirtieth of a second.
So let's say you are outside with
your power drill and it is raining.
You are standing on the ground, and
since the drill is wet there is a
path from the hot wire inside the
drill through you to ground (see
How Power Distribution Grids Work
for details on grounding). If
electricity flows from hot to ground
through you, it could be fatal. The
GFCI can sense the current flowing
through you because not all of the
current is flowing from hot to
neutral as it expects -- some of it
is flowing through you to ground. As
soon as the GFCI senses that, it
trips the circuit and cuts off the
How does an AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) circuit breaker work?
AFCI breakers are the latest advance in life safety and fire protection. Basically - The arc fault circuit breaker continuously monitors the shape of the sine wave of the electricity passing through the AFCI breaker. Anytime the sine wave is uneven or jagged, there may be a sparking condition somewhere down the line. In this case the AFCI breaker will click off. Most of them also will light one or two tiny LEDs on the front of the breaker. By reading the instructions you can determine if it was a hot-to-ground fault or a hot-to-neutral fault.
An AFCI breaker does not do the same thing as a GFI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
The AFCI uses a very simple computer chip that constantly checks for a sparking condition between the hot wires and the neutral wire. It also checks for a high resistance or over heating condition in either the out going hot wire or the returning neutral wire.
Generally it checks for any sputtering, sparking or overheating condition that might indicate a loose or overheating connection.
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