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It is surprising how often our inspectors, during their pre-purchase inspections in particular, notice inadequate outlets in bathrooms and kitchens. Why inadequate? Well, given the presence of water in these two rooms, the electrical outlets must be of a specific type in order to ensure the safety of the occupants.
The vast majority of electrical outlets in your home have been installed by a a certified electrician to strict standards. In the kitchen and in the bathrooms, your specialist has installed safe GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) type electrical outlets in accordance with the Quebec electrical code, particularly if these rooms were built or renovated after 2007. However, these GFCI type outlets have a very important safety function: they are designed to trip and quickly cut off the electrical current in the event of an ground fault.
Ground fault can occur when a faulty electrical device ends up in a user’s hands and is plugged into a traditional outlet. If the device malfunctions, electricity will flow through the person’s body to the earth, causing serious injury or even death. This is why it is recommended that, with some exceptions, as soon as there is an outlet located less than 1.5 meters from a sink, bathtub or shower, the outlet should be properly grounded and protected by a GFCI.
Want to plug a device into a standard electrical outlet that doesn’t work? This receptacle may be connected to a GFCI receptacle with a tripped circuit breaker. To restore power, simply press the button marked RESET and thus reboot the GFCI outlet.
If re-priming the GFCI receptacle does not work, the electrical circuit may be the cause. To check, all you have to do is look in the electrical distribution panel to see if a circuit breaker is tripped.
Everything is in place and nothing is working? Look no further and call in a certified electrician. In Quebec, all electrical work must be carried out by a certified electrician and unfortunately still too many people improvise themselves as electricians and endanger their lives and that of their families.