Homeowners who live in Lakeland deal with summer thunderstorms and the plentiful lightning they bring. A direct bolt of lightning can be devastating to a home that is not properly grounded, and in Central Florida, your home will have a direct or near hit from lightning at some point. It is imperative that your home is grounded to help minimize damage from lightning strikes. A ground means that your homes electrical components are connected to the earth either directly or indirectly. Here are three tips to tell if your house is grounded.
If your home was built after 2009 it is most likely grounded. In that year it became standard practice to run grounding wires to the steel rebar in the foundation of new homes. If your home was built before 1990 there is a strong possibility that your house may not be properly grounded. It was a common practice until 1990 to run ground wires to metal objects other than rebar or grounding rods. Most grounding wires in a home built prior to 1990 were attached to metal water pipes that may have been replaced over the years. In Victorian-era homes which were wired for electricity years after they were built; there may be no grounding at all.
An easy way to tell if your home’s wires are properly grounded are the outlets. A two-pronged outlet is not grounded because there is no place for the ground prong. In grounded outlets, a third slot for a prong is just above the two vertical slots. If your home only has two vertical slots, then the house’s wire is not grounded.
Testing your outlets doesn’t require a meter anymore, there are ground testers that plug directly into your home’s outlets and tell you not only if they are grounded, but what type of grounds (if any) exist. This kind of testing is the easiest way to know if your three-prong outlets are properly grounded.
Even if your home is grounded, surge protectors should be added to electronics for added protection against high voltage lightning strikes.
If you discover your home is not adequately grounded, call Dynamic R.I.C. Electric at 863-333-0762 or send us your information online and we will contact you to get you scheduled. One of our staff will be happy to schedule one of our certified and experienced electricians to inspect your home and ensure it is properly grounded.