Grounding & Surge Protection
Electrical grounding originally began as a safety measure used to help prevent people from accidentally coming in contact with electrical hazards.
While electrical grounding may have originally been considered only as a safety measure, with today's advances in electronics and technology, electrical grounding has become an essential part of everyday electricity. Computers, televisions, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, LED lighting and many other electrical devices generate a tremendous amount of 'electrical noise' that can damage equipment and cause it to work less efficiently. Proper grounding can not only remove this unwanted 'noise', but can even make surge protection devices work better.
How do I know I have a grounding problem?
A faulty grounding system is indicated by small electrical shocks when you touch metal objects such as appliances, water pipes and duct work. This type of shock generally occurs when someone is standing on a wet or damp area or on a concrete floor without shoes or socks on. These shocks are much greater than the small sparks created by static electricity and should not be confused with them. A faulty grounding system can cause personal injury and even death if the issue is not resolved. It is highly advisable to contact a qualified electrician as soon as possible so that they may diagnose and correct the grounding issue.
A surge protector or surge suppressor is a device that is designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. A surge protector attempts to limit the voltage supplied to an electrical device by either blocking or directing current to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold.
Many electrical power strips have basic surge protection built-in, however these are designed with low-level protection intended for individual items only.
To provide complete protection from spikes and surges caused by lightning or stray utility voltage, Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors (TVSS) are used to protect the entire electrical system of a building. These are generally installed at or inside an electrical panel at the initial source of electrical power for the building.
Due to the complicated nature of transient voltage and electrical surges, a TVSS device should only be installed by a qualified electrician.