I just moved into a new house. I noticed in my powder room that there
is an outlet on the wall directly beside the sink. It does not appear
to be a GFI plug as it has no reset test buttons on it. Does an
outlet that close not have to be a GFI plug ?
The electrical code will tell you. Some house installations
do and others may not comply with the current code. Your
municipal building permits office can tell you:
1) What the current code requires for bathroom outlets
2) Whether the code is retroactively enforced or not.
It *should* be a GFCI by current code, but if it is older construction
it may not have been required at the time of installation. If that
bothers you, it's an easy retrofit.
Also, you may have a GFCI breaker in the panel rather than a GFCI
Speaking of those testers, what happens if you press the GFI test button
when the tester is plugged into a non-GFI outlet? From what I can tell
with my multimeter, the connection it makes to ground for the test is
through a high enough resistance that it should not draw much current,
so I expect it is safe, but with electrical things, it's always best to
You are correct, the current drawn by the tester is only about 10
milliamps or so.
I've "tested" for GFCI presence simply by sticking the leads of a 10K
ohm 2 watt carbon resistor into the hot and ground holes on a receptical.
That's not an official recommendation guys, use at your own risk.
Any time you use a Wigginton type solenoid tester on an electrical
circuit you are drawing around ten milliamperes of current. Those are
required equipment for electricians working for unionized shops nation
wide. The test button on the GFCI tester draws very nearly the same
current. Either one will trip a GFCI. Applying ten milliamperes of
current to the Equipment Grounding Conductor will do no harm.
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