We’ve all heard horror stories of plugged in cell phones or blow dryers falling into a bathtub full of water. Have you ever noticed some outlets in your home have a small button? That’s a GFCI outlet. They are mostly found in the kitchen, bathroom, and garage, because those are the rooms where appliances are near a water source such as a sink or rain water. GFCI outlets prevent you from being injured, if an appliance comes into contact with water while you’re holding it. In standard outlets, if something such as a curling iron fell into the bathtub, it would transfer the electricity to the person in the bath, causing a serious injury. However GFCI outlets trip when this happens, to prevent the electricity from traveling through the appliance-to you!

Broken or missing GFCIs are one of-if not the most common defect I see during my home inspections. Sometimes they malfunction over time, or in some older homes they were never installed to begin with. Having an electrician install or repair these can be a simple fix that can keep your family safe.

Do a quick walk through your home. Any outlet near a sink in your kitchen and bathrooms should be GFCI. Garages and exterior outlets should be as well, since they are regularly exposed to the elements. If you notice some are missing, or if you’d like to have yours tested to see if they’re functioning correctly, call your local electrician.

Always feel free to call Matt with any questions regarding the information in our blog posts, or to have your potential home inspected in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, or the surrounding areas.