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When working on an electrical wiring project, one term you will come across is the "earth." The earth is an important concept with electrical wiring because the earth does not carry a current. As such, any electricity will flow to the earth if it escapes from an electric flex or cable. This phenomenon occurs because the neutral wire is purposely connected to the earth in order to help prevent someone from getting shocked by the electricity.
How Does an Electrical Shock Occur?
Getting an electrical shock occurs when you accidentally touch a live conductor. When you do this, the current flows through you and down to the floor. It then goes through the wall through the earth and ends up back in the supply transformer. The current goes back to the supply transformer through one or more of the earth connections that are in the transformer neutral. In effect, you complete the electrical circuit when you touch the live conductor.
Avoiding an Electrical Shock
Obviously, the best way to avoid getting an electrical shock is to avoid touching a live conductor. Sometimes, however, there may be a fault in the wiring that causes a shock to occur. To help prevent faults from occurring all electrical earths of a circuit as well as the conductive parts may be bonded together. This way, if a fault does occur, the conductive parts will be at the same voltage and a shock won't occur.
It is also important to note that water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Therefore, even more care must be taken when installing wiring in places such as the bathroom where water is commonly used. For this reason, there are a number of special rules for bathrooms that have been established by the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Namely, all metal parts in the bathroom have to be connected with an earth cable. This way, it can collect the current and voltage from any leaks and can equalize it.
Getting the Proper Knowledge
Getting an electrical shock is a serious concern when working with electricity. It is also necessary to take certain precautions in order to prevent shock from occurring later if a leak were to occur. Therefore, it is best to leave this type of electrical work to professionals. If you wish to complete earth work on your own, it is a good idea to take an electrical course to help you learn more about electrical wiring and how to properly earth the wires. This way, you can be certain you and your loved ones will be safe.