Welcome to the latest update on the NSPIRE (National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate) inspections, particularly focusing on the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) inspection criteria. Our goal is to keep you informed and prepared for these critical inspection elements, ensuring the safety and compliance the residency.

Recent HUD Standards Modifications

HUD has recently made slight modifications to the GFCI inspection standards. These adjustments are essential for housing providers to note, as they directly impact the inspection process and compliance requirements.

GFCI Inspection Criteria: What You Need to Know

GFCIs are crucial for preventing electrical shock, particularly in areas where electrical circuits may come into contact with water. According to the updated standards:

  • Outdoor Requirements: Every outdoor outlet must be GFCI protected. Absence of a GFCI protected outlet is a health and safety deficiency, requiring correction.
  • Indoor Requirements: Inside the property, any outlet within six feet of a water source needs GFCI protection. This includes outlets near sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, and any water faucet, extending to washer connections in laundry facilities. Absence of a GFCI protected outlet is a health and safety deficiency, requiring correction.

Adjustments in Water Source Definition

The definition of a “water source” has been slightly adjusted. It now encompasses showers, tubs, sinks, toilets, and any kind of water faucet. This clarification ensures that all areas prone to moisture or direct water contact are adequately safeguarded against electrical hazards.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are specific exceptions to these requirements:

  • Outlets used by major appliances.
  • Outlets located beneath countertops and inside enclosed cabinets.
  • Outlets technically in a different room but within six feet of a water source.

Implementation and Compliance Tips

  • For compliance, affected outlets can either be protected by installing a GFCI breaker or by replacing the first outlet in a circuit with a GFCI outlet, thus protecting all downstream outlets.
  • Inspectors will utilize testers to verify GFCI protection. It’s crucial to prepare for this aspect of the inspection to avoid deficiencies.
  • In cases where an outlet serves a major appliance within six feet of a water source and you prefer not to use GFCI protection (to prevent nuisance tripping, for example, with refrigerators), the outlet must be converted to a single, dedicated outlet. This prevents the use of the outlet for any device other than the intended major appliance.

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