Testing GFI’s/AFI’s could save your life

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In the past week I have found two bathroom GFI’s that where either wired wrong, or where faulty; in both cases the receptacle was live and there was no protection  from electric shock/electrocution.  This type of failure is quite common in exterior receptacles.  These type of failure can lead to loss of life, therefore test monthly.

You may have two devices that should be tested on a monthly bases.  Every house should have Ground Fault Current Interrupter(s), (GFCI or GFI) in the bathroom(s) and exterior outlet(s), and in newer homes they may also be found in your kitchen and laundry room.  The other device, an Arch Fault Current Interrupter (AFCI) will be used to protect the bedroom receptacles in newer homes.


15A GFI - Most often found in bathrooms, laundry room or outside outlets

15A GFI – Most often found in bathrooms, laundry room or outside outlets

                                                                20A GFI  ("T" slot)- Used in newer homes when outlet is within 1.5 m of sink.

20A GFI (“T” slot)- Used in newer homes when outlet is within 1.5 m of sink.


The propose of a GFI is to protect you from an electrical shock, a fuse or standard circuit breaker will not protect you from possible electrocution.  In order to ensure that GFI is working properly it is recommended that it be tested monthly using the “Test” button on the device, ideally you will have a light or other device plugged into the GFI to ensure power is truly off. Once you have determined that the GFI is working, you can depress the “RESET” button.  Most GFI’s are installed in the wall receptacles, however they may also be found in the breaker panel (see below).


AFCI - Used to protect bedroom outlets in newer homes.

AFCI – Used to protect bedroom outlets in newer homes.


Arch Fault Current Interrupters (AFCIs) are always found in the breaker panel.  There propose is to detect arching between the two wires in the circuit.  If the arching goes undetected there is a high probability of a fire.  This special breaker(s) found in the panel will a have a “TEST” button that should be tested monthly.  When you depress the test button the breaker handle will jump to the centre (tripped) position; to reset the breaker move the handle to the “Off” position and then back to the “On” position.  Note: You test a GFCI breaker the same way.

If you have any questions about this article or any other issues around your house please contact me at or post on Final Say Home Inspection page.


  • Paul, Great job on the inspection-you covered it ALL! Thanks so much for your services – Pleasure meeting you as well! As first-time home buyers, we learned a great deal about the structure of our prospective home, and this certainly made us more confident throughout the purchasing process.

    The Carson's

  • On the advice of my real estate agent, I recently contacted Final Say Home Inspections to arrange for a pre-listing inspection of my century-old home. I was made aware of some major problems that would either have to be addressed prior to listing, or taken into account during the negotiations with prospective buyers. What was most helpful, however, was the way Paul explained how many building code infractions could be easily and inexpensively addressed. His pragmatic approach stressed the ways I could reduce the number of prospective issues that might be of concern to buyers; many of the solutions he detailed were within my ability as an average ‘do-it-yourself’ homeowner. I am now much more confident that my agent and I will be equipped to prepare an informed marketing strategy for this property and I have no doubt that I will be in a more advantageous bargaining position as a result. Highly recommended!

    Shane C.

  • Paul, Thank you so much. The report looks great and is very professional and easy to read. We enjoyed meeting you and will refer you to anyone who needs a home inspection in the future.

    Marty & Kelly

  • I recently purchased a new home and I had Paul do my home inspection. He certainly done a complete inspection of my home and I was grateful to have him as my inspector.

    The work was done in about three hours and to my surprise there were a several things to repair. I would certainly recommend him as a person that could look after your home.

    Cecile Pearson

  • Paul did an extremely thorough and accurate assessment of my new home. He took the time to explain the ins and outs of the inspection and completed his assessment in a timely manner while answering all questions I had regarding my home.

    I highly recommend Paul to anybody who plans to have their new or used home inspected.

    Thanks Paul!

    C Cole

  • Hi Paul,

    I just wanted to thank you again for the pre-purchase inspection you did for me this pass Tuesday.  I was very impressed by how thorough you were, as well as your knowledge, expertise, professionalism and overall pleasant personality.  Your services will definitely be on top of my recommendation list to family and friends.

    All the best

    M. Munroe, Ajax

  • Sep 22, 2014, Toronto

    After our offer was accepted, I was recommended by a friend to contact Paul Christensen a home inspector from Final Say Home Inspection. Although Paul was slightly outside of my area, without hesitation he made himself readily available to work with me on my new home in Scarborough. I felt Paul was extremely knowledgeable, thorough and very easy to work with. He took time to go over potential hazards that may or may not occur if certain issues weren’t addressed accordingly. He walked me through the house and helped me understand things I would not have known otherwise. Paul captures inconsistencies and deficiencies with photos and takes his time to explain in detail the areas that need to be fixed or re-visited. Afterwards incorporates all notes and pictures in a report. When asking him questions he was very honest with his responses. I highly recommend Paul Christensen of Final Say Home Inspection to inspect your home. You will feel confident about your decision and will be completely satisfied with Paul’s services. He is everything that a great home inspector should be – friendly, approachable, and most importantly clearly passionate about what he does.

    Clifford S.

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