Lighting

Do Light Switches Need To Be Grounded?

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Do Light Switches Need To Be Grounded?

When installing new light switches, it is essential to think about grounding the entire setup.

However, there have been a lot of questions about why the electrics should be grounded. By reading this article, you will learn a lot about grounding light switches.

When you unscrew a switch plate, you will see a few cables. One of those cables is the ground wire. Grounding a switch is common nowadays, and it is utilized as a preventative safety measure. 

What if you do not ground a light switch?

Let us learn how the ground wires work before we get into grounding and its benefits. Naturally, electrical charges tend to be attracted to surfaces that conduct electricity, such as metals.

The charges from such conductive surfaces can then be passed onto your body. That is when you say you have had an electric shock. 

The primary role of the ground cable is to provide that excess charge with an alternative route. That way, you are kept safe from hazardous electrical shocks or even fire.

The ground wire is usually extended very deep into the ground. The wire takes the electric charge and directs it into the ground to safely release it there where it will not hurt anyone. 

Now you understand the main reasons why you should ground wires. What about when you do not ground it? Well, a plug without a ground wire is hazardous.

This is because it does not have an alternative route that the excess electrical charges can take. Thus, the conducting surface is under the entire electrical voltage. This is dangerous to anyone who gets into contact with the extra charges from the power outlets. Note that the ground wire offers benefits to your electrical circuit. 

Thus, it would be best if you always considered having a ground wire to improve safety. Some high trafficked areas like the living room require switches with grounded wires because you cannot always restrict children and visitors from getting close to the power outlets.

Besides, places where you may handle the switches with wet hands, like the bathroom and kitchen, must have ground wires in the switches to avoid any accidents. Note that the ground’s significance in the electric circuit is to also force the circuit breaker to trip, especially when there is an electrical defect. 

Ground Wire: Is it legally required?

The legal requirements of a ground wire vary with states. Some instances require mandatory grounding, while there are others that grounding may not be a must.

For example, you can only pass electrical inspection on a government building project in some areas if all light switches are properly grounded. It is therefore good to find out with the local authorities or contractors on grounding light switches.

It would be best not to wait until the authorities find out that your light switches are not grounded. At that moment, you may have a hard time trying to explain to them how non-hazardous your ungrounded wires are. 

What about Smart Switches?

To start with, you need to learn that smart switches are still evolving. They are still in their infancy levels. The primary benefit of smart switches is that they are convenient because we can control lights from the tap of a button. Besides, they have a remote control, or you can even manage them using your voice. 

The process of installing smart switches is not entirely different from that of installing conventional switches. Smart switches require a neutral cable which is not easy to come by, especially in buildings erected in the olden days. Notably, the smart switches are easy to install. 

They do not require much effort like the regular switches. Moreover, they happen to be more expensive. The same grounding regulations will also apply to the smart switches.

Preventative safety in all buildings will be enhanced by this method without discriminating between the smart technologies used. Experts always recommend grounding. It is a key factor that you must make it is satisfactorily covered if you want to pass an electrical inspection. 

Is Grounding a switch a simple DIY task? 

To begin with, there are so many other DIY tasks that you can undertake in your home. You can handle some revamps, the garden, the landscape, and much more.

But when it comes to electrical matters, leave the job to experts. There is a lot of hidden knowledge that you may not have to perfectly handle the light switch installation.

Professional electrical installation is highly recommended if you want to save money, get professionally done work, and stay safe for the rest of your life in that new house. Thus, always hire experts to handle the installation of light switches. 

This is because they have the knowledge and experience. They understand the importance of the grounding wire and will make sure it serves its purpose correctly.

Besides, they will offer more safety advice to you and everyone else present during the installation. Lastly, do not be afraid to ask a few questions about the grounded wires. This is because you may someday want to pass cables or pipes beneath the house.

Do Light Switches Need To Be Grounded? Conclusion

As stated, grounding light switches are highly recommended. It will save you from deadly electrical shock.

Moreover, it is legally required to ground light switches, but this is entirely dependent on state rules. Such regulations vary from state to state. Thus, you can always consult with the local contractors about the same. You have also learned how the ground wires operate.

With that knowledge, you cannot install a light switch without grounding it. Safety is crucial, and you should be on the front line to make sure all the people living in that house will be safe.

Make sure you work with expert light switch installers. They are the best and will make sure the grounding is done perfectly. Moreover, they will offer good advice on what to do when there is a fault. 

 

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