Apply These 8 Secret WAYS TO Improve Electrical System


Back prior to the days when parents “baby-proofed” their homes, my wife’s little sister got a significant shock. Little sister was the mischievous type and stuck her finger into an electrical outlet. It’s not actually a very easy move to make, but at three-years-old, her fingers were small. Fortunately, no lasting damage was done. But my partner won’t forget her little sister’s blackened finger and the stern warnings by her parents that those mysterious little holes in the wall can kill you.

Now that my wife has married an electrician, she insists that I take every possible measure to ensure that the electrical system of our LA home is safe. One important step was to ensure that its wiring is properly grounded.

What’s electrical grounding, anyway?

Grounding adds a safety factor for the family as well as your electronics. Here’s how it works. Electricity travels the path of least resistance. If an appliance like a toaster breaks, electricity can flow on the metal outside of the toaster. Touching it could create a serious shock, causing injury as well as death. If the electrical system is grounded and the toaster is plugged in with three prongs, the electricity won’t flow to the exterior of the toaster. Instead it will flow through the third prong back into the wires and harmlessly into Mother Earth. Thus, the word “grounding.”

An electrical system can be grounded with various types of devices. A “ground wire” is simply a wire mounted on your electrical system that’s been pushed securely into the ground. Metal pipes (electricians call them “conduit”) that hold and protect your electrical wires may also act as a grounding device. อุปกรณ์ไฟฟ้าแรงสูง Sometimes, grounding is supplied by running a wire from your electrical system and attaching it to metal plumbing pipes that run into the ground.

Grounding protects not merely people but additionally sensitive electronics. 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, phones, and any electrical appliance that has “smart” (computer) components, possibly your fridge or dryer.

How can I tell if my electrical system is grounded?

Homes built before 1950 were sometimes grounded. Homes built after 1950 were usually grounded. Even though your system was originally grounded, wiring mistakes could have rendered the grounding ineffective. Even with outlets that accept three prongs, it generally does not necessarily mean that your electrical wiring is grounded. The only way to know for sure would be to have a qualified electrician check out your electrical system with a particular tester.

My electrical outlets have three prongs — aren’t they grounded?

If your house has electrical outlets which accept three prongs, it could have a grounded system. The third prong allows an appliance to be grounded IF it’s plugged into a power system which has a grounding device. Sometimes three-pronged outlets have already been installed in electrical systems which has no grounding device. This may make it look like the system is grounded when it’s not. Do-it-yourselfers or handymen may install three-pronged outlets within an ungrounded system not realizing the hazard rather than knowing that it violates the National Electrical Code.

Sleep sounder with a grounded electrical system

If you’ll sleep sounder knowing that your family and your appliances and electronics are safer, ask an electrician to use a tester to check your electrical system for grounding. This could be done in a service call. In some cases, electricians will offer a grounding check within a free home safety inspection, particularly if they’re doing other work in your home.