Within every electrical circuit an active wire provides power and a neutral wire that returns the electrical current. A grounding wire can be connected to electrical devices and outlets with another wire attached securely to the ground at the electrical panel. This grounding wire provides an alternative pathway for electrical current to safely return to the ground without endangering people should a short circuit occur. If there’s a short circuit, current would flow through the ground wire and blow a fuse or trip a circuit breaker. Either is better than an electrical shock causing injury or death.
The Five Most Important Reasons for Grounding
1) Electrical Overload Protection
Grounding electrical current helps protect a home, residents, and appliances inside from electrical surges. Lightning strikes and power surges can generate hazardous high voltages of electricity. When an electrical system is grounded, excess electrical current will travel into the earth, as opposed to burning out everything attached to an electrical system.
2) Assists Directing Electricity
A grounded electrical system makes it easy for power to be directly sent to all the locations where it is needed. Grounding enables electrical current to travel with safety and efficiency through the entire electrical system.
3) Voltage Level Stabilization
Grounding also eases the distribution of the proper amount of electricity to be distributed to the correct locations, playing an important part in ensuring circuits do not overload.
4) Earth is a Great Conductor
Grounding helps ensure safety due to the fact that earth is a great conductor. When an electrical system is grounded, excess current will invariably take the path of least resistance to the ground, rather than into people, perhaps saving lives.
5) Prevention of Harmful Electricity
A home lacking a properly grounded electrical system is a place where appliances risk being irreparably damaged by excess current. A power overload is also capable of causing an electrical fire that may result in data loss, property damage, bodily injury or death.
Part 2 will cover the workings of home electrical grounding and safety tips.
Electrical Services You Can Trust
Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.