According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, at least 976 deaths due to electrical exposure in construction and extraction occupations have occurred since 2011. These injuries have a variety of causes. In the end, however, they come down to one issue: shock hazards.
Fortunately, grounding can help decrease shock hazards, especially cement-encased electrodes or Ufer grounding. These interesting facts about Ufer grounding will help offer insight into this practice.
1. It Was Created During WWII
Ufer grounding was first developed in Flagstaff, Arizona by engineer Herbert G. Ufer. Ufer was a consultant for the US Army at a base that was then-called Davis-Monthan Field. The base was known for building and storing bombs. Because of this, protection from lightning was very important.
However, because of the low moisture levels, the soil in that area wasn’t conducive. That was when Ufer discovered that concrete was an effective alternative for grounding. Since then, all concrete-based grounding is referred to as Ufer grounding. He revolutionized peacetime grounding methods, making his discovery one of the more interesting facts about Ufer grounding.
2.It Wasn’t the First Type of Grounding
Humans have known about the dangers of electric shock long before Benjamin Franklin’s famous lightning experiment. As such, humans have long used the earth to discharge electrostatically charged components, with evidence suggesting its occurrence as early as the sixth century.
3.It Is Effective
There are some instances in which the earth isn’t the most effective conductor for discharging electricity. This is especially true in regions where the ground is rocky or particularly dry.
Concrete is more effective because it absorbs moisture while not losing its moisture, making it a good conductor. This allows it to redirect lightning into the earth more effectively.
4. It Can Save Money
In situations where the ground is not well-suited for grounding systems, contractors typically must turn to grounding rods. However, to work in a dry environment, these often have to be much longer than the traditional grounding rod, which takes more time and money to install.
Ufer grounding systems tend to be far less complicated and relatively inexpensive to install. Additionally, a well-installed electrical engineering system will help avoid costly issues, such as damage and injury.
5. It’s Required
Every state has its own building codes for grounding. While not every state requires an Ufer grounding system, those that do often have arid or dry environments. In these states, part of making sure your building is up-to-code is getting an Ufer inspection.
If you’re looking for a residential electrical engineer to perform your necessary Ufer inspections, Dreiym Engineering’s professionals will come to your property to perform the necessary inspections and offer their consultation.