Electrical Safety in Cincinnati Home Inspections: Why GFCI?

When launching into a Cincinnati home inspection, one of the areas I care about most is electricity. You obviously want to keep your family safe from the possibility of electrical shocks or other electrical malfunctions. Working on your house’s electrical system is something that requires extreme care and caution, and you need to know how the house’s electrical outlets are functioning, whether you are requesting a buyer home inspection or a seller home inspection.

What Does GFCI Mean?

One recommendation I make is that certain circuits should include a ground-fault circuit interrupter or GFCI. The GFCI monitors the circuit to detect a differential in the flow of current. Unlike a fuse, which prevents electrical fires – also unquestionably important – the GFCI prevents electrical shocks.

The current running in the circuit flows from hot to neutral. If the GFCI senses any imbalance in the current flow, it breaks the circuit, thereby reducing the risk of shocks. It can detect a difference as little as 4 milliamps (4 ma). A GFCI outlet has a test button, which helps you ensure that it is working correctly.

Benefits of GFCI

The GFCI can react in less time than it takes to see a single frame in a motion picture – less than one 24th of a second. For example, if you are holding a hairdryer with an exposed wire, and you are in contact with water, an unprotected outlet may let the electricity flow through you to ground. This would cause a shock, which in turn could cause a burn or stop your heart. With the GFCI in place, it detects the imbalance, because the current is not flowing from hot to neutral, but through you to ground. It then trips the circuit and immediately cuts off the electricity.

Cincinnati Home Inspections For Your Safety

In the interest of maximizing your safety and protection, home inspectors in Cincinnati will check to make sure certain electrical outlets are equipped with GFCI. At Drake Inspections, we make your safety our top concern, and take the time to explain all aspects of electrical safety along the way. To make an appointment for a detailed home inspection in Cincinnati, please call 513.658.5420 or fill out the contact form below.

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