What is Earthing & Bonding?

What Earth Bonding Should Look Like?

I only want a new socket! Why are you checking the earthing to my house? 

What a great question that we have been asked so many times and it comes from the rough traders out there that have given us all a bad name and many think we are making the job bigger than it needs to be, and this can not be further from the truth! See we needed to comply with a set of standard that change over time and we are checking to see what regulation standard your home was wired within, after all, we are there to make you electrically safer.

Why do 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.

As stated on the electrical safety first website

What is Earthing?

Without earthing, an electrical fault in your home could mean you would get a severe electric shock if you were to, unfortunately, touch any unbeknown ‘live’ metal part – which could even be something like a metal water pipe, or an unearthed appliance. 

Earthing prevents this by providing a way for an electrical current to flow back to the fuse board and not though you. It will also trigger any protective device – such as a fuse or a circuit breaker – that’s been installed on your fuse board.

So if your cooker develops a fault that generates a potential electric shock, this will be channelled back to the fuse board then to earth, the fuse or circuit breaker will be triggered, cutting off the electrical supply, and your cooker will be safe to touch – though it won’t, of course, how frustrating!

What is Bonding?

Bonding is a way of reducing another possible risk – the chance that when there’s a malfunction or issue within your electrics you might touch two separate metal parts carrying different voltages, which could (again) give you a severe electric shock.

At Tack Electrical we make sure that any metal pipes which could come into contact with electrical wiring are connected to each other and to the fuse board. This means that if any live wire touches a metal pipe the fault current will flow to earth via our installed cables – as above – it will also trigger a fuse or circuit breaker and disconnect the supply until the fault is fixed.

To ensure this happens we will normally go to your boiler and connect the (earthed) mains water pipe to the other pipes that flow and return for your heating system, your mains gas supply and your hot water. Usually, this means we can do all the work in one place (unless plastic poly pipe has been used).

If you have a tin or cast iron bath we recommend connecting that to the towel rail and then to the sink supply pipes.

Bonding is particularly important if you have an older type of fuse board   

Unseen electrical connections next to unearthed gas pipe Buckhurst Hill
Unnoticed electrical connections next to unearthed gas pipe Buckhurst Hill

Read our blog on "Look Out for a Card By Your Meter" it may surprise you click the photo below

Warning no earth bonding at property left on meter Buckhurst Hill