Back before the days when parents “baby-proofed” their homes, my wife’s little sister got quite a shock. Little sister was the mischievous type and stuck her finger into an electrical outlet. It’s not actually an extremely easy thing to do, but at three-years-old, her fingers were small. Fortunately, no lasting damage was done. But my partner will never 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 make certain the electrical system of our LA home is safe. One important step was to make sure that its wiring is properly grounded.

What’s electrical grounding, anyway?

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

An electrical system could be grounded with various types of devices. A “ground wire” is merely a wire attached to your electrical system which has been pushed securely into the ground. Metal pipes (electricians call them “conduit”) that hold and protect your electrical wires may also become a grounding device. Sometimes, grounding is provided by running a wire from your own electrical system and attaching it to metal plumbing pipes that come across the ground.

Grounding protects not only people but also 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 which 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 one’s body was originally grounded, wiring mistakes may have rendered the grounding ineffective. Despite having outlets that accept three prongs, it generally does not necessarily mean your electrical wiring is grounded. The only way to know for sure is to have a qualified electrician check out your electrical system with a special tester.

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

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

Sleep sounder with a grounded electrical system

If you’ll sleep sounder understanding that your family as well as your appliances and electronics are safer, ask an electrician to employ a tester to check on your electrical system for grounding. This could be done in something call. Occasionally, electricians will offer a grounding check within a free of charge home safety inspection, especially if they’re doing other work in your house.