Have you ever heard of the National Electric Code? If not, it is sort of a standard operating procedure on rules and guidelines to follow in regards to electrical wiring in residential buildings. The regulations in the manual are followed throughout the United States. One of the stipulations demands that kitchens, patios, and bathroom areas have GFCI outlets. The best GFCI outlet will be quick to install, have no faulty parts, and work well past its warranty. Collectively, they play an important part in keeping people safe from electric shock. Check out the five products below to see which are the best for your living areas. And don’t forget to read the Buyer’s Guide, which will give you some helpful tips before you make your final selection.
What is the Best GFCI outlets in October, 2018
This comparison chart shows the main contrasts and similarities between the products. It’s a great way to double check any features you need to know when looking at more than one receptacle.
|Name||Amps||Wall plate Included||UL compliant||Price|
|15, 20||Yes||UL Listed|
|15, 20||Yes||UL Listed|
|15, 20||Yes||No (ETL Listed |
|15, 20||Yes||UL Listed|
Leviton GFNT1-W – Best Quality GFCI Outlet
The Leviton GFNT1-W is an all-white receptacle with 15 or 20 Amps of power, housed in a sturdy wall plate that’s sold with the device. The directions given during installation are a breeze to follow, so if you plan on doing this solo, the brand is among the highest recommended products to purchase. Compared to older editions of the same type, the frame is a little smaller, which also shaves off a few ounces in its total weight. And being that the cover is included, there won’t be a need for you to go out looking for spare parts to finish things up. If your walls aren’t white and you would like something that matches the color, you’ll have to find an alternative that’s compatible and flush with the outlet’s ground.
Observing the Buttons
Although it’s not really a negative, some people like to have GFCI outlets that are word and color-coded. It makes things easier to see, especially if you wear glasses or contacts. The letters are small, so be sure that you know what you’re doing on the front but especially on
the back side when wiring. And the screws that go to the cover plate might be difficult to place on as well, more so if you’re replacing a very old GFCI. Furthermore, make sure to tighten the screws for the wiring very good because if not, tests will continue to flash red indicators (meaning there is either a problem with the outlet itself or the installation).
But this shouldn’t occur with the average buyer. In fact, the quality of the parts will probably make it last much longer than anticipated, particularly when used in garages and porches. Leviton has certainly made a great safety feature to place throughout your home, and the plugs themselves go in easy but not too loose. It is suggested for anyone that has a combination of both indoor and outdoor grounds that need to be updated.
BESTTEN GFCI Outlet – Best GFCI Outlet For Bathroom
Receptacles That you can Install Fast
The Bestten Outlet can be sold in packs. That means there will be cheaper but probably be enough for you to store for later use, or have spare in the unlikely event that one of the receptacles is faulty. In any case, the construction is well made and show easy to read letters on the test and reset buttons. And like the last product reviewed, the manual has an easy to follow guide for finishing up the installation quickly. Parts are solid and show no signs of having cheaply made parts that could wear down from the elements. Use them in your kitchen and bathroom; your electronics will work as expected.
No Retention Screws
One drawback is that no retention screws are sold with the receptacles. Which is surprising, given that can be so many outlets included in the package. You will have to either use those placed on the old outlet or acquire new screws altogether. Add that with a lightweight design, and you’ll have an outlet that could potentially come off if the plug is pulled with too much force. Do yourself a favor and find proper retention screws to keep this from happening. But the outlet still ranks high on the list, as the positives are big enough to garner it more quality over many of its competitors.
TOPELE GFCI Outlet – Best GFCI Outlet For Easy Testing
LED Indicators For Topele
The Topele 15 or 20 Amp GFCI is another completely white outlet that can retail in packs of ten. There are two different wall plates added, one of them requiring no screws for it to go in place. Just attach to the outlet when you finished placing the wires to the correct load. There is an LED light that flashes green or red, depending on whether the connectors are functioning as they should. That means you can test the outlet without needing an external kit to know whether or not the product works.
Confidence in its Compliance
Upon viewing the title in the link description, the brand claims that the outlet is UL Listed. But according to some reviews, there’s nothing in the manual or item that signifies it as having such a certification. This contradictory aspect could be forgiven though, as some of the older models may have had this issue. In any case, certification remains as either ETL or UL. While the slots could be improved by if they were a bit larger, there’s not much criticism to say about the Topele. You get a solid GFCI that’s made for anyone that hasn’t or doesn’t have the time to run tests from external devices.
Lutron CAR-15-GFST-WH Claro – Best GFCI Outlet For Kitchen
Lutron’s Style and Substance
The Lutron CAR-15-GFST-WH Claro adds a bit a style to their outlets. There are 27 different colors to select, with shades that are bright and dark. It’s the best receptacle for anyone looking for something that matches the setting to whatever room it’s placed in. There are also outdoor shades that match with brick and concrete, so it’s safe to say that the plug will blend right in with the environment it’s installed at.
Getting Your Plugs to Fit
Again, the plugs will go in hard. You will find yourself pushing inwards and wiggling it in just for a standard two-pronged cord to fit through. When you screwing it to the wall, try to get them in tight so that nothing comes loose early on in its use. Such an effort could make tightening more likely to happen since the holes are tight. Additionally, it might be hard to find a wall plate that properly aligns with the receptacle. These are not sold with the main device; you will have to purchase one that corresponds to the color chosen if preferred. Regardless, the design is the selling point here, so if you want a GFCI that looks just as well as it functions, it doesn’t get any better than the CAR-15-GFST-WH Claro.
PROCURU GFCI Receptacle Outlet – Best Water-Resistant GFCI Outlet
A Good Outlet No matter where It’s Used
Procuru is the fifth and final receptacle to make it on the list. It’s tamper resistant and can be configured to work as either a normal outlet or a GFCI. Since this article is dealing with the latter, it’s assumed that you’re probably interested in using the device to replace an older kitchen or bathroom outlet. But the installation must be done carefully, as the screws are made in such as way that makes it hard to place inside without pliers or tightening firmly. 12 gauge wires are the hardest, with the others fitting through the holes like normal.
Less is More
Although most GFCI’s will work in slightly moist conditions, this one steps thing up with added weather resistance the outlet. That doesn’t mean that you should go and pour water over the plug to check it for yourself, but longevity and faulty or malfunctioning shouldn’t occur in most settings. Recommended for people who need just one single outlet and nothing more.
GFCI Outlets should be chosen carefully. Failure to do so could have you end up with a product that doesn’t work as expected. The tips and information below will give you a quick look at things to consider before you settle with one product.
What Exactly Is a GFCI Outlet?
To describe them in basic terms, a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is an outlet that’s designed to protect the user from electric current. This is determined by mechanisms that enable the outlet to read input and output currents. When these two change for any reason, electricity will distribute to a different source, which is usually the unfortunate end. It’s one of the leading causes of electric shock.
The GFCI shuts down power being fed to the current that would have caused harm to the user, preventing serious injury from taking place. You can always tell them apart from normal outlets because the receptacles will have two rectangular-shaped buttons somewhere on the front of the outlet. These buttons will have the words “reset” on one and “test” on the other. Furthermore, although colors are not always displayed on them, they are oftentimes color coded: Red for reset, and black for a test.
Suitable Places to Have a GFCI Outlet
As described in the last paragraph, GFCI receptacles will shut down the power supply to the source to whatever causes an electric current to leak. But what are the factors that would cause something like this to happen in the first place? You guessed it-water and moisture. And some of the places most likely to have the problem of moisture getting into wall sockets are common knowledge. Kitchens, bathrooms, restrooms, and garages. If you’ve never noticed before, take a look at the outlets in a public bathroom whenever you go out in public. Chances are high that you’ll see them on the wall close to the sink. In the U.S, some states require that both residential and businesses have these fixtures installed in power sources that are close to moisture.
Most brands that sell GFCI receptacles have their products tested by UL, an American organization that certifies different goods that are retailed to the public. Testing determines whether or not the product works as promised. And in the case of GFCI’s this should be detrimental to the outlet you buy. If a fire is started that’s caused by an outlet not certified by UL, some insurance companies will not cover the damages. Check with your insurer if you’re certain about the stipulations of this. Additionally, there are some outlets that claim to have UL Certification but do not, according to the organization themselves. Always read up on what people are saying about the product. Looking at tests performed by others is also a plus, including familiarity on how to test for yourself.
Most outlets will show “UL Listed” somewhere on the device itself. If not, it could be located on the manual. As this is a good selling point for GFCI Outlets, the compliance might even be marketed on the main product’s description or title. Also, some good brands might not use UL for certification. The alternative would be ETL, which is preferred for their speedier process at testing and approving. When it comes to product testing, it’s a trusted source, so don’t fret if you see an outlet with the label on it instead of UL.
Changing an electric outlet of any kind should never be performed by anyone that isn’t confident or familiar with doing so in the first place. You don’t want to shock yourself. If you cannot do it, have a family member, friend, or professional that knows how to change the outlet for you. Still, here’s a briefing on the basic tasks you must do to complete setup. You should always refer to the instruction manual of the product you purchase, as there could be parts that are color-coded in a way that’s different to receptacles you may have seen before. Always exercise caution.
- Turn off the main breaker to your home. For some rooms, it might be necessary for you to switch off more than one.
- If you can get them, use a pair of rubber gloves. They will help protect you from shock if the current isn’t switched off.
- Once you remove the wall plate, use a voltage tester/meter to check if there’s an electric current coming from the wires leading to the breaker box. If there is any voltage, that means another breaker is still on somewhere. Locate it and switch off.
- Check the back of your receptacle. It should have the words “line” and and “load/charge” in large letters. There should be indicators by the words pointing to the screws in which to place the wires. Check with your instruction manual to know where to place the neutral and hot wires.
- Once the wires are attached, you should perform a test to make sure they are placed in the right screws. A receptacle tester (must be purchased separately) will show you if everything is correct. They have light indicators that will flash red whenever something is done wrong. Be sure to check the top and bottom outlets. Once the tester flashes the correct signal lights, you’re good to go!
Even after you’re finished installing, it’s a good idea to check the outlet with different appliances, being sure not to intentionally overload the receptacle. Some grounds are difficult to get in so knowing how hard it will be to push and pull plugs from the outlet will save you the trouble of becoming annoyed from the change later on when you’re ready to use an appliance. Or you could simply do this before you get started on the
installation. Indoor outlets can last decades without needing a replacement, whereas outdoor plugs tend to go bad much sooner due to prolonged condensation, especially in humid and/or wet environments. Still, don’t be surprised if the outlet becomes faulty in as little as five years, something known that happen but most susceptible to lower quality receptacles.
It’s not hard to find out which GFCI receptacles will be best for your home. Going on the major factors that were previously described in the buyer’s section, the Leviton GFNT1-W and BESTTEN GFCI Outlets come out on top above the rest. Chosen for their proper certifications, easy wiring instructions, and overall good functionality, they will last a very long time in your home. However, do rule out the others if you want to see what else is available; they remain high in quality and will do their job as advertised. If your residence doesn’t have GFCI outlets or is in need of an upgrade, all of the products shown will improve your home’s electrical safety wherever they are needed.