GFCI Outlets: Why Your Outlets May Be a Problem in Your Home Inspection
If you have a home inspection done as a seller, you may know some issues you expect to show up on the home inspection report. Maybe the bathtub drain runs a little slow, or there is some warping on the wood floors. Yet, when you get back that home inspection report, there is something that you didn’t expect — outlet issues. More specifically, your home inspector tells you that you do not have GFCI outlets in the appropriate areas. What does this mean, and more importantly, is it a big problem?
What Are GFCI Outlets?
GFCI, or ground-fault circuit interpreter, is a safety feature introduced into homes in the 1960s. These outlets cut the power to the outlet (and sometimes everything downstream); if the outlet begins to lose amperage, that can cause a shock. This device was put in place to help prevent fatal shocks that once happened hundreds of times per year in homes. Instead of getting a deadly shock, you just need to press the reset button to turn the outlet back on after it is tripped.
Where Do You Need GFCI Outlets?s
While it has been in place for a while, older homes may not be up to code when it comes to GFCI outlets’ inclusions. They are now required to be installed on any outlet within six feet of a water source. These areas include bathroom outlets and most kitchen outlets. You will also need them on electrical outlets located in crawlspaces, outside, or by the pool.
As missing GFCI outlets mean that a home is not technically up to code, they should be fixed. You may find that many financing and insurance options have electrical stipulations that make missing GFCI outlets a problematic but easily fixable issue to have.
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