04
Sep

Why an electrical system must be grounded

Many of the homes we visit in central Iowa have ineffective or non-existent grounding causing an unnecessary safety risk to your family and your electronics. Here’s why that matters to you:

Electricity travels the path of least resistance. If an appliance like a toaster, coffee maker, or hair dryer breaks, electricity can flow to the metal outside of the appliance. Touching the appliance could result in a serious shock, causing injury or even death.

If the electrical system is properly grounded and the appliance is plugged into a three-pronged outlet, the electricity will flow through the third prong back into the wires and harmlessly into the earth. Thus, the term “grounding.”

Grounding protects your family, and any sensitive electronics in your home. Without grounding, electrical charges build up in wiring and create slight but continuous damage to delicate electronics. This damage can shorten the lives of computers, televisions, phones, and any electrical appliance that has “smart” components, such as your expensive kitchen appliances and dryer.

Without an electrical ground tester, it’s hard to know whether your home is protected. Homes built before 1950 were sometimes grounded. Homes built after 1950 were usually grounded. If your system was originally grounded, wiring mistakes may have rendered the grounding ineffective. Even if your home has electrical outlets that accept three prongs, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your electrical system is grounded. Many of the homes we visit have outlets that have been updated since the home was built, but no actual grounding behind them. Other homes have grounding in place, but a compromised ground wire. Some homes have no grounding system at all.

Every service call performed by WIREONE begins with a Residential Safety Inspection. During this inspection, we will perform a thorough safety check of your home, including the grounding system.