What is a GFCI outlet? Why do homeowners need one? Let’s discuss.

As you may or may not know, we do a radio show every Sunday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on 840 WHAS. In a recent episode, an interesting question came up: What is a GFCI outlet? To help answer this question, we spoke to our expert in the field, Brad Lawler, the owner of Home Team Inspection Service. A GFCI outlet protects a person from an extended shock in case the ground faults

“Replacing a GFCI outlet costs less than $20 at your local hardware store.”

Suppose, for example, a person was using a blow dryer that was plugged into a bathroom outlet with faulty wiring. If they contacted water while using the appliance, rather than the electricity flowing through the person looking for the ground, there’s a sensor inside the GFCI that will trigger and immediately cut off the power to the appliance. There may be a small shock to the person but one that is significantly less serious than it could have been. 

GFCI outlets have been common on the exterior of homes and in bathrooms and garages since the 1970s, but their use expanded into kitchens, crawl spaces, basements, and anywhere there is potential for water to contact the outlets. These outlets have a red or black test button on them; if you find that the outlet isn’t working, press the button to reset it. If you’re unable to reset it, then it simply needs to be replaced. The outlet itself is probably less than $20 at your local hardware store.

If you have more questions about any topic having to do with real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Remember to tune in every Sunday to 840 WHAS at 8:30 a.m. for our live radio shows! You can visit www.LouisvilleAnswers.com to listen to prior episodes of the show as well. Hope to hear from you soon!