Replacing Razor Only Receptacle with GFCI
Posted By Octavio Sosa / 23rd July 2015
Do you live in an older house and have a bathroom outlet that is identified as “razor only”?
Currently the expectation is to have a bathroom outlet that facilitates to charge various rechargeable items such as rechargeable razors, electric toothbrushes, curling irons, blow dryers and other. It is convenient to replace older style “razor only” outlets and upgrade your bathroom with a much safer GFCI receptacle.
In many older houses and condos, you still can find a “razor only” outlet in the bathroom. These usually have a polished silver plate and only two prongs. They were designed to separate you from the grounded electrical system in your home by limiting the amount of current that could flow in a fault condition.
The Setback with Razor Only Receptacle:
They are one-to-one transformers that have a rather low load capacity and can’t operate today’s appliances, like blow dryers. In addition, changes to the electrical code required that these outlets be connected to the light switch, so that they were on only when the bathroom was being used, as they tended to get warm, and even hot, creating a potential fire hazard. So, if you use the razor only receptacle to plug in your rechargeable electric toothbrush, it will only get charged when the light is on.
Changes to the Electrical Code:
Today’s code requires that a GFCI breaker protect the receptacle in the bathroom, or that the receptacle itself be a GFCI outlet.
A GFCI receptacle protects you from electric shock by measuring the flow of electricity (current, or amps) and checks that all the current used by the appliance returns to earth through the neutral conductor. If all the flow of current is not accounted for then the circuitry inside the GFCI outlet will trip in as fast as 1/30th of a second. This protects you from getting a shock, or in any case a bad enough one to seriously hurt or even kill you.
In conclusion, replacing a razor only outlet not only provides you with a safer outlet in your bathroom, but allows you to plug in all of your contemporary chargeable appliances.
Get help from a qualified electrician.