Build my own cabin - DIY projects

What is the Purpose of the Ground Prong on an Outlet or Plug?


Apart from their use in electronics, which we won't comment on, and for certain fluorescent lights (they won't turn on without a good ground connection), they're intended to guard against insulation failures within the device. Generally, the case of the appliance is connected to the ground lead. If there's an insulation failure that shorts the hot lead to the case, the ground lead conducts the electricity away safely (and possibly trips the circuit breaker in the process). If the case is not grounded and such a short occurs, the case is live -- and if you touch it while you're grounded, you'll get zapped. Of course, if the circuit is GFCI-protected, it will be a very tiny zap -- which is why you can use GFCIs to replace ungrounded outlets.

There are some appliances that should NEVER be grounded. In particular, that applies to toasters and anything else with exposed conductors. Consider: if you touch the heating electrode in a toaster, and you're not grounded, nothing will happen. If you're slightly grounded, you'll get a small shock; the resistance will be too high. But if the case were grounded, and you were holding it, you'd be the perfect path to ground...  sp;sp; 



Wiring a House