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September 07,2023

Why Does Electricity Need to Be Grounded?

Weve all long known that electricity needs to be grounded. So, why does electricity need to be grounded? Is there a difference between grounding and bonding? When is the result of not having an appropriate ground? How can I find out if everything is properly grounded? Mr. Electric of Fort Worth is here to help you understand the importance of electrical grounding.

What Is a Ground Wire?

Lightning strikes. Tree branches falling on power lines. Faulty equipment or wiring. These are just a few things that can cause an electrical current to travel outside its intended path. If enough electricity escapes, it can create a potentially hazardous situation. A ground wire helps prevent this from happening.

Whats the Purpose of a Ground Wire?

A ground wire aims to provide a safe path for electrical current if something goes wrong with your appliance or electrical system. This can prevent your family members from being shocked, and it can help prevent fires and damage to your appliances and electrical system.

The following are some examples of this critical safety feature in action:

If an electrical current reaches metal parts of an appliance, such as the refrigerator door, the metal will become energized. Touching it could potentially cause you to be shocked or electrocuted. However, if a ground wire is connected to that metal part, the current will instead flow into the ground wire.

In some cases, when electricity escapes its intended path, it doesnt flow into metal parts of appliances. Instead, it flows through building materials and other items made of combustible materials such as wood or plastic. Under these circumstances, the result can spark a fire.

What Is the Difference Between Bonding and Grounding?

Bonding refers to the direct connection between two objects made from metal. This ensures that these two metals have the same electrical potential so that electricity can't flow between them.

An example of bonding would be connecting the water pipes in your house with a metal clamp, so there's no chance of an electric shock from touching a tap when someone else flips on the light switch.

The difference between bonding and grounding is simple: Bonding connects non-current carrying metal parts together, so they all become equipotential, while grounding connects the metal parts of the electrical system to earth.

Whats the Result of Not Having an Appropriate Ground?

When a short circuit or electrical malfunction occurs, electricity will flow out of the system in an attempt to find the shortest path to the ground. It will travel through the conductor, through your body, and into the earth.

The result of not having a reasonable ground is that this current will find other paths to return to its sources, such as through pipes and other conductors. This can cause more damage to equipment and appliances, as well as shock or electrocute whoever happens to be standing nearby.

How Do I Know If Everything In My Home Is Properly Grounded?

Your best bet is to call an electrician in Euless and have them check your home's wiring and service panel.

An affordable electrician from Mr. Electric of Fort Worth can tell if something isn't working right by measuring the resistance between different parts of your home and its grounding system, and by performing other tests.

Contact Mr. Electric of Fort Worth today for peace of mind!