Open grounds can be a potential safety hazard in the home. Some older homes didn’t have grounds in their electrical system at all.
What is a ground?
A ground is a safety feature in your home’s electrical system. Electricity wants to find the least resistant path back to earth. If there is a fault in the electrical system the ground wire is a path back to earth.
What is an open ground?
An open ground is simply, no ground was detected or non-existent in the electrical system. This could mean the ground wire was not connected to the electrical receptacle, damaged along the way back to the electrical panel or simply non existent which is common in older homes with 2 prong outlets.
What is the danger of an open ground?
As we discussed above the ground is a safety feature of the electrical system. In a properly grounded system, if there is a fault the electricity will be carried back to earth through a ground wire which is connected to the main electrical panel. With an open ground that path doesn’t exist and could be brought back to earth through YOU!
What do I do if I have an Open Ground?
If you find an open ground in your home you can install a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) receptacle . These receptacles will trip as a safety feature if they sense a fault in the system. If you find an open ground in your home consult a licensed electrician for further evaluation.
Call Western Home Inspections today for a Safety Visit to uncover potential safety hazards around the home !