Is there any written rule and if there is where can i find it. I have a customer that claims that her GFI that is located next to her FEDERAL PACIFIC breaker panel is all she needs.

From my understanding a homeowner needs a Gfi in the kitchen and one in each bathroom. Unless they are all wired downstream.

I need to find info on this !!!


Why argue with her. Tell her she is wrong and move on. If this is for a home inspection you should be using a code book anyway.

Given the age based on the panel brand I doubt that any GFI protection was required when the house was built.

A GFI located next to the panel may provide protection to the downstream devices. If the kitchen and bath are on one circuit this could be possible.

It sounds like you are asking if the bath and kitchen can share a circuit, but I am not sure. Under recent code editions they could not share a receptacle circuit. I do not know when the current circuit requirements were added that require 2 20 amp small appliance and the 20 amp bathroom receptacle circuit.

If the house pre-dates the requirements for GFI protection could you please explain how she is wrong? Without more facts this could go either way.

Also it seems like many say that HIs are not code inspectors and codes should not be part of the inspection.

That is correct Jim. Even though we may use codes as a basic reference, we do not carry a code book around at an inspection. :slight_smile:

Lack of GFCI protection in required locations should be considered a defect, regardless of when the home was built and what code requirements were at the time. Same with smoke detectors, etc.

These are considered basic safety devices by current standards and are easily retrofitted. That said, it doesn’t mean that the seller is automatically on the hook to implement them. Our job is to inform the client about the house not negotiate repairs and upgrades.

I disagree, lack of GFCI’s in a 1965 built house is not a defect. They were NOT required when home was built. If an item was not required at time of construction how can it be a defect.

Your 1957 Chevy does not have a third brake light and no airbags…is it defective?

Recommend GFCI’s be added as a SAFETY upgrade, that is all we can do.


Agreed. . .

Seat belts didn’t use to be required in cars either, but the analogy is totally irrelevant. Lack of GFCI or smoke detectors is still a defect in my opinion and you’d be negligent not to report it to your client, just as you would be negligent in not reporting lack of seatbelts in a car if someone had hired you to do a safety inspection.

If someone were electrocuted for lack of a GFCI that wasn’t required when the house was built and you decided wasn’t a deficiency worthy of reporting in a contemporary inspection, how do you think you would fare in a court defense against negligence? I think would be a pretty tough sell for you.

Unfortunately the state of Texas doesn’t agree so Chuck E and I have to report lack of GFCI, AFCI and several other similar items as “Deficient” regardless of the age of the home to comply with our state SOP.

I know some states require smoke detector upgrades any time a home is remodeled or sold. Does Texas required GFCI or AFCI upgrades upon sale?

Illinois SOP is a little vague on what is deficient and puts the burden on the inspector.

  1. Report on those systems and components inspected that, in the
    opinion of the inspector, are significantly deficient; and

A) A reason why the system or component is significantly

I do report lack of GFI’s and it depends on the age of the building how I report it.

Also, many municipalities in my area that have occupancy inspections before you can live in a home use either the 2002 or 2006 NEC code which requires a GFCI in many locations.

Not state wide, but some cities may. If any do, it would likely be Austin where Mike B is located. The state SOP, however clearly stipulates how home inspectors are supposed to report.

A code book might help, or perhaps some training on resedential electrical systems.

No, not for a sale but on a remodel…who knows what the AHJ might require? The door is opened on a permitted remodel to all sorts of requirements.

On that topic… here’s a document that is provided to all Texas Buyers to somewhat clarify what items are to be reported as Deficient if not present. I include it as an addendum on all of my reports.

Interesting AFCI requirements, every house here would get flagged. Guess it would be a boilerplate statement in the report to cya…