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Do You Know if Your Electrical System is Grounded?

There is a huge amount of safety that is added to your electrical system when it is grounded. When there is any excess electricity in the system, a grounded system will bleed this excess electricity into the ground where it can do no harm. A grounded system can help save you from damage to your electrical items, electric shock and fire.

How do you know if your electrical system is grounded? If your home was built before 1950, there is a small chance that it is grounded. If it was built after 1950, there is a pretty good chance that it is grounded. If you are unsure, just give us a call. We will be more than happy to provide you with a Free Home Electrical Safety Inspection to find out whether or not your electrical system is grounded.

Am I Grounded If I have 3-Pronged Outlets?
While three-pronged outlets may make it appear that your system is grounded, this is not always the case. The third prong only means that your electronics will be grounded if the system itself is grounded.

An electrical system can only be grounded if it has a special grounding device such as the following: metal conduit around the wires, a ground wire, or any other addition that will direct excess electricity into the ground in the case of a malfunction. Occasionally DIYers or builders will put three-pronged outlets into a home or building even when the system is not grounded. This can give you a false sense of security.

Another possibility is that your system was grounded when it was installed, but this grounding has been made ineffective due to later wiring mistakes. This is why you should have a licensed technician examine your electrical system with their special equipment to determine whether or not the grounding system is working. If you would like a free consultation, just give us a call.

Benefits of Grounding

Protection from Shocks – Electricity will always take the path of least resistance. If a metal appliance malfunctions, for example, the electricity could be conducted through the metal body of the appliance. This could result in a serious shock to anyone who touches it. If your electrical system is grounded, and the appliance uses a three-pronged outlet, however, the electricity will not flow to the body of the device. It will be routed into the third prong and then into the ground instead.

Protect Valuable Electronics – Grounding is beneficial to your electronics as well. When a system is not grounded, it is possible for electricity to build up in your wiring. This can cause slow but sure damage to your electronics. As a result, the lives of your entertainment systems, computers, refrigerator, phones and more will be shortened.

Grounding is required for surge protection – There’s a good chance that you use surge protectors on many of your electrical devices. A surge is characterized by a sudden increase in electrical current. Surges often happen when power returns after an outage or when there are any electrical fluctuations from your utility company. This can also happen when turning some appliances on and off.

The most common place for a surge protector is at our computer. The idea behind this is to protect the components plugged into the surge protector from this potentially dangerous level of electricity. If your electrical system is not grounded, however, your surge protector will not work. As a result, a surge protector plugged into a non-grounded system is worthless.

To learn more about Whole House Surge protectors and other surge protectors, click here.

The Best Protection for Household Electronics and Appliances

The best way to protect all of the electrical devices in your home is to combine a grounded electrical system with a Whole House Surge Protector. As a result of modern technology, many of the appliances and devices that we own today have many delicate electrical components that are particularly vulnerable to power fluctuations. This includes sensors in clothes dryers, computers, televisions, printers and more.

If you have any questions about your electrical system, grounding or whole has surge protection, please don’t hesitate to call and talk to our in-office electrician.


NEC Article 250

Proper Electrical Grounding & Bonding