Portable GFCI outlets and cords are easily available and offer extra protection for everyone. On those occasions when you are using an electric tool outside or near water, and you aren’t sure of the circuit, this type of protection might be a lifesaver.
They come in a variety of types and prices, ranging from about $10 to $50. This image shows one example for about $20, which is a short extension cord. You can also buy them a simple outlet adapter or as a multiple outlet power strip. All of these types provide you with shock protection when using any tool plugged into them.
Regardless of the type you get, you will find them all easy to use. Just plug the GFCI adapter into any standard 3 wire outlet, then plug in the tool or an extension cord. Portable GFCI add-ons immediately detect ground faults. That type of fault might come from damaged cords or exposure to water. The adaptor will shut off power before you can be electrocuted.
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Normally only a few circuits in a home or business are protected this way. Protection is required for Bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outdoor outlets. However, we find lots of circuits that don’t have this safety feature. These portable items help resolve that problem.
Why Would I Want a Portable GFCI Adapter?
For homeowners, you may have a circuit that is not GFCI protected, but you want to use an appliance on it temporarily. For instance, maybe you have an older non-grounded appliance with only two prongs on the plug. This would be a good way to use that appliance safely.
For people and businesses who do temporary work in other people’s homes or businesses, these would be very useful. For instance, a carpet cleaner or house painter add one of these to the cord on their equipment. A contractor could add one to their portable table saw. Or, a tree trimmer could add one to an electric pole saw. Anyone who does temporary work for others should consider buying a portable GFCI product. It might turn out to be one of the best purchases you ever made.