Why Is It So Important to Have Grounded Outlets? | Tips from Your Florence, SC Electrical Repair Professional

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If you have never needed electrical repair before, you may not know the difference between a grounded and ungrounded outlet. In fact, the idea of a grounded outlet may not have passed through your mind outside of being annoyed when a three-pronged plug can’t fit into certain outlets in your home. Many people simply use a cheap adapter to bypass the problem, but what you may not realize is that while it allows you to plug in, it doesn’t afford you the same protection as a properly grounded outlet.

Getting grounded outlets in Florence, SC is as easy as calling an electrical repair company and setting up an appointment. It usually does not take much time and is not a large expense, but if you don’t understand the importance of grounded outlets you may never make that call. The simple truth is that with the heavier electrical demands of most consumers in Florence, SC, grounded outlets are simply the smart way to protect your family and your high-priced appliances. 

What Is Grounding?

If the phrase grounding is still foreign to you, it may be helpful to learn what it is before deciding whether to call and get an electrical repair company to help you in Florence, SC. When an outlet is grounded, there is a ground wire that is linked from the outlet to your electrical panel. 

This extra wire works as a safety valve that can take excess (power surge) electricity instead of shooting it into the appliance. All positively charged electricity that is consumed by appliances and electrical items in your home is instantly drawn to the negative charges in the ground wire to protect your electronics and appliances. A simple electrical repair can change an ungrounded outlet into a grounded outlet.

Safety and Grounding

A normal electrical outlet that is not grounded is not able to handle excess electricity when it is consumed. Therefore, it will shoot the electricity back out in certain scenarios which can result in electrocution, fire, or simply blowing out your appliance or electronic. In most situations, electrical power is not consumed entirely by the object that is plugged into an outlet, which is why you need a safe ground route to pull it back out. 

There are many different ways that excess electricity comes into your home from huge appliances that cycle such as a furnace to a power surge from the public power lines. Lightning strikes in Florence, SC can also cause excess electricity that can damage items in your home or even cause a fire if outlets are not grounded. A grounded outlet works similarly to a surge protector, and absorbs the charge before it can cause any damage. If you don’t have grounded outlets, it may be time to request an electrical repair quote from your local electrician. 

What Happens When Your Home Is Not Electrically Grounded?

The point of grounding is to allow the earth to do its job which is to absorb unneeded electricity. When a home is grounded then the people who live inside and the actual property are protected. Homes are not the only buildings that should be grounded; offices, retail places, and commercial properties should be grounded as well. Even more so if any of these locations consume a large amount of electricity on a regular basis. Most zoning laws for commercial or industrial properties require grounding, so if you are unsure of your properties status it is important to call for electrical repair today.

Older homes are more likely to be designed without grounding, because it was not always mandatory. However, sometimes modern homes may not be fully grounded as well because of errors that made the grounding insufficient for the high electrical demand. A professional electrician that is experienced and skilled in electrical repair should always be consulted to ensure that all grounding is reliable. 

In the worst-case scenario, electrical appliances may use your body as a ground. Your body can conduct electricity and it is possible that excess electricity will jump through your body and follow the path to the ground. This obviously causes electrocution. All you have to do is touch your electrical panel, an appliance, or even the faucets in your home during a power surge for this to occur. This is why proper grounding electrical repair is so vital.

How Do I Find Out If My Home Is Grounded?

According to the National Electrical Code, all homes should be grounded via a ground rod to prevent electrocution or fire accidents. However, older homes may not be held up to these standards because their previous or current owners may not be aware of the fact that the home is not grounded. If you purchased your home, the electrical inspection should have detailed whether the home is grounded or not.

However, the only way to know for sure is to hire a skilled electrical repair company to conduct an electrical safety inspection in your home. This inspection is very inexpensive when you compare it to the price of your family’s safety or a fire in your home. Electricians do sometimes fail to efficiently bond the ground and copper water lines and the results can be catastrophic if not caught before an electrical accident.

If you are unsure whether or not your electrical outlets are properly grounded, it is a good idea to call Mister Sparky, your local electrical repair company in Florence, SC. A simple phone call and a short home visit is all it takes to protect your family from preventable electrical tragedy. With winter on its way, most homes will consume more electricity than they did all year, so now is a great time to have your home inspected to ensure it is fully up to code.