Why Does Electricity Need to Be Grounded?

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Electrical shock happens when you touch an electrical source that goes to the ground. Grounding electricity protects the body from contact during electrical leakage. Installing a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) prevents burn and electric shock injuries.

Causes

  • Electricity travels through both the subsurface of the earth and human bodies. A person receives a shock when he touches electric circuits comprised of two wires, one wire and the ground, an energized metal part or another conductor that is carrying a current.

    After receiving an electrical shock, a person might experience a tingling sensation or even a heart attack, depending on the severity of the shock.

Protection

  • According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), grounding reduces the chances of a person experiencing shock during accidental contact with electricity. For example, electrical power-line installers and repairers need the protection of grounded wires while working with high voltage electricity.

Prevention/Solution

  • The GFCI constantly monitors the flow of electricity through the wiring system. When there is a change in current, the GFCI stops the electrical power from passing through the circuit. Three types of GFCIs include receptacles, circuit breakers and portable units.

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References

  • Photo Credit electricity image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com
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