Tin-foil Hats and Your Home’s Electrical Grounding System

Like most of my readers, I have been known to occasionally don a tin-foil hat when necessary.  I have avoided stepping on cracks and certainly tilted at windmills when necessary.

Science usually makes us give up our wishful thinking (the desire for the simplicity of tin foil) and helps us pick and choose actually conquerable windmills–or at least understand the consequences.

There will always be causes worth doing battle with as long as there are idiots to create those causes.

Often it is seemingly impossible to tell the difference. And, isn’t that what keeps us all entertained all the days of our lives?

But back to aluminum foil hats, and protecting ourselves from the unknown or seeking information from the ether. Once upon a time in a crawl space (where I have most of my epiphanies and meaningful conversations with the unknowable and the unseen), I came across an instance of where someone was clearly attempting to communicate with the void—or perhaps merely attempting to “avoid” something.

Metal piping in one’s home must be bonded and/or grounded to the house electrical grounding system. We can clearly see in the following picture that it was once connected, but now it looks more like something you might use in a search for E.T.

In this particular case this “avoidance” resulted in the house not being grounded at all at the home itself, because there were no ground rods or other means of grounding the electrical system. When this occurs grounding is achieved by the wire that runs back to the utility company transformer at the street. This condition makes it very difficult to keep static charges from building up on the house’s electrical system. 

If the ground wire at the utility pole is lost it can become even more difficult and can result in considerable damage to electronic equipment in the home.

It is now time to communicate with the electrician about repairs–they rarely tilt at windmills and I have never seen one wear a tin-foil hat!

By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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