What is Grounding & Bonding?
Grounding and bonding ensures that 120V circuits function properly and that accessible conductive materials in the house (pipes, faucets, slab floors on earth, and metal cases of electric appliances) cannot become a shock hazard to people, nor an electrical fire hazard to materials. Bonding maintains a zero voltage condition between all the local grounded parts within the building, as well as with the ground(s) provided by the utility on its electrical distribution system. In the occasional event of a utility ground failure, local grounding can prevent burned out electrical/electronic equipment, electrical shock or electrocution, and electrical fire that might otherwise result from an open (failed) ground connection.
Proper local grounding and bonding also enhances the discharge of induced high voltage currents from nearby lightning strikes. The better the grounding, the less likely these high-voltage induced currents are to harm electronic components connected to the building electrical system (i.e.: your computer, motors, power adapters and electronics will tend to last longer).
On distribution feeder trunks and individual branch circuits, equipment grounding conductors provide a path for current to flow on in the event of a circuit fault (such as a short-circuit). The very high currents that flow on a properly-installed equipment grounding fault path are usually sufficient to trip the circuit breaker before serious damage to the circuit wiring can occur, and before heat generated due to other resistive paths in the short circuit, or arcing shorts, can generate enough heat to start a fire. Ideally, such direct shorts cleared via the equipment grounding conductor will trip the circuit breaker before any people have a chance to touch the shorted equipment and receive a shock or get electrocuted. Without this grounding conductor (or GFCI protection), equipment could become energized without tripping any breaker, waiting for some person to provide a fault-current path to earth (thereby receiving a shock, and risking electrocution for high-energy circuits). Unlike the high currents flowing on copper grounding wire to trip the circuit breaker, lethal currents flowing through resistive people will most often be too small to trip a breaker and limit the duration of the shock event.
Off-site Links ->
- Annapolis Home Inspection, LLC Aluminum branch circuits, homes 1965-1972
- ComplianceAndSafety.com OSHA Electrical Safety Training
- Electric Monk TV (YouTube) Video channel for PhillyLicensedElectrician.com Robert Monk
- EnergyConservation HowTo A tinkerer genius discusses energy conservation and his ladder system for accessing the attic (where a lot of energy-saving work happens).
- PennFuture Energy Center Energy and energy efficiency news for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Phila area rife with building efficiency upgrade opportunities Philadelphia Inquirer article discusses recent study showing Philadelphia’s inner-ring suburbs stand to save from energy conservation retrofits.
- Philadelphia Row-house Manual A design, maintenance, and modifications manual for our most widely-used form of housing.
- Robert Monk Robert Monk’s personal blog
- SolarCities (DOE) Solar PV Levelized Cost Interactive Comparator Simple graph compares ‘levelized cost’ of energy from solar PV to conventional grid rates, with a time-slider interactive feature.
- The Circuit Detective – Solve Home Electrical Problems Yourself! Electrical troubleshooting procedures pitched to homeowners.
- The Energy Co-op Blog from a leading alternative energy provider in PECO territory, includes fun conservation tips.
- Weatherization: the anti-Solyndra Salon.com article praising the continued success of the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), low-income energy-savings and job-creation.
- West Philly Tool Library Official site of WPTL, Philly’s own community tool lending library: like a book library, but tools!
- WestPhillyLocal .com Site name say sit all.
- Bartram's Gardens Founded in Philadelphia’s colonial era, today the gardens continue pioneering in horticulture and agriculture with a variety of herbs, trees and other vegetation in an arboretum/gardens on the Schulkill River banks, and a new farm abutting sadly neglected
- HiddenCity Philadelphia Surprising places it takes an adventurer to discover; events, too.
- Philly Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Schedule City of Philadelphia dates and places for disposing of spent batteries, CFL lamps, unused paint and cleaning products, etc. LovePhilly: don’t pour these in the drain or send them out with the trash.
- Reading Terminal Market Purveyors of fine foods and foodie stuff, all under one roof downtown under the PA Convention Center
- Secret Garden on the Rails Jacques-Jean Tiziou shows some dramatic natural and urban and naturalized-urban scenes along abandoned rails of Philadelphia
- Sketch Burger, Fishtown A vegan-friendly burger joint with a #1 in Philly contender beef burger, best fries that somehow stay fresh for 1/2 hour while you tackle burger, and a vegan cafe vibe of friendly folks.
- WXPN: Philly sings in key of love Love songs by Philly artists