Do you want to know what purpose ground wire serves? In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of ground wire and its importance.
Now we are just covering the theory in this article but remember electricity can be dangerous and can be fatal, you should be qualified and competent to carry out any electrical work.
Scroll to the bottom to watch the YouTube tutorial
This wire is an emergency path to try and save you from an electric shock. Ideally the ground wire in a circuit will never be used, but should a ground fault occur, then the wire is on standby ready to take over.
Under normal operating conditions the electricity will flow into your home, through the service panel and circuit breaker, and then into the hot terminal of the receptacle. If we plug something in, then it could make its way over to the neutral wire and then out through the neutral incomer and over into the transformer outside of the property.
Again I’m just animating the flow of electrons in one direction for simplicity.
In the event of a ground fault, which is where the electricity took an unexpected route back to the source. Instead of passing through an electrical device, for example the hot wire came into direct contact with the metal casing, then the electricity will flow through the metal body and into the connected ground wire where it will continue over and it will either pass through the neutral or a separated ground busbar and then up through the neutral wire and then over to the transformer.
As this occurs the current in the circuit is going to increase dramatically and almost instantly. In most cases the sudden and large rise in current is detected by the circuit breaker which will trip to cut the power to the individual circuit. The electricity will continue to flow into the building and into the other circuits in this panel.
The fault will then need to be corrected and the circuit breaker flipped again.
We’ve covered Ground, Hot and Neutral Wires in our previous article, you can view that HERE.