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Understanding How Grounding Works

As a homeowner, it helps to know some basic information about your electrical system. You don’t have to become an electrician, but you should understand enough of the basics to ensure that your system is functional. For example, you might learn about “grounding” and the role it plays in your electrical system. If you ever detect a problem with your system, it’s important to have a professional electrician near Annapolis take a look and make the appropriate repairs.

Grounding Basics

Though electricity is chaotic and dynamic by nature, everywhere you look it’s safely under control. How could this be? Well, one of the reasons is because of electrical grounding. Like water, electricity follows the path of least resistance – if an appliance or fixture is not properly grounded, the person using it would be the path of least resistance, resulting in an electric shock. Fortunately, many appliances are grounded via a third prong in the plug, and home electrical systems are grounded via wires attached to metal pipes or rods.


Grounding provides a means for the excess charge to travel safely via a system of wires, which is infinitely preferable to traveling through a person. The chief reason grounding is so important is because it reduces the risk of getting shocked. Hundreds of thousands of people every year receive electrical injuries, partly because of a lack of grounding. With proper grounding, the over-current is absorbed harmlessly into the Earth.


Ensuring that your system is properly grounded is an essential part of home maintenance. Over time, some of the wires in your home could contact metal, compromising your grounding and posing a risk of injury. If your home was built before 1950, there’s a chance that it’s not grounded at all. For safety’s sake, it’s a good idea to call an Annapolis electrician if you suspect an issue with your electrical system. An electrician can inspect and identify common problem areas and make sure your entire system is properly grounded.