Why Are Electrical Grounds Important?
Electrical grounds are one of the most essential safety components of a home’s electrical system. Why do you need to ground electricity and what does this entail? A ground wire connects the outlets in your home to the electrical panel; this wire is dug into the ground surrounding your home. The soil that surrounds the wire acts as a kind of surge protector. If an excessive amount of electricity flows through the grounded wire the positively charged ions within the wire are attracted to the negatively charged ions found in the surrounding soil. This allows for the excess energy to dissipate into the ground instead of overloading the electrical system, which could create fire hazards and damage home appliances.
How grounding works
Electrical circuits have what’s known as a neutral wire, which carries the electrical current back to the source of the electricity. The circuit also has an active wire, which supplies the power.
The ground wire is attached between the breaker box and the electrical outlets. In the event of excess electricity the current flows through the ground wire instead of back through the neutral wire, which then trips the circuit breaker or blows a fuse.
Why electricity need to be grounded
Excessive electricity within a home is a fairly common occurrence. Whenever an appliance is plugged into an outlet, its rare that all of the supplied electricity is used, meaning that the leftover energy needs to be absorbed safely. Excess electricity is also a common as larger home appliances cycle on and off, not to mention the risk of lightning strikes flooding a home’s electrical system. The risk of fire and home appliance damage is incredibly high in homes that don’t have electrical grounds.
What happens without an adequate ground?
With the correct grounding, the earth will absorb the excess electrical current, and it will do it safely. Without this option for absorption, the excess electricity will find other paths to travel. This means appliances that are plugged in and anything in direct contact with the appliance. This creates an electrocution hazard for anyone that lives in the home.
If you suspect that an electrical appliance or electrical panel does not have ground, don’t use it and call an electrician immediately! Without the proper grounding, anyone using the appliance could potentially become the ground connection, which could prove to be fatal.
How to tell if a home has been properly grounded
One of the best ways that a person can make sure that their home has received the correct grounding would be calling an electrician for a home safety inspection. Under the National Electric Code, household electrical systems are required to be grounded through a ground rod, but with older homes, its common for them to lack the proper grounding.
Why grounding matters
First, the protection against an electrical overload cannot be understated. This is one of the most important reasons because it will protect the home, the appliances, and everyone in the home from the dangers of electrical surges.
Second, it helps to direct electricity. A grounded electrical system safely directs electricity within the home and manages excess electricity.
Third, electrical grounds help to stabilize the voltage level of your home’s electrical system. Grounding makes it far easier for the correct amount of power to be distributed, and it plays a vital role in ensuring that circuits are not overloaded.
Hiring a professional
Electrical grounds are an incredibly important facet of your home’s electrical safety plan; new ground installation or ground inspections should always be performed by licensed electricians. Mistakes can leave your home vulnerable to the dangers of surges and electrical overloads. For questions concerning electrical grounds or if you would like to schedule a home electrical inspection, call Mister Sparky NWA electricians at (479) 202-4757.