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Scherer Electric Blog

What Does It Mean to “Ground” Your Home?


No, you’re not telling your home that it can’t leave the house for the next two weeks … which is both redundant and ridiculous. Obviously, “grounding” a house means something else. If you’ve heard that it’s important to have home grounding, you might have wondered 1) what exactly that means, and 2) if your home is already grounded or not.

We offer home grounding services and many other residential electrical services in Orchard Park, NY and throughout Western New York. 

What “Grounding” Means

When you hear electricians use the word grounded, we mean that there’s a direct connection between the electrical components of a house and the ground. If you know the basics of electricity, you’ll know that it seeks the shortest path it can to reach the ground. It’s the reason for lightning rods: they’re placed higher up over other buildings so the electricity from the bolts will strike the rod and go into the ground rather than into flammable structures. 

Why Should a House Be Grounded?

Because it’s much safer. It’s an essential safety measure both for the people in your house, appliances in the house, and the house itself. Electricity in your home has an easy path it can follow into the ground, and it always takes the shortest path. This prevents electricity from moving into other parts of your house when there’s an electrical surge and potentially causing damage, ranging from shorting out appliances to starting electrical fires. 

Is My Home Grounded?

The easiest way to check is to look at the outlets. Does your house only have two-pronged outlets and need to use an adapter for three-pronged plugs? If so, the house isn’t grounded. The third slot on a three-pronged outlet is the grounding pin that connects the outlet to the grounding system in the house.

How to Ground Your House

You’ll need professionals to do the various jobs necessary to properly ground your home. Here is what we’ll do to ensure you have a safe electrical system for your home.

  • Grounding Electrode System: This is the actual physical connection between the electrical system in the house and the ground. It’s usually a grounding rod or a buried copper or metal conductor. This electrical conductor allows for low-resistance voltage from straight into the ground.
  • Ground Conductor: This is a dedicated wire that leads from the electrical panel to the grounding electrode system. In case of a voltage overload in the electrical panel, this conductor will safely move the electricity toward the ground. (We may need to upgrade your panel as well.)
  • Grounded Outlets: These are the three-pronged outlets your house has been missing. That third prong connects to the grounding system. Note that using an adapter doesn’t “ground” a two-pronged outlet at all, it just lets the plug fit into the outlet.
  • GFCI Outlets: These are special outlets with increased safety to stop people from receiving high voltage shocks. We won’t need to install them everywhere: they go in areas where there’s a high risk of electrical shock, such as bathrooms and the kitchen. They are also connected to the grounding system.

Scherer Electric Is Western New York’s Favorite Electrician! Call us today for grounding services, updated outlets and panels, and surge protection. 

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