What it is:
Ground fault circuit interrupters are special electrical outlets (the ones with the little black & red buttons) designed to monitor the electrical current flow & continually check for ground faults. A ground fault is when electricity leaves its intended path to flow through a different conductor. If that conductor is a person, this could mean serious electrical shock or electrocution.
What it means:
If your inspection report says that no GFCI protection is installed, it means that some, or all, of these outlets are missing in the required locations.
According to the National Electrical Code, the following areas of a home are required to have GFCI protection:
- Bathrooms (all areas)
- Outdoors (all areas)
- Unfinished basements & crawl spaces
- Outlets within 6 ft. of a sink
- Kitchen countertop surfaces
- Laundry rooms (all areas)
In older homes, especially those built before 1971 when GFCI outlets were first required, the seller may not be required to upgrade the outlets; however, you should still do it for your own safety.
How to fix it:
While upgrading to a GFCI outlet is not necessarily difficult, working with electricity can be dangerous both in the moment and down the road. Hiring a professional is recommended.
If you’re confident in your DIY skills, here’s more information about installing GFCI outlets in your home.
31.7% of home inspections report no GFCI protection installed
Average repair cost: