Razor only outlets

Does anyone, typically recommend replacement of the transformer type outlets in bathrooms labeled ‘razor only’ for a GFI?

It’s my understanding that these outlets are isolated from ground to prevent someone from getting a shock. What does this mean?

Never heard of, nor seen, such a thing.

I’ve only seen them in hotel rooms. You talking about one of these:


I’ve never seen one, but I have heard of them. . .


The one I scrounged up a pic for is single gang, but 99% of the time the one’s I’ve seen are double-gang. They have a big isolation transformer mounted on the back. It was a precursor to GFCI technology. They have a current limit, and running a hair dryer off them will fry them. I would guess that any that might still exist in a private home have long since been replaced by a more convenient GFCI receptacle. Either “technology” is safe, be it the isolation transformer of the razor outlet or a modern GFCI. The GFCI, however, more closely matches the way people want to use their bathrooms now.

Thanks, I think it would be good idea to recommend replacement with GFI. But, how does this ‘razor only’ low volt transformer outlet prevent a shock hazard by being isolated from ground? I would think it would increase shock hazard if there is no ground.

These were installed in many homes from late 50’s to mid 70’s up here.

I always recommend “Replace with GFCI receptacle”. I found one where the homeowner went around the transformer and direct wired the 120V to the 2 blade receptacle!!! I assumed the transformer bunrt out and he had his own fix.

They are not low voltage but rather an isolation transformer with to ground reference on the secondary razor outlet side.

Mark, the isolation transformer consists of 2 coils insulated from each other. 120 volts from the household circuit running thru 1 coil produces 120 volts in the secondary coil. You could still shock yourself by touching both of the output terminals. :roll: But there is no electrical potential between one of the output terminals and ground, as there is with conventional wiring because it is a little isolated mini-circuit. Drop it in the tub, theoretically no shock!

As for the lack of ground, most razors and hair dryers are 2-prong devices anyways, no ground wire to the chassis, but the plastic body provides insulation.

This one’s a dud, but working well as a power-smart light fixture. Yes, I tested the razor at a wall outlet. :smiley: