How You Can Tell If Your Home Is Earthed

Sep 6, 2019 | Home Electrical, Home Security

One of the most common faults in British homes is inadequate or no earthing/bonding.

It’s not something that is top of mind for most homeowners. And having plugs with earth wires in them is not the same thing at all!

Here’s how I first learned about the earth at home

I asked a specialist company to quote for putting one of their condensation control units into the loft at my flat. Their surveyor came to do a site survey. One of the first things he asked me was whether there was an adequate earth.

I had no idea.

They asked to see my stopcock or gas pipe. The gas was hidden behind all my kitchen units so completely inaccessible.

The stopcock is boxed in in one of the bedrooms but it does have a lid to allow us to turn the stopcock on and off.

The surveyor looked inside and pointed out a green and yellow cable next to it.

The presence of this green and yellow cable meant that my installation was safe to proceed.

However, this gentleman in Essex was not so lucky. No “earth” meant that he had to postpone the installation of his appliance.

Why do you need earthing (bonding)

Earthing is used to protect you from an electric shock. If there is a fault, the electrical current will always find the easiest path down to the ground (literally the earth). The idea of earthing or (main bonding) is to use a thick copper cable to create an alternative current flow that is easier than along your arm and down through your body and legs to the floor. It also causes the fuse or circuit breaker in your consumer unit to swith off the electrical supply.

Here’s what Electrical Safety First have to say on the subject.

If you’re having any electrical work done at your home, use a qualified electrician. They will check that your earthing and bonding arrangements are to the required safety standards.

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