Why Does Electricity Need to Be Grounded?


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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