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Your Ground Rod: The Piece of Metal Between You & 1 Billion Volts of Electricity

Although ground rods are simple, they are crucial to protecting your electric equipment and appliances, and therefore must not be neglected. Read on!

What is a ground rod?

To put it simply, a ground rod is approximately 1/2" in diameter and eight to 10 feet long. It is typically made of copper or copper-coated steel. It's usually located very close to your main electrical service panel, and must be electrically tied to that panel in order to provide approved ground connection.

What does it do/What does it protect against?

Ground rods are very good conductors of electricity. They allow any dangerous electricity to flow to ground (yes, the earth!), taking the danger away from you and the electrical panel. Without a ground rod, electricity from lightning strikes (up to 1 billion volts of electricity) near your main panel can go through that panel and then on through your electrical system (this is BAD).

Although lightning is often the cause of what we call an "electrical surge", there are other ways that harmful amounts of electricity can damage (or worse) your system. Voltage spikes can also occur when large appliances or heavy machinery at nearby locations are switched on or off. Proper grounding provides stability to your home’s electrical system and reduces the impact of these surges.

How do I know if my ground rod is up to an approved standard?

We offer a ground rod test using a top of the line impedance (the effective resistance of an electric circuit or component to alternating current) tester that induces a current on your grounding system. Our test also reads the impedance at the same time to determine not only if your system works, but how well it works. We're essentially verifying that electricity has a nice solid place to go in case of a voltage strike.

What else can I do to protect myself and my electrical system?

If you follow us on social media, you may know we're always singing the praises of having surge protection! You can read more about surge protection on this blog post HERE, but in a nutshell, surge protectors installed in your electrical panel help protect your system from electrical surges often caused by lightning storms or other voltage spikes. These surges can fry your electrical appliances--everything from your refrigerator to your television--as well as damage your wires and system itself. We often visit homes to repair damage caused by an electrical surge that could have been prevented by a surge protector. Especially in the Lowcountry, lightning carries a huge risk of voltage spikes.

We start with installing surge protection in your main panel, but we can also install surge protection for your pool pump system or air conditioning system. If you have more than one main panel, we suggest installing surge protection in each panel.

Although not 100% effective (sometimes when massive amounts of electricity are put on your system, no protection can prevent damage), but having a surge protector in your electrical panel is like wearing a shield when going into battle.

What next?

If you don't know if your grounding system is secure, we highly recommend having us come take a look at and test your grounding system. We can install surge protection at the same time. For pricing, please email, or call/text 909-801-4009.

If you want to jump right in and book online, book a Level 1 job HERE (please note in the comments that you'd like a ground test...If you hire us to install surge protection, it comes with a free grounding system test!)

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