Generally accepted standards require that all outlets near the sink in the bathroom be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected. The GFCI outlet is a major safety feature in that it will interrupt power to the outlet when significant moisture is detected, thus greatly decreasing the chance of electrocution. GFCI outlets should be tested routinely by activating a test button on the outlet or on the breaker in the electrical panel box.

Exhaust Fan

Excessive moisture is a house’s worst enemy. One source is moisture is from the shower and bath in the bathroom. Generally accepted standards require that a vent fan be placed in each bathroom and that the fan either re‑circulates through a filter or exhausts directly to the outside. In many homes the exhaust fan may vent into the soffit or into the attic space. This was at one time acceptable, but not ideal. Extending the exhaust through the roof by way of the appropriate venting device will directly decrease unwanted moisture buildup in the home.

Tub and Shower

Deteriorated grout and caulking with ceramic tiles in the tub and shower are often a cause of water leaks. When water gets behind the tile, it will eventually rot the wood framing behind the tiles. Grout joints and caulking should be routinely cleaned, maintained and repaired when necessary

Faucets and Drains

Most faucets contain a pressure reducer and a debris strainer. If water flow is decreased only at one particular faucet, unscrew the strainer and remove any debris. Drains are prone to clogging and should be cleaned out when water drains too slowly. There are two basic types of drains illustrated below. It is important that water be present in the trap to form a seal against the entry of sewer gases.

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