Differences between GFCI and AFCI

GFCI

It is a protection device that provides protection against Ground faults.

It stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.

It breaks the circuit when there is a leakage of current.

It prevents electrical shocks.

It must be installed in wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchen, pools etc.

GFCI Receptacles are more preferred than its breaker.

GFCI mainly prevents electrocution from the connected load.

It protects from accidents that happen outside the walls.

GFCI is often installed at the power outlets in wet areas.

AFCI

It is a protection device that gives protection against Arc fault.

It stands for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter.

It breaks the circuit only if there is an electrical arc in the circuit.

It prevents electrical fire caused by an electrical arc.

It requires to be installed in a branching circuit that gives power to outlets in the residential room, dining room, etc.

The AFCI breakers are more preferred than its receptacles.

The AFCI mainly protects from arcs in branching circuits.

It prevents accidents from happening inside the walls.

The AFCI breakers are installed at the main electrical panel.

Thus, to sum up in brief, GFCI is used for prevention of electrical shocks & AFCI is used for prevention of electrical fires.

GFCI and AFCI diagram

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