Do you know if your property is grounded? Knowing the answer might just save your life.
Grounding provides an alternating route for electricity to flow back to the ground if there’s a fault in the wiring system.
Without it, there’s a real threat of serious electric shocks and/or house fires.
The easiest way to check if your house is properly grounded is to examine the power outlets throughout your home. If the sockets have three holes rather than two, they are likely to be grounded.
This article will explore how you can ensure a property is safe and secure from electrical faults.
What is grounding and why is it important?
Grounding, or earthing, is a technique used to protect buildings and their occupants from electric shocks.
Whenever there’s an electrical fault, the flow of current will always try and find its way to the ground.
Through the use of a thick copper cable, grounding offers this excess electricity an alternative route into the earth, meaning it won’t end up going back into the appliance where it could potentially cause you a nasty shock.
It is also one of the best natural surge protectors if there is a large spike in voltage from a lightning strike or a power line that is down. It means the electricity will pass through your house and into the ground rather than burning out wires and appliances in your home.
How to tell if your house is properly grounded
- Check the power outlets are three-pronged as these are likely to be grounded. If they are two-pronged it probably means your house is not grounded so you should call in an electrician.
- ️Look for a green and yellow earthing wire coming into the property near your electric metre.
- ️Test each power outlet with a multimeter to see if they are properly grounded.
- ️ Strobing lines on your television or computer monitor, or buzzing sounds from audio equipment, are signs your home is improperly grounded.
- ️If your circuit breaker regularly trips it can be a warning of improper grounding.
Can you sell your house with improper grounding?
You do not need to rewire your house when selling. In fact, electrical safety is not a legal requirement when transferring property ownership.
Your buyer may request an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) before contracts are exchanged, but this is more for their own assurance.
The law does require you to have had an EIC (Electrical Installation Certificate) if you have had any notable works carried out on your home since 2005.
Faulty electrics can cause serious or fatal electric shocks, so if you are aware of any faulty wiring in your property you should see it as your moral obligation to fix it or point it out before completing the sale.
How do I ground my house?
We can’t overstate the importance of grounding your electrical systems enough.
Not only does it help to protect you from electric shocks if there is an electrical fault in your home, it can also protect your property from electrical fires or damage to wiring and appliances.
If your house is not grounded, or you’re not sure the ground wires are firmly connected at all points, you should speak to an electrician.
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