Electricity powers our modern lives, but it can also be super dangerous if electrical systems aren’t installed and maintained properly. A key part of any electrical system is good bonding and grounding, which serves some really important safety purposes. If your home’s electrical isn’t bonded and grounded right, you and your family could be at big risk of getting shocked, fires, or damaged equipment. That’s why it’s crucial to have your electrical system inspected and serviced by professionals like us at Huft Home Services. We have the knowledge and experience to ensure your home’s electrical system is safe and up to code.

Prevents Electric Shock

Bonding connects any exposed metal parts of electrical equipment or appliances to the grounding system. This makes the voltage potential equal between the metal parts to stop dangerous voltage differences from happening. For example, if a hot wire accidentally detached and touched the metal case of an appliance, bonding connects the case to ground. This makes the circuit breaker trip and stops the electricity flow, preventing a painful or even deadly shock.

Without proper bonding, a loose hot wire contacting the appliance case could electrify it and let current flow through anyone who touches it. Proper bonding connects the case so a detached hot wire immediately trips the breaker instead of turning the appliance into a dangerous shock risk. Bonding is the first line of defense to prevent small ground faults from becoming lethal shocks.

Provides a Safe Path for Fault Currents

When a big electrical fault happens, like a short circuit or lightning strike, it can cause a massive surge of fault current. Grounding gives a low resistance path to safely get rid of these fault currents into the earth without causing damage or fire. The earth itself is a huge conductor that can absorb the energy of a fault current surge. Without a proper grounding path, fault currents could arc and jump to building surfaces, starting fires or causing explosions.

For example, a single lightning strike has millions of volts and up to hundreds of thousands of amps – way more than household wiring can handle. Proper grounding gives this potentially devastating energy somewhere to flow that prevents damage. The multiple ground rods and large gauge copper wire used in grounding systems let even enormous fault currents dissipate without incident. Grounding is essential to prevent the huge but inevitable fault currents from causing catastrophe.

Limits Excessive Voltages

Bonding interconnected metal objects together makes sure they stay at an equal voltage potential. This prevents hazardous voltage differences between bonded metal parts that could cause insulation breakdown, electric arcing, or too much leakage current. Keeping voltages balanced through proper bonding reduces electrical stress on insulation and current-carrying components.

For example, bonding a building’s structural steel to ground keeps it from acting as a large ungrounded conductor during faults. This can produce extreme voltage differences between building steel and other grounded stuff. Properly bonding structural steel limits this dangerous situation.

Protects Equipment

Proper grounding practices help protect connected equipment like appliances, computers, home entertainment systems, and any electronics from transient voltage spikes. The earth grounding connection gives a stable reference point that electronic devices need to operate safely. Grounding electronic enclosures also keeps them at earth potential, so static discharge can’t damage internal components.

Without solid grounding, voltage fluctuations from nearby lightning strikes or faulty wiring can easily damage sensitive electronic components. Connecting electronics to a properly grounded receptacle guards them against too much transient voltage that couples onto power lines from other sources. This protects your valuable investment in home electronics and appliances.

Avoids Interference

Bonding interconnected metal components makes sure they stay at the same voltage potential. This keeps them from acting as unintended antennas that can transmit or receive electromagnetic interference. Keeping metal building materials and electrical enclosures grounded and bonded together minimizes generated interference.

For example, untreated metal conduits or structural steel members can act as large antennas that radiate radio frequency noise made by electrical systems. This interference disrupts radio communications and electronics working right. Properly bonding metals directs interference into the ground, where it’s safely dissipated. This improves the performance of sensitive communications and electronic equipment.

Allows GFCIs to Work

An important safety device like a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) constantly checks the electricity flowing in a circuit to detect any leakage current to ground. If the GFCI finds even a few milliamps of ground leakage, it cuts power very fast to prevent serious shocks. However, GFCIs need proper bonding and grounding throughout the electrical system to detect the leaked current and work right.

GFCIs are often installed to protect kitchens, bathrooms, wet bars, garages, and outdoor circuits where electric shock risks are higher. But without an intact grounding connection from the outlet back to the main panel, GFCIs can’t detect dangerous ground faults and prevent shocks. Proper grounding makes sure this core safety feature can do its job.

Complies With Electrical Code

The National Electrical Code (NEC) has strict requirements for bonding and grounding electrical systems to ensure safe installations. Any inspection will check for violations of code grounding rules, which are designed to protect lives and property. Skipping proper bonding or grounding or using undersized ground wires can cause very hazardous conditions and failed inspections.

For example, the NEC requires a main bonding jumper that connects the grounded neutral conductor to the ground bus in the main service panel. This links the neutral and ground points to allow proper fault current flows back to the utility transformer. Skipping this required bonding step makes grounding ineffective and breaks national electrical code.

Reduces Electrical Noise

Extra electrical noise in circuits, appliances, and other electronics can cause disrupted performance or even early failure. Electrical noise comes from transient voltages coupled onto circuits and neutral conductors. A lot of this can be eliminated by properly bonding all metal components to earth ground.

The earth naturally absorbs stray currents and voltages. Bonding building structural steel, mechanical equipment, and enclosures to ground gives a path for electrical noise to safely go into the earth. This significantly cuts down on interference that can be annoying or even harmful to electronics and electrical devices.

Schedule a Bonding and Grounding Inspection Today

If your home is more than 10 years old and you can’t remember its electrical system ever being inspected, it’s probably time to schedule a bonding and grounding check from a professional electrician. At Huft Home Services, our licensed electricians can do a thorough inspection and confirm your electrical system is properly bonded and grounded according to the latest safety codes.

We also offer a full range of other electrical services, including lighting installation, wiring diagnostics and repair, surge protection, and whole-home backup power. Don’t take chances with your family’s safety and your most valuable investment. Call Huft Home Services today to schedule your home’s electrical bonding and grounding inspection, or ask about any of our other electrical services to keep your home running safely and reliably for years to come. Our friendly staff is ready to help you.

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