I have a question.

I was performing a mock electrical inspection on a home and I was using my outlet tester in a downstairs bathroom. I plugged the tester in, everything was correct on the wiring. I hit the GFCI test button and the outlet tripped as it should. Since the present outlet was not a GFCI receptacle, I assumed that all the bathrooms may be connected on the same breaker, and this may be an upstream outlet. Upon inspecting the other two bathrooms, neither of them had GFCI outlets, and now none of the outlets were working.

I expected to find a GFCI breaker in the main service panel, but there was not one present there either.

I rechecked the GFCI outlet in the kitchen and it was not tripped. I looked in the garage and did not see any GFCI outlets present. Then I noticed and outlet in the garage next to the hot water heater that have a cover plate on it with multiple outlets. To access the outlet, I had to move a fridge and a shelve from the wall. Upon removing the outlet cover, the found the GFCI outlet, hit the reset switch and all was fine.

My real question though, is how I would handle this in a real inspection situation. How much troubleshooting am I required to perform, and should I be moving items to access outlets if the same situation happened?

Some inspectors have had to pay for a freezer load of food when they left the GFCI Dumped .
Many now carry an extension cord for if this happens .
A cord is cheaper then $300;00 of food.

I do not “trip” ANY receptacle without first inspecting for GFCI outlets and breakers. If I do not observe any, I NEVER hit the test button! I only hit the test button on the GFCI outlet itself, which is the only approved test for the outlet by the manufacturers.

Both Roy and Jeff make very valid points, but you need to ask yourself, would you have left the house with that GFCI tripped?

  • I have seen some well hidden but we always found ours .*
    If not found and you have to leave a note and extension cord could be the answer.

Yep I have spent some time trying to find everything on one or two homes but knock on wood I have yet to leave an extension cord. :wink: