The purpose of a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is designed to protect people from an electric shock. A GFCI outlet has it integrated into it and it will monitor the amount of power going into the device that is plugged in. This means, if the electrical appliance were to be dropped into water, the GFCI will detect the interruption in the current and cut the power going to the device.
The best GFCI outlet is the Leviton GFNT1-W Self-test SmartlockPro, which is a non-tamper resistant receptacle with LED indicators and available as a 15 or 20 Amp unit.
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Best GFCI Outlets
|15 or 20 Amp
|1.6 x 1.3 x 4.2"
|Eaton GFCI Self-Test
|2.3 x 3.3 x 6.1"
|1.8 x 1.3 x 4.2"
|BESTTEN Self -Test
|4.5 x 2.7 x 3.0"
|4.6 x 2.8 x 1.8"
Compared against the standard wall outlet, you can tell if the outlet has GFCI functionality by the presence of a test and reset button. Some even have an indicator (usually a small LED) built into the outlet too.
In terms of the monitoring performed by a GFCI outlet, it is the current flowing from hot to neutral. It is able to sense the mismatch of approximately 5 milliamps within 1/30 of a second and if there is an imbalance, it will trip the circuit.
It is recommended that you test the GFCI outlet on a regular basis as they will wear out overtime. Testing is simple by using the test and reset buttons. Below is a list of the best GFCI outlets for your home that will ensure you are completely safe from any form of electric shock.
Leviton GFNT-1 GFCI Receptacle
The Leviton GFCI outlets are affordable and durable and they provide constant ground fault protection for total safety and peace of mind. The ground tests are conducted continuously and are both internal and external for extra support.
They also have a very sleek design and come in several different colors to match your home decor. Not only does this design look good, but it also makes the GFCI outlet much easier to install.
Here are some of the notable features of the Leviton GFCI receptacle outlet.
- Regular internal tests plus detection of actual ground faults
- Available in both 15 and 20 amp options
- Status indicator light to indicate current ground fault protection status
- Lockout mechanism to prevent resets
- Operates in -35 to 66 degrees Celsius
- Six different color options available
- Limited two year warranty
The Leviton GFCI outlet is a reliable and durable ground control mechanism, and it’s easy to install. Due to the the slim design, it fits comfortably into a normal wall outlet and it has a one-piece installation mechanism. Since there are multiple monitoring mechanisms, you never have to worry about electrical safety with this outlet.Check it Out
Eaton GFCI Self-Test Receptacle
The Eaton self-test receptacle is another great GFCI outlet that offers multiple protection mechanisms. It performs automatic tests as well as an end of life lockout to completely eliminate the risk of shock or other electrical issues.
It’s easy to install and can be installed in a switch panel for convenience. Here are some of the notable features of the Eaton GFCI outlet.
- Includes single pole switch as well as outlet
- Conducts regular self tests
- Lockout prevents electric shocks
This GFCI panel is designed to blend in with your room and isn’t too big or bulky. Eaton are known for their electrical safety devices and this outlet follows their high quality reputation and is an GFCI outlet you can trust.Check it Out
Topele 20 Amp GFCI Outlet
The Topele GFCI outlet provides reliable and safe 20 amp power that is easy to install. It can be set up in as little as 10 minutes and blends in with your wall.
It is completely tamper and weather resistant for total peace of mind, no matter where you install it. It has a helpful test function that will shut the outlet off if you are in any risk of danger. Here are some of the notable features of the Topele GFCI outlet.
- 20 amp power output
- Comes with a few different styles of wall plates to choose from
- Completely tamper and weather resistant
- Meets National Electrical Code standards
- Prevents reset when GFCI is not working
- Green indicator light shows the status of the outlet
- 1 year warranty
The Topele GFCI outlet is one of the best outdoor GFCI outlets on the market. It is made with material that is specifically designed to be weather resistant, so you can use it outside in both hot and cold weather. The easy setup of this product is also great because it requires no previous electrical experience.Check it Out
BESTTEN Self-Test GFCI Receptacle Outlet
The BESTTEN self-test GFCI outlets come in a pack of five, so they can be installed all around your house. They are certified for safety and self-test to prevent electrical shocks and other emergencies.
It is easy to use and can be wired to a few different types of electrical sockets. Here are some of the notable features of the BESTTEN GFCI receptacle outlet.
- Has both back and side wiring options
- 15 amp and 125 volt electrical output
- Comes with a decorative wall plate
- UL rated for safety
- Red light flashes when the GFCI is not working
- Comes in a pack of five
- 3 year warranty
The BESTTEN GFCI outlets are a good option if you need to install multiples throughout your home or office. They are safe and easy to install and will provide you with peace of mind about your electrical usage.Check it Out
Faith 15-Amp Self Testing GFCI Outlet
The Faith self-testing GFCI outlet is a well made outlet that will protect against ground shocks and other electrical problems. It is simple to wire, but is also made to be very durable. Here are some of the notable features of the Faith 15-amp GFCI outlet.
