Earthing & Bonding Explained

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So you have called an electrician to provide you with a quotation on a couple of small electrical jobs around your property.  Problem is you are now being told that "your electrical bonding needs upgrading" in order to do the work.

There is a serious lack of publicity in the public sector regarding periodic electrical inspections.  As a result of this there are many installations that have been unchecked for years.  When attending these installations we, as electricians often find that earthing and bonding, amongst other things are inadequate.  This can often be frustrating when a client is looking for small electrical work to be carried out.  Our efforts to do the job properly can sometimes be interpreted as trying to upscale the job.

So what is electrical earthing and bonding and why is it so important?  In this article STF Electrical Ltd, your local electrical expert in Liverpool and the surrounding areas, attempts to explain.

Why does earthing and bonding need to be checked?

If you are having an alteration of addition made to your electrical installation, your electrician must check (as well as other things) that the earthing and bonding arrangements you have are up to the required standard.

This is because the safety of any new work you have done (however small) will depend on the earthing and bonding arrangements.

What is earthing?

If there is a fault in your electrical installation you could get an electric shock if you touch a live metal part. This is because the electricity may use your body as a path from the live part to the earth part.

Earthing is used to protect you from an electric shock. It does this by providing a path (a protective conductor) for a fault current to flow to earth. It also causes the protective device (either a circuit-breaker or fuse) to switch off the electric current to the circuit that has the fault.

For example, if a cooker has a fault, the fault current flows to earth through the protective (earthing) conductors. A protective device (fuse or circuit-breaker) in the consumer unit switches off the electrical supply to the cooker. The cooker is now safe from causing an electric shock to anyone who touches it.

What is bonding?

Bonding is used to reduce the risk of electric shocks to anyone who may touch two separate metal parts when there is a fault somewhere in the supply of electrical installation. By connecting bonding conductors between particular parts, it reduces the voltage there might have been.

The types of bonding generally used are main bonding and supplementary bonding.

More advice

Your STF electrician will give you advice if your earthing or bonding needs to be improved for safety reasons.

Need advice on your earthing & bonding?

Give STF Electrical Ltd a call now for a free quotation/advice

About the Author Scott Fitzsimmons

Scott is the director of STF Electrical Ltd. He is an apprentice trained electrician from Liverpool with over 15 years experience in all aspects of electrical design, installation, maintenance, testing and certification. A member of the IET and the #e5 group, Scott is passionate about quality and safety within the electrical industry.

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