How to Know if Your House is Properly Grounded
Is your home properly grounded to ensure your family's safety? Grounding is one of the most important aspects of a home's electrical system. You might not think about it on a regular basis, but it keeps your appliances, electronics, and anything else in your home that requires electricity secure.
Here's everything you never knew you needed to know about grounding.
What is Grounding?
You might remember from science class that electricity travels the path of least resistance. For example, if your toaster breaks, electricity will flow to the metal outside the appliance. Touch it while it's plugged in and you'll experience a serious shock or worse. But if the toaster is plugged into a grounded outlet, the electricity will not flow to the outside but will follow the third prong back into the wires and into the earth, or ground.
Why is Grounding Important for Your Home?
Grounding protects both people and sensitive electronics from damages that can occur from electrical charges that build up in the wiring. The result is often shortened live for phones, computers, and any other electrical appliance with smart components.
Common Grounding Issues
Your home's electrical system is a complex web of wires, outlets, circuits, and circuit breakers, all designed to tame the nature of electricity. When things go wrong, a faulty ground can develop into a big hazard. Older homes tend to have grounding issues more often than newer ones. Older wiring systems installed before 1965 are often grounded through metal conduit or cable, not bare copper grounding wires. Some have no grounding at all. If there are multiple two-prong outlets in your home, they likely are not grounded and should be updated.
How to Know if Your Outlets are Grounded
The simplest way to know is to look at the outlets scattered throughout your home, including in the garage, basement, and attic. Do they have two holes or three? The ones with three are likely grounded. When a grounding problem is present, people can experience a slight shock when they touch a metal object in the home.
Risks of Improper Grounding
It can be dangerous to live in a home that's improperly grounded, or not grounded at all. The greatest risks come from fire and electrical shock that can result in serious injury or death, especially in areas like the kitchen and bathroom where water is present. It's always a smart decision to have your electrical system regularly inspected by a qualified, local electrician, especially if you live in an older home, or think you have an ungrounded or poorly grounded system.
When to Call a Professional
Don't take unnecessary risks with your home's electrical system. No matter how old your Jacksonville area home is, consider having an electrical safety assessment done to identify potential or existing problems that could lead to unsafe situations. It's an important step you can take today to keep you and your family safe for years to come.
When was the last time you had your home inspect for electrical issues? To learn more about proper home grounding, or to schedule a whole-house inspection, contact David Gray Electrical Services online or call us at (904) 724-7211.