- Self tests every 2.5 hours for safety
- ETL listed and NEC compliant
- Available in both white and ivory
- Can be wired on either the side or the back
- Cuts off power in a fraction of a second
- LED light indicates power status
- 1 year warranty
This GFCI outlet is quick to wire and the continuous self-tests ensure that you are always getting the protection that you need. The Faith Electric brand is very reliable and is completely tested for electric safety and security.Check it Out
GFCI Outlet Buying Guide
A GFCI outlet provides a more secure electrical connection than a traditional outlet. GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. A ground fault is an electrical connection that develops unintentionally between the ground and a source of power, creating the potential for electrocution.
This type of outlet is designed to protect the user from electrical problems such as shocks by detecting the problem and immediately shutting off the outlet before a shock can occur.
They are particularly good to use in a bathroom or kitchen, where the outlet may be close to water, although they can be installed anywhere. Since GFCI units are designed for safety, it’s important that you choose one that is of great quality. Here are some of the features you should look for in a GFCI outlet.
When GFCI outlets were first sold, there were manual versions available where you had to press a button to test whether or not you are protected.
However, technology has improved, and units quickly improved to offer a self-testing feature where they will automatically check the electric connection regularly to ensure there isn’t any potential for danger.
The Underwriters Laboratories, which regulate outlets, now require that all units be self-testing units. Some outlets may still have a manual button on them, but if they are not self-testing and certified by UL, they are something to stay away from.
While this is likely intuitive, you should always double check to make sure that your GFCI outlet will automatically shut off and prevent a reset in the event of a dangerous ground fault connection. A GFCI outlet should be able to sense the electrical connection immediately and work instantaneously to shut off the power and remove any danger.
A helpful feature that many GFCI outlets feature is an LED light that indicates the status of the ground fault. These lights differ in color from product to product, but typically will be one color when the connection is safe and another color when the connection is unsafe.
This LED light is helpful, because it will catch your attention and quickly alert you that there is a problem that needs to be solved.
Ease of Installation
Although you could always hire an electrician to help you with your GFCI outlet, ideally you should be able to install it yourself. Many outlets are designed with easy installation in mind and can be quickly hooked up in just one or two steps.
Many even come with multiple wiring options on the back and side of the outlet, so you can hook it up easily regardless of what type of wall panels you have. A good GFCI outlet should also come with quality instructions that are easy to understand.
There may be some instances where you want to install a GFCI outlet outside. In this case, you should look for a GFCI that is weather resistant.
Not all GFCIs are meant for outdoor use, so you should always check to ensure that they are specified as being weather resistant. They should be waterproof and resistant to cold temperatures, and they should also be resistant to heat and not warp. GFCI outlets that are weather resistant are generally more durable than their competition.
The power output of the GFCI outlet is another important thing to look at. These outlets are usually available in either 15 amp or 20 amp versions. You will need to determine which one you need and which type is compatible with the outlet hookups in your home.
Both are effective, but a 20 amp version is going to provide a bit more power than a 15 amp version and can power heavier duty devices.
Screws And Face Plates
The GFCI outlet you purchase should come with the accessories you need to get it set up. Some outlets do not come with a face plate, and you will need to purchase it separately, which can be very frustrating.
Look for an outlet that has the face plate included, and ensure that it comes with the screws you need as well. Since the outlets usually require a very specific size of screw, it is very helpful when these are included.
Most GFCI outlets come in a variety of different colors to suit your needs. This is very helpful because you can match the GFCI outlet to the color of the other outlets in the space as well as the wall. In addition to the traditional white and ivory colors, you can now also find these outlets in other colors like black, brown, and even red.
The design of the outlet is something else to look at, particularly if you are concerned about how the outlet is going to look in relation to the rest of the room. A thin, low profile design is going to look best because it will really blend into the wall. These thinner designs also tend to be easier to install because they are less bulky.
Many GFCI outlets come with a warranty to protect your purchase in case something goes wrong with the product. This can provide you with some peace of mind knowing that you will get a replacement during the warranty period. Before purchasing your outlet, be sure to take a look at the warranty so you know how long it lasts and what type of damage it covers.
A GFCI outlet provides you with superior protection against electrical shock, so it makes sense that many people are opting to install these types of outlets throughout their homes and offices.
When choosing a GFCI outlet to purchase, you should always make sure that you are getting an option that has been certified by UL and the National Electric Code and that it can effectively protect against a ground fault. The outlets listed in our guide are all reliable options, and you can use the guidelines outlined here to choose the best one for your needs.
At Tool Starter, we are big fans of these GFCI outlets near anywhere with water (i.e. kitchen or bathroom) and installing a USB wall outlet near places that you sit down or stay for long periods. A mixture of the two is the ultimate combination for the “smart” home.