What is the Purpose of a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)?
The main purpose of a GFCI outlet is to protect the home occupants from shock. The GFCI is a circuit break integrated into the outlet and cuts power to almost instantly when it detects an imbalance in the current. This differs from a normal circuit break which only shuts off when the current is too high.
Where are GFCIs required?
The easy answer is anywhere that has a high likelihood of coming in contact with moisture. The main areas are any outdoor outlets, bathrooms, garages, unfinished basements, kitchens, and crawl spaces. The National Electrical Code (NEC) started requiring GFCIs in 1968 for underwater pool lights and has continued to add locations like utility sinks in 2005.
Can I replace a GFCI myself?
I recommend any electrical work be conducted by a licensed and qualified electrician. Any electrical work can cause shock or fires if the proper precautions are not taken. However, there are many DIY’ers out there like myself who would rather do it.
Step 1 – Make sure power is turned off!!!! Turn off the circuit break to the outlet. The next step is very important. Check to see if the outlet is actually off!!! I’ve “turned off” many circuit breakers that were supposed to be in the one for that area that actually were not. Buy an electrical tester and ensure no power is going to the outlet.
Step 2 – remove the face place and removed the mounting screws. This will allow the outlet to be pulled from the wall. Remove the outlet gently being careful not to damage the wires.
Step 3 – remove the wires from the current outlet. Inspect the wires to see if they are in good shape. You may have to cut and strip the wire to prepare for the new outlet.
Step 4 – Test is the wires if desired. Wires could have been installed incorrectly or used the same color wires. Test the wires if you are unsure which wire is the hot or neutral. To test the wires you are going to have to turn power back onto the outlet. This means you will have live wires hanging out, make sure they are not touching anything before you turn power back on.
Step 5 – Once the wires are identified turn the power back off. You are now ready to install the new GFCI. Usually you are going to connect the black line hot wire to the brass screw and the white wire to the silver screw. Lastly connect the ground wire to the green screw.
Step 6 – Slide the outlet back into the outlet box and install mounting screws. At this point you can turn power back on and check to see if you wired the outlet correctly and if it works.
Should I get a Home Inspection
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspector’s objective is to give you an overall condition of your future purchase and to give you more foresight into an informed buying decision. A home inspection is a visual, non-invasive examination of the accessible components of a residential property. What does that mean? The home inspector should be inspecting all the major components of a house, the main structure like the foundation and major systems like the air conditioner and the roof. All the areas of the inspection are outlined in InterNACHI's Standards of Practice. What is non-invasive? The home inspector is limited to what they can see by walls, ceilings, and personal items. An inspector is not going to cut open your walls to inspect the wiring or plumbing, they are only going to see the visible items.
Should I get a Home inspection?
Short answer yes, a typical answer from home inspector. However, you’re about to make one of the largest purchases of your life with many expensive components. Wouldn’t you like a certified and licensed inspector to look over all the major components in your future purchase? A home inspector can help you identify the age or condition of equipment like air conditioners, water heaters, roofs, and siding.
A home inspection can help you prepare for future cost or help in what to ask for in negotiations. An aging or leaking water heater can cost up to $1,500 according to HomeAdvisor to replace. An air conditioning unit or Furnace can cost up to $5,000 a piece to replace according to HomeAdvisor. A home inspector can help identify current issues or if the systems are coming to the end of their service life.
Is a Home Inspection required?
Most banks or mortgage companies do not require home inspections. Some banks or mortgage companies do require an appraiser to value the property to ensure they are not over lending. Even the FHA loans do not require a home inspection but they do highly encourage it. The lenders main concern is the value of the property if they need to resale it not necessarily the condition.
Can a House fail a Home inspection?
No. There is no pass or fail criteria for a home inspection. The intention is to give you the overall condition of the property. The decision for pass or fail is up to the buyer and what is acceptable to them. The buyer might be able to negotiate the repair of any issues found or a price reduction if the seller does not want to fix it. The home inspection can get named the “deal killer” because they found defects in the house. That was the purpose of the inspection, to find defects in the house. So when the realtor says it’s a deal killer it’s because the defect found was not acceptable to the buyers.