Why is electrical grounding important?


Quick Answer

Electrical grounding reduces the risk of severe electrical shock from uninsulated metal components inside of electrical devices, appliances and power tools. When a grounded system is secured properly, the leaking current, known as the fault current, is transferred harmlessly. This type of grounding is common in the manufacturing industry and prevents hazardous static charges from accumulating.

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Full Answer

Most electrical systems use circuit breakers or fuses to offer protection against short circuits and powerful fault currents. The wiring system of a home protects owners from electrical hazards. Homes are permanently grounded to a metal pipe that extends into the home. The pipe is normally connected to a copper conductor that is attached to a rod and a group of terminals located in the electrical service panel of the home. This offers increased protection from electricity and strikes during thunderstorms.

Electrical grounding prevents electrical hazards such as electrocution and fatal shocking. Electrical workers use a device known as a ground-fault interrupter, which provides a grounding method that protects workers from leaking currents while standing on wet surfaces. The ground-fault interrupter is extremely delicate and is capable of detecting leaks as small as 5 milliamperes. After detecting leakages, the interrupter immediately disconnects any circuit around the leakage.

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