Ever wonder how Do Grounding Wires Work?

An electrical circuit is a complicated system, with multiple layers involved beneath the surface to make it all happen. Within the circuit, there is a “hot” wire and a “neutral” wire. The two work together to carry the electric current under normal circumstances. In the event of a short circuit or electrical current malfunction, a grounding wire is in place to carry the excess electrical charge and safely discharge it where it needs to go.

Grounding wires guard against unwanted danger such as electrical fires or electrical shock. In the 1960s, having a grounding wire present became a requirement under the National Electrical Code. You can generally spot a grounding wire as it is located closest to the bottom of a three-pronged outlet with a narrow slot, a larger slot, and a “U shaped” slot, and a grounding wire is typically a bare wire or if insulated, a green or green with yellow-colored insulation.

What is the Process that Make Grounding Wires Work?

Grounding wires are shock absorbers and safely direct electrical charges where they need to go. The grounding wire takes the electricity that has built up due to an electrical malfunction, and it directs it away from the home and into the ground. It is connected to either an internal part of an appliance or to an external portion of a home. When an electrical circuit malfunctions the built-up energy will flow from the appliance into the ground. Thus, triggering the circuit to turn off.

A grounding wire allows electrical mishaps to occur without putting you or your home at risk of danger. Such as electrical shock or fire. The wire carries electricity from a positive charge to a negative charge in the soil outside of your home, in one of two ways, depending on your county or city zoning codes.

  1. Grounding Rod: This is an eight-foot-long copper rod that sits deep in the soil of your home, set far away from your home or any building materials used for the foundation, drainage, or piping system of your home.
  2. Copper Water Pipe: This is a copper pipe that goes into the ground to feed your hot water heater with cold water, and it can provide a grounding connection to your home.

For more information on grounding wires and to find other interesting information about the electrical industry, visit our blog.

To learn more, check out the The Official Ground Strap Buyers Resource Guide