The term grounding is commonly used by both electricians in Dover and laypersons when discussing electricity. The term technically applies to the path that electricity takes from an electrical circuit to the earth but is also used to refer to the path an electrical flow will take from a main supply source to an electronic device.
The Importance of Grounding
The grounding of electricity is important for three main reasons. Grounding helps to direct the path of electricity to electrically powered devices, helps to stabilize the voltage levels of electrical power, and helps protects your home and appliances from electrical overload.
Electrical overload is one of the most important things to understand. Let’s say your home was struck by lightning or your electrical lines experienced a sudden surge. Instead of that electricity surging into your home and destroying your outlets, wiring, and appliances, it is instead directed through the main grounding wires and away from your home’s system.
Stabilizing the voltage levels of your power source is important as well. The wires that ground your home help to ensure that all of your transformers and circuit breakers are given equally appropriate amounts of power.
The most obvious use of grounding is to ensure that electrical power is properly conducted from your power source to the device using the electrical energy. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about your home’s wiring system or your MP3 player. Every device has some sort of grounding equipment designed to protect you from power surges and potential harm.
While it isn’t necessarily important for you to have a full understanding of how you’re home’s electrical system works, it is important for you to be able to recognize the importance of the systems put in place to keep you safe. Make sure you get a fair electrical estimate from a qualified electrician in Dover Delaware if you are unsure about your home’s electrical panel, wiring, or any appliance.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, leaving thousands of home and business owners in a lurch. While many lost everything, those who still had buildings to come back to were still in trouble. They had no utilities – no water, no gas, and no electricity.
The Electrical Contractor magazine recently indicated that in the years before Katrina, electricians and electrical contractors in the Mississippi Gulf area worked approximately 400,000 man hours. In 2006, those numbers shot up to more than 1.6 million as electricians worked harder than ever to restore power to the area, transport and implement widespread generator installation. Now, 5 years later and in the midst of a recession, the numbers are lower than ever. Contractors once based in the Louisiana area now scattering across the country to look for work and the ones who stayed behind are still struggling.
Those of us in Delaware, especially lower DE around Dover and further south, understand how the coast is impacted by the weather. While we may not be in line for something as devastating as Katrina, we have been hit by some major storms and the chances of a hurricane, tropical depression, or winter storm coming up the coast shouldn’t be ignored.
It’s important to find a good electrician and electrical contractor licensed in your state upon moving into your home. At Conductive Electrical Contracting, we work hard to build relationships with our customers – getting to know their needs and helping them not only to make repairs but to keep their homes safe and decrease the need for emergency repairs, whether they’re related to the weather or not.
Electrical safety is our #1 priority. Contact us if you have questions about your home, or how your power is usually affected during storms or the winter season. We’d love to hear from you!
Jeff KingConductive Electrical Contracting, LLCWork: 302-659-5000Cell: 302-383-6662Dover, DE, USA 19901
Your electrician just visited the house and now your children are curious. Who was that guy and what was he doing? Why did the lights and TV turn off and on while he was working? Your children are interested in what was happening and you now have the perfect opportunity to talk to them about electricity and electrical safety.
Talking about Indoor Electricity
Talking to your child about electricity doesn’t have to be difficult and you can certainly modify your conversation based on your child’s age and level of understanding. The simpler you keep the concepts, the easier they will be for your child to clearly comprehend.
Start by talking about electricity and water. Make sure your child understands that he should never touch electrical appliances, including lights, while he is wet – especially while he is getting in or out of the bathtub.
Another important point, regardless of age, is safety around electrical outlets. Children should understand that outlets should not be touched, whether with fingers or other objects. Let your child know that he should always ask a parent or other adult for help if something needs to be plugged in or moved.
Young children may have a difficult time understanding electrocution and why you can’t put an electrical fire out with water. It is safer to teach them to simply get out of the house and call and adult or 9-1-1 if there is a fire.
Discussing Outdoor Electricity
The outside world is vast and full of incredible objects your child may want to explore. Start pointing out dangerous items – like electrical poles, fences, and power lines – at an early age. Make sure your child understands that he can’t climb electrical poles and that he should never, ever touch wires located outside.
While thunderstorms can be interesting to see, make sure your child understands that he should get inside if he sees lightning, even if it isn’t raining. He should also understand the importance of getting out of a swimming pool (or any body of water) during a storm.
Your conversations about electricity don’t need to be complicated. Take one point at a time, as it becomes relevant, and your child will gradually begin to understand the dangers associated with electricity over time. Not sure what to say? Ask your local licensed electrician to help the next time he’s working around your house!
Did You Know?
Did you know that every town has ordinances governing the proper installation of electrical equipment. While codes vary from place to place, many follow the recommendations put forth in the National Electrical Code. Make sure you talk to your electrician in Dover before you have electrical work done on your home to ensure you aren’t breaking any rules. Here are just a few examples of the things you need to look out for.
Outdoor Electrical Codes
Any outdoor electrical outlets, like the one on the side of your house or garage, must be installed at least 12 inches above the ground. This is to keep the outlet safe from accumulating rain or snow. The outlets, and any accompanying switches, should also be mounted with weatherproof boxes and covers.
You must call your county’s utility department before digging in your yard, whether you plan to install underground wires or not. The utility company will come in and mark the areas where dangerous underground wires may already be installed, ensuring you don’t injure yourself. Any underground wires you are installing must either be protected or buried more than 2 feet beneath ground level.
Indoor Electrical Codes
All outlets installed in bathrooms must be GFCI circuits. This type or circuit will automatically trip if the outlet comes in contact with moisture. You should also have a separate, 20-amp circuit running to your bathroom to handle your heater (if you have one), exhaust fan, and light fixtures.
National Electric Code requires that all kitchens have at least two outlets in the area located above the counter. The code also states that each major, motorized appliance (microwaves, fridge, dishwasher) should have its own circuit.
These are, of course, only a handful of examples of the coding requirements set forth by the National Electric Code. Ask your local electrician if you have any questions before starting your next home repair or remodeling project. Codes change frequently and you’ll want to make sure you are up to date.
Electrician in Dover DelawareConductive Electrical Contracting, LLCWork: 302-659-5000Cell: 302-383-6662Dover, DE, USA 19901
The holiday season is a time of fun and excitement for families of all sizes and nationalities. As the holidays approach, you’ll start to see holiday lights going up both inside and outside of homes and businesses just about everywhere you go.
The sad reality is that Christmas and holiday trees and lights are a major cause of fires each and every year. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there were 250 house fires between 2003 and 2007, involving both real and fake trees. These fires caused more than $13.8 million in property damage, took the lives of 14 people, and caused more than 25 injuries. Another 170 fires were caused by holiday lights and decorations, causing another $7.9 million in property damage, taking 7 more lives, and injuring more than 15 others.
Considering the time frames involved in the study, these numbers are incredibly low. Even still, it is important to recognize that increased energy use comes with an increased risk, especially when it comes to exposed power lines and drying trees.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to enjoy the holiday season without putting yourself or your family in harms way. Check out our article detailing Electrical Safety Tips for the Holiday Season and be sure to contact a qualified electrician anywhere in Delaware if you have questions or concerns about the safety of your holiday light display. We’d be glad to help!