Anytime you are working with electrical tools and extension cords outside, there is a risk of getting shocked if there is a problem with the circuit. I can happen inside as well but it is more common outside where there are more hazards to raise the odds of something happening. There are ways to protect yourself and ensure that you are not in that situation, even if you are working on a site with very basic electrical service available.
What Is GFCI And What Does It Do?
You may have heard GFI or GFCI before and not really understood what it is referring to. It is pretty simple really. GFCI is an acronym for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and it basically a protected circuit that is designed to be used around water or outdoors. The circuit will trip an internal breaker if a ground is detected and will shut down the power to the outlet or circuit immediately. The fault can be caused by water or moisture getting in the circuit or by damage to the cord or tool you are using. The GFCI is designed to protect you from electrocution, burns, and other injuries that can result from contact with electricity.
Using An Inline GFCI
When you are working on a job site that has power coming into it but only an outlet or two on the pole near the meter, plugging cords in and running them across the job site is pretty common. These outlets are often extremely temporary and often they are not protected against ground faults. One good way to protect yourself and your crew is to use inline GFCIs plugged into the outlet on one end and the cord on the other. In some cases, you can get an inline GFCI that has several taps on it so you can plug in 2 or even 3 cords and have them all protected off the safe GFCI.
Where To Buy Inline GFCIs
When you get ready to purchase an inline GFCI, you want a good one that you know works well so taking a chance on an inexpensive unit just to save a few dollars if probably the best idea. Where do you get these GFCI units? Most of the major retailers that offer electrical supplies have them, along with the big home improvement centers and the contractor's supply centers. Prices can vary a lot but keep in mind, you want it to work when it counts so don't buy the first thing you see. Ask about them and how well they work if the employee in that area have experience with the product,