Of all the deficiencies I discover during a typical home inspections none are more common or more critical than a missing GFCI protected receptacle. But what is a GFCI, why are they so important, and where should they be installed?
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), also called Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) is a device that shuts off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person. For example, if a person was in the bathroom using a hair dryer that faults or gets wet while you are holding it, you're in big trouble. With a GFCI, the receptacle will detect the difference of the way the electricity is traveling and immediately 'trip' or shut off. In the amount of time that you would even realize something happened, the threat would be gone.
So where should GFCI's be installed? Most laws stipulate GFCI's should be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, unfinished basements, garages, outdoors and anywhere near a sink; notably these are all locations where water and moisture may allow a short circuit to happen. At a minimum GFCI's should be installed within 6 feet of any water source and in non-climate controlled areas where moisture can collect. Owners of older homes can retrofit GFCI receptacles at specific locations or have a GFCI breaker switches mounted in the main breaker panel which protect the entire series of receptacles on those lines.
Ensuring critical safety components are properly installed is another way Cochran Home Inspections of Mountain Home, Arkansas, will help protect your home or future home by conducting a thorough and professional home inspection. Call or schedule your home inspection today and let Cochran Home inspections give you the peace of mind you deserve.
Go here or here to read more about GFCI's.