Monday, December 7, 2009

Grounding.


Grounding; Knowledge For Your Home Or Business

Author: MiNeeds

Author: Max Hager

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Tags: grounding , licensed , electric , electrician , MA , surge , protection , safety , GFI , GFCI , lighting , shock , fire

Grounding; Knowledge for your Home or Business

When speaking about proper grounding in the home or business we are referring to the capability of your system to carry a fault current back to the electrical panel where a fuse or breaker would trip, shutting off the power to that area. There is also the grounding from the main electrical panel to the cold water pipe and a ground rod that is driven outside of the home or business. Both of the above would require a site visit to assure they are done up to code, correct sizing of the wire is a must to assure proper grounding. Not having the proper grounding in your home or business could leave the site without protection from electric shock or fire. Damage to equipment, your home/business, or your person is much greater when proper grounding is not present.

A few common things to look for to assure you’re properly protected with a grounding system in the home or business is the following…

3-prong outlets: Although a test should still be done to assure the grounding wire is connected and working properly; the presence of 3-prong outlets usually means the outlets are grounded. Any 2-prong outlet should be considered suspect. Never use a 2-prong to 3-prong adapter as this bypasses the necessary ground on the equipment. Any appliance or equipment with a 3-prong cord requires a proper ground to assure correct operation.

GFI/GFCI outlets: The presence of a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet is required in the following areas bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outdoor locations. Mainly any damp location requires a GFI/GFCI outlet not a standard outlet. The GFCI outlet has a small test and reset button located on the front of it. The GFCI outlet has an internal circuit that will shut off if it senses any current leakage or unequal incoming and outgoing currents. If you don’t see any outlets like this in the areas discussed it is highly recommended to update the system to include them. Electricity and water is a dangerous combination and without protection is a hazard waiting to happen.

GFCI breakers: The ground fault circuit interrupter breaker is essentially a GFI for an entire wiring circuit. The GFCI breaker is installed in the electrical panel. It monitors the amount of electric current going to and from the circuit itself. It will trip and shut off power to the entire circuit if any problem voltage/current is sensed. The presence of this style of breaker is normally a confirmation that the circuit is being properly grounded.

Surge Protectors are not grounding your equipment: Many people mistake the use of a surge protector as the grounding for your equipment. I have even seen surge protector strips being used in conjunction with a 2-prong to 3-prong adapter to plug it in. Although a point of use Surge Protector is a great thing to have you must still have the proper grounding on that line to properly protect the equipment. If using a point of use surge protector please verify the outlet it’s being plugged into is properly grounded. You can also get a whole house surge protector that would be installed directly at your electrical panel. We highly recommend these products but having one does not assure the grounding in the home is up to code.

The simplest way to verify the condition of your current grounding system is to have a licensed, qualified electrician that is up to date with the local and state codes do an evaluation. Caron Electric provides this service as a free estimate to any consumer in our coverage area. Wiring in the home or business can always be updated to assure you have a proper working grounding system. You can contact us anytime at #800.440.9940 or service@caronelectric.com

Visit our website to read more about Caron Electric Inc. http://caronelectric.com/index.html

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Grounding; Knowledge For Your Home Or Business

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