Are You Grounded?: The Importance of Grounded Outlets

January 21, 2014 by Valerie Griffiths
Credit: ActiveRain

Credit: ActiveRain

“You’re grounded!” is not something you usually like to hear. But when it comes to electrical outlets, those words are welcomed! A few weeks ago, we met with homebuyers in Portsmouth who discovered that the wires in their future home were not properly grounded. If you notice that your outlets have two prong slots instead of three, they’re ungrounded – and potentially hazardous. This is very common in older homes that are typical of New England.

And don’t be fooled – even three-prong outlets may not have been installed with a grounded wire. They must still be checked for safety.

Ungrounded outlets don’t have to be a deal breaker, but they ARE a safety concern that needs to be addressed. The third prong exists to direct electricity safely to the ground (instead of to you!) when there is a short circuit. This prevents shock and even electrocution.

The National Electric Code for building safety actually requires homes to have a grounded system to avoid danger.

And because most devices require three prongs to plug in, the switchover will be more convenient in the long run.

So when your outlets are in need of an upgrade and you’d like some peace of mind, contact your local licensed electrician. You can rest easy knowing it’s a routine job for them. They’ll turn off electricity to the area, check for proper ground, remove the two-prong receptacle, safely connect a new one, ground it and restore your power.

Minor electrical upgrades go a long way in protecting your home and family. Proper wiring is key to electrical safety. So consult your electrician, get grounded and get going again!