No GFCI in Bathroom

House is 1900’s. has both 2 and 3 prong outlets. Most 3 prong outlets are properly wired. There are no GFCI outlets or breakers in the house at all. Recommendations on reporting?

No GFCIs in Bath room or out side repair immediately by Qualified person.
Recommend immediate upgrade of all ungrounded receptacles by Qualified person
Roy Cooke

This is a touchy issue.
There is absolutely no violation here. This we know.
There is also a safety issue here. That we know.
Who’s resopnsibility is it to rectify this?

If the current owner is satisfied with it the way it is that’s fine. Obviously they have not felt it necessary to change.
Should they have done it, of course, but we’ve all seen 100+ year old homes with very little improvement done.

Is it proper to force them to either change this or suffer monetary losses? I say a definite no.

I also do not see that it should be mandatory to “repair immediately by Qualified person” either. I think this is a bit alarmist.

IMO a strongly worded suggestion should be made to bring this situation to current code. Or at least install GFIs where currently required. Either before or after the sale.

The current owner is NOT compelled to take this action, but the new owner should want it done for themselves.

IMO homes should be sold AS-IS. *
This is my home, do you want to buy it? There are some things wrong with it and the place is not up to current code standards. If you like, these things can be corrected after you move in.

  • THIS is what my listing will say if and when I sell. I assure you.

I treat it as a safty item Hand rails, spindle gap in Decks Improper deck fastening and the above .+++
I write it up they do not fix it and some one gets hurt.
Roy has covered his A$$. CRA all the way .
Last week a Deck let go in Florida improper fastening . 4 people two seriously hurt . CRA.
Roy Cooke

I guess I agree, but on a less urgent scale.
I think the final outcome is the same.

Unless there is some local code requiring a home being sold to have GFI’s installed there is nothing forcing anyone to do anything. So by merely suggesting you are covering your a$$.

Suggesting is not in My vocabulary . If I think it needs fixing and it is safety item I want to stay out of court.

Roy Cooke

Good call Roy, but if it is not required would you call it as in need of repair? If it is not required, can you tell the seller or buyer that it needs to be upgraded?

If I have gone to far what can they do to me it is about a ten Dollar fix .
If I have not gone far enough and some one gets killed I am in Deep dodo.
I like to try and stay out of the Dodo/
Roy Cooke

Then I ask the same question as Scott. How can you say something is mandatory when it may not be?


That is the difference between someone who works in a specific trade and someone who works in a portion of the “real estate trade”. The client we represent has a contract with us so that we give our best recommendation when it comes to faults, whether minor or major. It is not up to us as inspectors to decide for the client what they determine is important. We give them the information and let them decide.

From the standpoint of CYA, darn right I will call this out. If someone were to be severly injured on their first night in the new house as a result of no gfci, and the inspector did not call it out, or called it out but without enough urgency so that the buyer understood the importance, chances are pretty darn good that their name will be on a lawsuit of some sort.

While there may be no local “code” to enforce a home being sold to have gfi’s, the real estate contract may have stipulations that the seller can either accept or reject. As a seller, one would have to be pretty stupid to not accept a full price offer in a mediocre market if the only requirement would be to install gfi’s.

Maybe you have the extra time and money to continue to pay monthly mortgage payments for your “as is” house to sit on the market. Many, if not most, do not have that luxury. Make another $3k monthly payment because you didn’t want to spend $150?

I think that “repair immediately by Qualified person” IS only a suggestion. Strongly worded with urgency to protect both the client and the inspector. I would have added “before the close of escrow.” I protect my client with my recommendations, not the other party. To me it is just not worth the risk of losing even a penny of MY money especially to a lawyer.

I do not call it mandatory .
That is code I stay away from code .
It is life threatening .
I find a chimney flue leaking fumes it is life threatening same as gas leak .
I care less about code at a time like this .
Write it up who, and how, are they going to make me look bad when I am trying to help them save lives .
Roy Cooke

I guess I just don’t get it.
This was no less or more safe before the sale. By not calling it out as mandatory, but merely a suggestion, you think that makes you culpable?
That make no sense. I can see if there was no mention at all.

It seems like the H-I industry is more about CYA for the inspectors than anything else. Why bother with inspections then? Simply say all homes must be broungt up to current standards. Even a 100 year old home.
And it is the seller’s responsibility. :roll:

And no, of course I do not have the money to make double mortgage payments, but I DO have principles and I don’t let folks push me around. If that costs me money so be it.

“requires repair”, if it’s not installed, it’s not broken and does not need repair.

“requires immediate upgrade before close of escrow”, the state building code doesnt even require mandatory upgrades. How can you!

“sense of urgency”. can someone point out where this is a reporting requirement?

“just the facts, mam” (from an old TV show).
That is all the protection you and your client needs. Collect and report the facts. It is not our job description to convince anyone to do anything. It is not our job to enforce code. No one gave me a badge and told me to go out there and fix the Real Estate world.

It’s all about education, and that is all.

I totally agree.

I discuss the situation with the buyer, and sometimes suggest (ever so lightly) that is for the safety of the buyers, and they should consider the upgrade and it’s really not the responsibility of the seller.

The buyer should have the system evaluated by an electrician, get an estimate for repair, and consider it as part of the cost to purchase the house. Especially if it is over 80 years old.

Kicked off again! Seems like someone doesn’t want me to reply.

I got kicked off somehow so i have to rewrite this, so if i am rehashing something someone else already said i’m sorry.

Our clients hire us for our knowledge and accept our opinions, especially on safety issues. As professionals we have to report the lack of GFCI’s and AFCI’s and I believe it is our responsibility to ensure our clients realize the serious safety issue involved; however, we would be overstepping our bounds to say that the situation requires immediate repair or replacement. The really is no violation (as long as its not FHA).

At our recent Chapter meeting here in Chicago, we had a members of IBEW local 701 conduct a presentation to our members. One of the electricians, an apprentice instructor on codes and a recent member of the national electrical code board, stated he owned an @100 year old house and doesn’t have a GFCI in it. My best friend is a 25 year IBEW electrician and when his house was built kitchen counters didnot require GFCI’s, he still does not have GFCI’s on the kitchen counters.

There are many opines on this subject. This is just mine.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Required or not I want to not have to defend my self in Court .
If some one gets hurt or worse and I am trying to tell the judge the place was built and did not require a GFCI.
Roy Cooke

This is definately an interesting debate.

From a life safety standpoint ,yes there should always be a GFCI receptacle in place if it is near a water source…bathroom, kitchens whatever the case may be and they are required in all new construction and renovations. But the codes do have a stipulation, in that, if an area has not been renovated it does not have to meet current codes in residential construction. This stipulation in the code is the HI’s cya statement.

I personally feel that we as HIs should list this deficiency in any home and call attention to it, but to make it a must repair deficiency is a step too far. Give the client the knowledge, which is why we’re there and they won’t be able to come back at you. You’ve identified a potential problem, told them why it could be a problem, recommended a solution and let them decide on a course of action.

The outlets should be upgraded to have ground-fault protection.

No brainer:)

Roy, this is not an attack, just a simple question.
In several posts in this thread alone, and in countelss other replies I have read, you continually refer to staying out of court, defending yourself in court, telling the judge, being liable, etc.
I know you say this is all about keeing your customers safe, but from the sound of your posts it is more about keeping Roy out of court.
If you are so deathly afraid of what could happen, or having to go to court, why are you in a trade that has ANY liability at all???

[FONT=Arial]Relocated to IRC thread[/FONT]