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Can A Ground Wire Shock You?

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:28 pm

Ground wires are essential in wiring your home and other buildings as well. Electricians and electrical installations workers use these wires because they increase safety and dramatically reduce several kinds of risks.

Nevertheless, many people worry about ground wires; thus, there are endless questions on whether people can get electric shocks.

You cannot get a shock from a well-connected ground wire. However, if it isn’t correctly bonded or has a faulty piece of appliance connected to it, it can shock you. Also, if you receive an electric shock from a ground wire which carries an incorrect bond, the electricity goes through your body to the earth.

Can You Get Shocked by Ground Wire?

If the electrical installation in your house works perfectly, then you will not receive an electric shock by touching a ground wire. On the other hand, if there are incorrect or faulty connections on a building, ground wires may become life and would therefore shock you.

You install ground wires to back up the entire electrical setup of your home. They work to considerably bring down the occurrences of electrical ignitions and electrical shocks. Also, these ground wires run alongside the live wires, which actually transport electricity through your home into your electrical equipment.

Now, ground wires play a vital function in the effective running of electricity in your home. When live wires fail, maybe they are cut or develop a fault, electric power moves into the ground wire. Thus, these ground wires take electricity and send it to the grounding bar, which occupies a depth into the ground out of your home.

These ground wires work like an extra roadway that conveys traffic from the area where an accident has occurred. However, most of the time, electricity does not move through your ground wire. This is because, in most instances, your appliances and electrical setup work properly.

Nevertheless, if there happens to be a break or fault in the primary circuit or electrical installation, you should avoid touching ground wires. When this happens, electricity would most likely be running through the wire to the grounding bar buried in the ground.

In other instances, you may have no idea if electricity is moving through the ground wire at that point in time. For this reason, it is always advisable to avoid touching all electrical cables.

Additionally, if there are maintenance needs, the best thing to do is to put off the entire electricity using your circuit breakers. Always remember that it is better to take precautions and be safe at all times.

Why Do I Get Shocked From Ground Wire?

Having established that a ground wire can absolutely shock you in some instances; however, the question is; why do ground wires shock. Two main reasons why ground wires shock are; faulty appliances and improper connections

1. Faulty Appliances

Appliances with several different faults do not always push electricity as they should. And using one in your home may result in electrical shocks from several sources, including ground wires. When your appliance’s circuitry contains damaged components, the currents become very unstable.

This unstable electricity can cause further damage to the device and spoil other machines as well. As a result of all these, electricity moves out of living wires into your ground wires: this poses a high risk of electric shocks.

It would be best if you always organized thorough routine checks for your appliances.

2. Improper Wiring and Connections

Improper wiring, faulty connections, frayed wiring, or broken cords increase the risk of electric shocks from ground wires. When these are inherent in your electrical setup, the current finds paths to pass through, and your ground wire becomes the best available option.

On another note, some wiring setups may liven the ground wires. This occurs when you use ground wires on the electrical installation as live wires. Unfortunately, this makes them perpetually live, so that it shocks unsuspecting people.

Can a Small Electric Shock Be Harmful?

When looking at things from a general perspective, shocks that emanate from devices operating below 500 volts do not pose much harm. Nevertheless, several factors determine the strength and degree of injury an electric shock would pose to you.

When you wonder if an electrical appliance may be harmful to you if it were to shock you, always think about the current. Because the current increases with increasing voltage, devices with higher voltage carry higher currents. On another note, the resistance which is present in the flow path may alter the amount of current.

Now, if water flows through a small pipe, several factors affect the quantity of water that comes out on the end of the pipe. Indeed, applying pressure on the middle of the pipe causes a reduction in the amount of water coming out of the pipe.

In the same way, increasing the resistance causes a decrease in the quantity of current which flows through the wire. When a live wire shocks an individual, the individual’s skin poses some resistance to the current.

Wet skin does not give much resistance, and this is why electric shocks are more severe in the presence of water. Therefore, if an appliance of 300 volts shocks you while your skin is dry, then harm would be less when compared to when your skin was wet.

Electric shocks which possess more than five milliamps of current may be extremely dangerous and somewhat lethal to a human person. Another factor to consider is the pathway through which the electricity passes through your body.

For example, during an electric shock, if the electricity moves through the muscles of your heart, you definitely stand at considerably significant risk. On the other hand, if the electricity does not pass through your heart, the risk is significantly minimized.


Although ground wires aren’t supposed to possess the capacity to shock, they do anyways and for several reasons. Also, while shocks from high-voltage sources may be very lethal, low-voltage electrical shocks do not pose much harm.

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