At Lighten Up Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, we always find ourselves answering the same electrical related questions again and again. One of the biggies is about how the proper grounding of a home’s electrical wiring system can up the safety factor for its occupants.
A grounded system channels excess electricity safely into the ground, even in the event of an electrical malfunction. Proper grounding prevents electrocution to people and protects your home electronics from permanent damage.
How Does Electrical System Grounding Work?
An electrical system is grounded if it has a grounding device such as a “ground wire,” metal casing around the wires, or some other device that routes excess electricity into the ground when the system malfunctions.
How Can You Tell if Your Electrical System is Grounded?
It depends on how safety conscious the home’s previous owners were, but there’s no way to really be sure—unless you are a licensed electrician, that is. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of those on staff. If you call our office, we will be happy to send an electrician to determine if your home is grounded.
Sometimes we’ll have customers claiming that their electrical system is grounded because they have three-pronged outlets, but don’t let bit of misinformation fool you. In some cases, builders or do-it-yourselfers install three-pronged outlets in electrical systems that aren’t grounded. Even if your system was grounded at some point, wiring mistakes or wear and tear can render it ineffective over time.
Protections Provided by Grounding
- Protect Your Family from Electrocution: It’s important to remember that electricity always travels the path of least resistance. If an appliance like a toaster breaks, electricity may begin to flow through the metal outside of the toaster, potentially shocking whoever is using it. But if the electrical system is grounded and the toaster is plugged in with three prongs, the electricity will be unable to flow outside of the toaster. Instead, it will flow through the third prong back into the wires and harmlessly into the ground.
- Protect Your Electronics from Damage: Grounding your home electrical system also sensitive electronics from permanent damage. Without grounding, electrical charges build up in wiring and create slight but continuous damage to delicate electronics. This damage can shorten the lives of computers, entertainment systems, phones, refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, and other appliances.
Call Lighten Up Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric to learn more about how electrical system grounding protect you and your home!