The grounding wire is one additional route for the electrical current to be safely returned to the ground without causing a person any harm in case there is a short circuit. At that very moment, the short would result in the current flowing through the grounding wire which in turn would cause the circuit breaker to trip or the fuse to blow.
When grounding wires are used on any portable devices or power tools, they are made far safer when a third prong (ground connection) is used. There are times when people cut off their power tool’s or extension cord’s ground tab because the electrical outlet they are trying to use doesn’t have a grounding point, and this is a definite mistake.
UNGROUNDED APPLIANCES – THE DANGERS
Ungrounded extension cords, power tools, appliances or electrical boxes can pose a danger if there is no grounding path except through you. Without a ground wire, your body becomes the point through which the ground path gets completed and you can experience an electrical shock. This is more common if you are using older appliances that have cloth-wrapped wiring. Modern-day appliances have three-pronged cords that include the ground for protection.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GROUNDING
It is important to ground electrical currents because:
#1 Protects against overloads in electricity
Grounding electrical currents helps protect your appliances, those using the appliances as well as your home from electrical surges. In the event of a power surge or lightning strike the high voltage of electricity that flows through your systems helps the excess electricity to flow into the earth rather than frying all the appliances and circuits connected in that system.
#2 Helps channel electricity
When your electrical system is grounded it becomes easier to direct power exactly where it’s required; this allows electrical currents to travel efficiently and safely through your electrical system.
#3 Lends stability to the voltage levels
When your electrical system is grounded, the power gets distributed to the places where it’s meant to go to and this plays a significant role in ensuring that your circuits don’t become overloaded or blown. The earth becomes the reference point for most voltage sources within an electrical system.
#4 Earth is a great conductor
Since the earth is such a good conductor of electricity and because the excess electricity takes the path that offers the least resistance, when you ground your electrical system, the electricity gets channeled to the ground rather than flowing into you; which can potentially save your life.
If you don’t have an appropriately-grounded electrical system, the electrical appliances in the system can become burnt beyond repair. In certain situations, a power overload can result in a fire potentially causing physical injury as well extensive property damage.
If you aren’t sure whether all the electrical circuits in your home have the proper grounding, feel free to contact us at AllRound Electricals. Our expert electricians will visit your property and inspect the entire electrical system to ensure it has the proper grounding.