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Understanding GFCI’s

By : John Martino | In : Home Inspections

If GFCI electrical receptacles were installed in every American household 70% of all the electrical shock injuries and deaths could be prevented. An unintentional electrical path between a source of current and a grounded surface is referred to as a ground fault. Ground faults occur when current is leaking somewhere. If people provide a path to ground for this leakage, they can be seriously injured. Ground faults are often the result of damaged cords or appliances, poorly installed wires, or mishandling such as dropping an appliance in water.

GFCIs are products designed to prevent injury or death from electrical shock by detecting ground faults at very low levels. If a GFCI senses even minimal current leakage in an electrical device, it assumes a ground fault is taking place. It then interrupts the power fast enough to prevent injury in normal health.

To comply with the National Electrical Code, many homes built since 1973 have some type of GFCI protection. However the US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that as many as 70% of all existing dwellings have no such protection.

The nations leading electrical safety organizations encourage all consumers to equipped there homes with GFCI’s. Recommended areas to protect are kitchens, bathrooms, garages, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and outdoor receptacles or any areas where electrical hazards exists.

As part of your home inspection we will be checking and testing the function of the GFCI receptacles in the home. In fact this is a part of the standards of performing a home inspection in NJ.

The GFCI’s are readily available, inexpensive, and simple to install. Modern GFCIs are durable, reliable, and very effective.

We will be looking for GFCI electrical receptacles as we perform your Essex County New Jersey Home Inspection and all home inspections performed throughout New Jersey.

John Martino (64 Posts)

LookSmart Home Inspections, LLC is owned and operated by John Martino. He has successfully performed over 3000 inspections for clients throughout northern and central NJ and has an exemplary track record of customer satisfaction. Mr. Martino completed a 300-hour approved NJ Home Inspector training program and was mentored by one of the most respected names in NJ home inspections. He continues to attend over 30 hours of continuing education classes each year.


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Buying a house is one of life’s biggest decisions. Before you close, you’ll want a professional inspection of the house to ascertain its true condition. John Martino is a formally trained New Jersey home inspector and member of the American Society of Home Inspectors...ReadMore