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Electrical ground is very important for the safety of electrical systems. New residential dwellings need to be grounded because of changes to the 1962 Electrical Code.
(* Indicates NEC (National Electrical Code) 2014 Article 100 Definitions)
Ground fault – This happens when an ungrounded conductor (line wire) comes in contact with anything that is grounded, (i.e. motor winding touching case, or line wire of appliance touching the metal frame.)
Grounded Conductor* -
Grounding Conductor -
Neutral Conductor -
A ground wire is not intended to carry current except under ground fault conditions. A neutral wire is intended to carry current as a return from line current. A ground wire (EGC) carries ground fault current to ground at the electrical panel.
The ground pin on this plug connects to the EGC inside the cord.
There are two major reasons for ground fault protection on electrical circuits.
The electrical cord on tools, appliances, and electronics may have a three-
Broken Ground Pin
Never use an extension cord that has a broken ground pin or an electrical device with a broken ground pin on the electrical cord. This will eliminate ground fault protection.
When replacing a hard-
If a line wire came loose and touched the frame of a dishwasher, the EGC will provide a path from line voltage to ground at the electrical panel and immediately trip the circuit breaker on that circuit. If the EGC was not connected to the dishwasher properly, and a line wire touched the frame, the metal parts of the dishwasher would become energized, causing an electric shock.
Older dwellings may have been built before ground was required by code. The electrical system in some of these dwellings have been updated to include new wiring and an electrical panel with ground.
If your home does not have ground, you may want to get a quote from a licensed electrical contractor to update the wiring. If extensive remodeling is needed, it would be cheaper and easier to have the wiring updated at this time.