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Do you live in an older home? You probably don’t have AFCI or GFCI outlets. Newly built homes, on the other hand, are required to have these types of outlets installed according to 2012 Virginia Construction Code.

Older properties built before this recent regulation are exempt from having AFCIs or GFCIs. However, if your outdated electrical system has been malfunctioning lately, it might be time to look into replacing your outlets to meet more recent building codes.

Culpeper Home Services provides a full range of electrical solutions, including AFCI and GFCI outlet installations. We serve homeowners throughout Culpeper County and surrounding areas in Northern Virginia—so you’ll always receive a quick response whenever you call!

What are AFCI & GFCI Outlets?

Both AFCI breakers and GFCI outlets serve to protect you from dangerous electrical situations.

AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupter) breakers are used to prevent damage from arcing by cutting power off to affected outlets. Arcing occurs when electrical connections become loose, causing a visible spark and an undesirable amount of heat—potentially resulting in fires. Arcing can be caused by an electrical device overheating while it’s plugged in, a rat chewing through your wires, or accidentally splicing a wire during construction work. 

If you have an AFCI breaker installed, it will sense the arcing and shut off power to your outlets before further damage happens. AFCIs are required to cover most of the home: sleeping areas, dens, kitchens, and utility rooms.

GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets are used to prevent electrocution. The most common example of a home accident is dropping the hair dryer in a sink or tub full of water. If you have a GFCI outlet installed, it will sense the change in current and trip—so if you forget and reach in to grab the hair dryer, you will be spared a dangerous electrical shock.

This is why GFCIs are required in bathrooms, kitchens, pool areas, laundry rooms, garages, and other areas where water is present.

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Is it Really Necessary to Upgrade My Old Outlets?

The decision to upgrade to code-compliant outlets ultimately rests with your preferences and budget.

Fires due to electrical accidents are among the leading cause of property damage in the country. Although local building codes don’t require older properties to have AFCI and GFCI outlets, we recommend considering an upgrade to better protect your family from potentially  dangerous situations.

GFCI outlets are budget friendly and can be quickly installed by our licensed electricians. AFCI breakers have a higher upfront cost, since they feature special circuit breakers and are usually installed in your electrical panel.

Both GFCIs and AFCIs are easy to incorporate into your existing electrical system. The peace of mind they provide is enough reason to consider replacing your outdated system with these safer alternatives.

Schedule Service Now

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Ready to upgrade to AFCI breakers or GFCI outlets? Call our Culpeper County electricians at (540) 845-3653 to schedule immediate service in your area.

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Culpeper Home Services
1202 S Main St. Culpeper, VA 22701
(540) 845-3653
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