Testing An Electrical Circuit For A Ground
Should I make sure my Circuits are Properly Grounded? How to Determine if a Circuit is Actually Grounded and how to proceed to bond your system for equipment protection
Earth Ground Electric Circuit
Electrical Question: Should I make sure my circuits are properly grounded?
- I went to install my dishwasher and there was three wire coming from the metal housing in the wall which had a white, black and green wire. I connected the white with white and black with black but when I grounded the green wire to the dishwasher I noticed that the previous owner tied one end of green wire to the appliance and just stuck a loose end up the pipe. Does this mean that I need an electrician to run a green wire from the breaker panel to the appliance to get it properly grounded?
Background: Joe, a Homeowner from Chicago, Illinois
Thanks for your electrical question Joe.
Electrical Circuit and the Earth Ground
NOTE: Where you proceed with a situation like this depends if there is a ground already present with the incoming circuit that you could bond to or not. This may depend on the age of the home, or looking to see if existing outlets are grounded or not, and I mean truly grounded.
Checking an Electrical Circuit for a Earth Ground
- Many times grounded outlets are installed in older homes even though a ground wire was not attached to the outlet or a ground wire was not bonded to the outlet box, and this is not a recommend practice.
- The presence of a ground is best identified by using a receptacle tester and circuit analyzer that has three lights on it that indicate if the wiring of the outlet is correct or not.
- If it is discovered that the circuit is not grounded then an approved connection to a metal cold water pipe would work in a situation such as this.
More about Home Electrical Wiring
Electrical Grounding Methods and Requirements
Listing of electrical codes for grounding with examples of electrical grounding codes for home electrical wiring.
For Best Results Consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Locate An Electrical Contractor in Your Area
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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