Your entire home’s electrical safety depends on whether or not it is properly grounded. The electrical grounding is used in every home and building that has electricity to ensure the building’s overall electrical safety. Electrical design and installation of the electrical grounding is a priority, and in most cases, is done with preciseness. However, there are those occasional flaws or issues that can occur over time. Sentry Electric will explain what electrical grounding is, why it is essential, and how to know if your home is properly grounded.
What is Electrical Grounding?
Electrical grounding is the point in the circuit that has zero voltage, which basically connects to the earth. Electrical connections that connect to the earth allow for safe pathways for electricity to travel and also disperse. Power surges happen all the time and that excessive energy needs somewhere to go and disperse. If the energy doesn’t have anywhere to go, it will discharge in an appliance, light fixture and in outlets when used. Without the grounding system there will be more damage, electrical shocks, and fires.
Common Wiring & Grounding Problems
Improper grounding seems to occur in large dense cities where houses are tightly built together. High rise apartments are some of the worst buildings with grounding designs. Design flaws can be revealed when the electrical wiring comes in contact with the plumbing systems. Older homes also are known not to have proper grounding. Detecting improper grounding in older homes is easy to detect. If you have a home with a two pronged outlet, those outlets are not grounded. All homes, by code, must use three pronged outlets. The center prong is the ground line.
Dangers of Improper Electrical Earthing & Grounding
There are many risks when there isn’t proper electrical grounding present. Two pronged outlets will lead to electrical damage to any device that is plugged into them. Since the electrical grounding isn’t present, the power surge will discharge in the plugged-in device. Other dangers are electrical shocks that can be deadly. When plugging in a blow dryer or a charger you can risk being electrocuted. Another terrifying scenario is a fire. Sometimes the power surge will discharge in the circuit leading to overheating or a spark that is powerful enough to start a fire. These fires can strike without warning and spread very quickly.
How to Tell if Your House is Grounded Properly
Grounding designs are usually standard as they are the electrical safety system. However, in older homes or homes that may have had rodent activity, often it is recommended to have the home electrical system inspected. There are a few red flags such as two pronged outlets to let you know that there isn’t proper electrical grounding. Another sign is frequent tripping from the same circuit lines. As power surges occur and overloads the system, the circuit will trip to shut off power to that line. Another clue that there may be a problem with the grounding system is when appliances and other electrical items keep breaking or become damaged due to power surges.