Having a properly grounded electrical system is something that many homeowners may easily neglect or take for granted. As we get used to dealing with electricity daily, many of us become too comfortable and forget how dangerous electricity can be.
But, it is vital to know that a lot of fires and injuries spawn from faulty and ungrounded electrical wiring system. What exactly makes a proper grounding system essential? Read on to learn about the dangers of ungrounded outlets and the importance of implementing a proper grounding system in your home.
Is Your Home Electrical Wiring System Adequately Grounded?
In most cases, we take a short glance at the outlets on our walls, and as soon as we see the three-pronged outlets, we immediately assume that our electrical wiring system is safely grounded and good to go.
In newer homes, this could easily be the case as typically more modern buildings adhere to safety standards and code. But, what if you are living in an older home or you have just moved into that home and unsure whether or not the electric system is grounded?
You may be surprised to find out that sometimes, the three-pronged outlets that appear to have a proper ground connection are not really grounded. As a matter of fact, even some newer homes may not be completely immune from improper grounding as a result of a seemingly tiny mistake during the electrical wiring process.
Described by the electricians as “open ground,” these three-prong wall outlets can be deceiving, giving the looks of a grounding system but in reality, offer no protection. The outlet has been wired for two wiring connections only – hot and neutral wires – without the ground wire. This poses electrical hazards, and if you want to ensure your family and home protection, this needs to be addressed right away.
Some of the serious risks involved in ungrounded wiring system are as follows:
With inadequate grounding system, any mishaps that occur with your outlet may cause arcing, sparks and channel electrical charge that can trigger fire along walls, or on nearby fixtures and furniture. Had it been grounded, the excess voltage could have traveled safely along the ground and into the panel.
Ungrounded outlets pose a grave risk of electric shock to you or your family members operating the electronics and appliances that are plugged into the outlet.
Damage to Properties
Grounding system protects your expensive appliances from power surges. Power surges pretty much happen more often than you may think, and it can cause significant damage to your appliances over time.
Product Warranty Void
Did you know that electrical grounding may affect the warranty of your product purchases? Most appliances, including dishwashers and refrigerators, need to be plugged into a grounded outlet. Otherwise, the product will no longer be eligible for the warranty.
So, What Can You Do to Ensure Your Home is Protected?
A properly grounded wiring system is an effective failsafe system, and perhaps one of the easiest methods to enhance your home’s protection from various electrical hazards.
To determine whether your home is grounded or not, you can check it yourself using a plug-in tester which you can easily buy from any hardware or home improvement stores.
However, keep in mind that since you are dealing with electricity, you should follow electrical safety measures for your protection.
Ultimately, the best thing that you can do is to contact a qualified electrician to check your electrical wiring system. Not only will they be able to tell whether there is a grounding system failure in your house or not, but they can also take care of the problem safely and efficiently for you.