I was unable to test a bathroom outlet at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island because it was placed directly against the vanity cabinet, rendering plugging any appliances into it very difficult. I certainly couldn’t insert my plug tester. This is a reportable issue because, (1) I couldn’t test the outlet or verify it was GFCI protected and (2) future homeowners need to know they likely need to make repairs to have a functional MBA outlet.
Those funny looking electrical outlets installed where moisture might be present are safety devices intended to prevent serious electrical hazards by cutting the power. Known as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs) or just “safety outlets”, they should be tested at least monthly by pushing the “Test” button. Don’t forget to reset it! If your GFCIs keep tripping and you don’t know if you have a bad device or a ground fault, the Circuit Detective has a comprehensive and useful article to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about them.