Why Does Electricity Need to Be Grounded?


Electricity wants to flow down the easiest possible route, and its goal is to reach the ground. Just as water flows downhill, electricity will try to make its way back to the ground. When electricians ground something, they are giving the electricity an easy path to the ground. Let’s take a closer look at why grounding is so important with electrical systems.

Grounding Can Help You Avoid Shocks

You’ve probably noticed birds and squirrels running on power lines. Ever wonder why they can do so? Biological bodies aren’t especially good conductors and electricity is constantly looking for the easiest route to get to the ground. The bird on a power line doesn’t offer a path to the ground, and it’s easier for the electricity to flow through the powerlines instead. Thus, in a sense, electricity ignores the birds and squirrels.

That said, if a squirrel were to touch both a powerline and the ground, it’d get zapped. Keep in mind that it’s still very dangerous to touch powerlines. If you are standing on a ladder, that ladder may be touching the ground. As such, electricity could pass through you on its way to the ground.

Grounding Is Necessary to Prevent Excess Electricity From Building Up

The electrical currents flowing through powerlines and the electricity system in your home or other property are quite potent. It’s easy for people to get shocked and even killed by electricity. This is why it’s crucial to let experts like electricians handle electrical work and grounding. When something is grounded, this means the excess electricity will be absorbed by the earth. From there, it’ll dissipate.

Consider that a single lightning bolt can easily kill someone, yet the earth itself is belted by countless lightning bolts and suffers minimal damage. The same is true for grounding electrical systems. Excess electricity could hurt you or fry your electronics. The earth, however, can absorb it with relative ease.

Grounding Can Prevent Electrical Fires

If an electrical system is overloaded, say after a lightning bolt strikes a home, it could start an electrical fire. That’s because excess electricity could overwhelm your system. Proper grounding can prevent such a build-up. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 45,000 home electrical fires break out every year in the United States, and often poor grounding is at least partially at fault.

If you’re looking for electricians to look over your electrical system to avoid electrical fires, get in touch with us at Volt Electric USA. We can help you keep your family safe. Working with electricity is dangerous, but we know how to perform our work safely.