How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) really necessary and worth the trouble?
Friday, June 15, 2018
GFCI Required By Code And Saves Lives
They are necessary because the building codes require them in all the wet areas of a home. But, more important, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are worth the trouble because they really do save lives. Electrocution deaths in homes have dropped 83%, along with an even higher 95% reduction of electrocutions from consumer appliances since the introduction of GFCIs in 1973, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
Their graphic below shows the steady decline in electrocutions as GFCI requirements were gradually phased in for all the wet areas of the home over the ensuing years. It started with bathroom and outdoor receptacles in the early 1970s; then the garage, kitchen, basement, spa tubs, and laundry/utility sinks were each added to the list every few years.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
To learn more about electrical wiring, devices, and receptacles, see these other blog posts:
• What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker?
• What is the code requirement for GFCI protection for receptacles near a wet bar sink?
• What is the requirement for a service receptacle outlet for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HACR) equipment?
• Why is an opening in the wall around the side of an electrical receptacle outlet a safety defect?
• When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required?
• What is allowable voltage range at a wall receptacle outlet in a house?
• What is a "while-in-use" weatherproof electrical receptacle outlet cover?
• When should I replace electric receptacle outlets?
• Does an electric receptacle outlet in a storage shed require GFCI protection?
• What are "self-contained" electrical receptacle outlets and switches?
• What is the difference between an electrical receptacle, an outlet, and a plug?
• Does a washing machine receptacle outlet require GFCI protection?
• What is the building code requirement for receptacle outlets at stairs and stair landings?
• Can I remove a 240-volt range receptacle and hard-wire the range?
• What is a "backstab" receptacle outlet?
• Why are some electric receptacle outlets upside down (ground slot up) in a house?
• What is the height requirement for an electric receptacle outlet?
• Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required?
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required?
• Does a home inspector remove receptacle outlet cover plates?
• What is the minimum height for an exterior receptacle outlet?
• When was the current receptacle/outlet spacing of 12-feet first required?
• When was the three-slot (grounding) outlet/receptacle first required?
• Why does painting an electric receptacle (outlet) make it unsafe?
• Why are electrical outlets and plugs polarized?
• How many electrical receptacles (outlets) are required in a hallway?
• What problems does having too many electric receptacle outlets on a single circuit cause?
• Is a house required to have outdoor electric receptacle outlets?
• How I can tell if a receptacle outlet is tamper resistant?
• Why is there a GFCI breaker in the electric panel for the bathroom shower light and exhaust fan?
• What is a false ground, bootleg ground, or cheated ground receptacle?
• How can adding wood paneling or a wainscot create an electrical safety hazard?
• How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be spaced?
• How far above a kitchen countertop do electrical outlets have to be?
• What is reversed polarity at an outlet/receptacle? Why is it dangerous?
• How high above the floor do electric outlets/receptacles in a garage have to be?
• How far apart should electric receptacles be spaced in a bathroom?
• Is an ungrounded electric receptacle outlet dangerous?
• My bathroom electric receptacle/outlet is dead and there are no tripped breakers in the electric panel. What's wrong?
• Is there an adapter that can be placed on a two-slot receptacle to make it safe?
• How do the new tamper-resistant electric outlets work?
• Why is there no bathroom electric receptacle in this old house?
• How can I tell if the electric receptacle outlets are grounded?
• How far apart should the electrical receptacles be placed?
• What are the most common problems/defects found with electric receptacle outlets during a home inspection?
Visit our ELECTRICAL page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
of Blog Posts
Top 5 results given instantly.
Click on magnifying glass
for all search results.
Buying a home in North/Central Florida? Check our price for a team inspection by two FL-licensed contractors and inspectors. Over 8,500 inspections completed in 20+ years. In a hurry? We will get it done for you.