Alamo Electrical Grounding
Improve the Safety of Your Electrical System in Walnut Creek
While you may be familiar with the term “grounding,” it can be helpful to understand a little bit more about electrical grounding and how it promotes your safety and protects your appliances and electrical system as a whole. Grounding allows for an electrically-charged object to release electricity through a designated wire so it cannot cause electric shock to the next person who touches it. It can also protect appliances from overload and helps them work more efficiently.
When you consider the number of electronic devices and appliances we use on a daily basis, it is easy to see why grounding is so important. The licensed electricians at East Bay Electric, Inc. can help make sure your electrical wiring is properly grounded in your Alamo or Walnut Creek home.
How Does Electrical Grounding Work?
Electrical “grounding” got its name from literally sending electricity into the ground or earth, where it could cause no harm. It began as a safety measure to protect people from being shocked or electrocuted when coming into contact with electrical hazards. With grounding, the electricity is sent to a circuit breaker and the ground as opposed to a person’s body or the inside of an appliance, where it can cause serious damage.
Today, electrical grounding works by:
- Sending electricity back to your electrical panel, tripping the circuit breaker and stopping the flow of electricity.
- In turn, the grounding wire must be connected to something that is then connected to the ground or earth outside. This is usually a grounding electrode, such as a ground rod.
Electrical grounding is required under electrical codes across the United States. While each jurisdiction may have its own variation of electrical codes, they all require grounding and set forth specifications to set electrical grounding standards.
Why is Grounding Important?
Electrical grounding is important because when there is an excess amount of electricity, it can fry your appliances, rendering them beyond repair. Additionally, it can put you at great risk of electrical shock. By grounding your electrical wiring, it helps protect your appliances and reduce your risk of electrical hazards and fires.
Some benefits of electrical grounding include:
- It stabilizes the voltage levels: A grounded electrical system makes it easier to direct electricity to the proper places, ensuring that the circuits do not become overloaded. When you ground electrical wiring, the earth acts as a reference point for voltage sources, thus stabilizing levels.
- It conducts electricity without resistance: One of the reasons why we ground electrical wiring in the earth is because the earth offers the least resistance in terms of conducting excess electricity. Thus, it prevents the excess electricity from going through you or to your appliances.
- It protects you and your appliances from electrical surges: In the event of a power surge due to lightening or any other extreme weather, the excess electricity will go to the ground instead of your appliances, protecting them from being damaged.
Old Home? Your System May Not Be Grounded
If you live in a home that was built prior to the 1960s, there's a good chance that you will need to enlist our Alamo electrical grounding specialists to assist you. Older homes tend to have two prong outlets, which only have two wires–a hot and a neutral wire. This means that they are not grounded and can put you, your appliances, and your home at risk for electrical fires, shocks, and other hazards. Modern three prong outlets are grounded because they contain a third wire, which is a grounding wire. Even if you use a surge protector, it will not protect your two prong outlet from power surges and other electrical overloads. Our team can assess your current outlets and electrical wiring to determine which ones need to be replaced or rewired.