The Importance of GFCI Outlets

I realize that this really doesn't pertain to Real Estate or in line with my "normal" blog post, but after last night, I felt compelled to express the IMPORTANCE OF GFCI outlets in bathrooms..and any other area that is prevalent with moisture.

So..last night my wife goes into the bathroom where my daughter (11 years old) was taking a bath, per usual. I heard yelling from across my entire house and I abruptly ran to the hallway where the bathroom is located and my wife is drilling my daughter about something..and i heard the word "electrocution." Obviously my ears perked up and investigated further. My daughter (and probably yours too) cannot stand to be away from her phone for any amount of time and that statement runs true as she sit in the bathtub with her phone PLUGGED IN TO THE WALL OUTLET! Lets face it folks, we are in the day and age that kids are glued to their phones, even while bathing. Sad but true. We began to explain to my daughter why she should not ever do that again and that it couldve killed her, etc, etc.. She had no idea and thats why this blog is important. I am PRETTY sure that IF she dropped her phone in the water, it wouldve tripped the breaker due to having a GFI in the bathroom....but would it have tripped?..I haven't checked that outlet in years.. Thank Goodness we didn't have to find out the hard way. All I could think about it was an arcticle I read where a 15 year old Italian girl died via electrocution because she dropped a charging phone into her bath. Like I said, thank GOD we didn't have a tragedy last night. SO..for all of you that are curious or wondering what you should do to prevent possible catastrophes, please read the following and share with your friends and family if you want. Seems small..but so important.

1. What is a GFCI Outlet?

A GFCI outlet constantly monitors the flow of electricity in a circuit. If it detects a disparity between the outgoing and returning current (indicative of an unintended path or "ground fault"), it instantly shuts off the power. This rapid reaction – typically within a fraction of a second – can save lives by preventing potentially fatal electric shocks.

2. Why Bathrooms Specifically?

The risk in bathrooms is particularly high due to the constant presence of water from sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Even the simple act of touching an electronic appliance with wet hands can be dangerous. GFCI outlets minimize this risk by instantly cutting off power if a fault is detected.

3. Code Compliance:

For several decades now, building codes in many regions have mandated the use of GFCI outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and other wet or damp locations. Adhering to these codes is not just about following the law but about ensuring the safety of a home's inhabitants.

4. Testing Regularly:

GFCI outlets come with 'TEST' and 'RESET' buttons. Homeowners should periodically press the 'TEST' button to ensure the device trips and then use the 'RESET' button to restore functionality. This simple test can give you peace of mind that your GFCI is working correctly.

5. A Small Investment for Significant Safety:

While a GFCI outlet might cost a bit more than a regular electrical outlet, its value far outweighs the price. One cannot put a price on the safety of family members, visitors, or oneself.

In conclusion, while GFCI outlets are vital across various wet locations in the home, their presence in bathrooms is particularly crucial. For anyone renovating, building, or simply looking to upgrade their home's safety, ensuring GFCI protection in the bathroom is a step that shouldn't be overlooked. Safety first!

Post a Comment