ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday May 4, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 49

Making a point about plugs

The experts advise us to unplug all electrical appliances during lightning and thunderstorms. This is because the earth terminals of all the wall plug bases are interconnected in a loop and end at the main earth rod driven into the ground outside the house.

This well-grounded earthing network offers a ready path for the lightning charge, as it is the path of least resistance. Is there an alternative to running around the house during a thunderstorm, looking for every plug point in order to unplug electrical appliances?

Remember that in pre-TV times, when radios were in vogue, an “aerial” wire was fed into the house and connected to the radio (just like the TV antenna).

In some houses, the aerial wire was connected to a simple manual switch that, during a thunderstorm, would disconnect the aerial from the outside.

This writer had one such switch in his home. It would be a boon to the householder, especially housewives, if an isolation switch can be made to disconnect the earth wire of the grounded plug bases and TV antenna wire, etc. This would be a great help in an emergency and save us the bother of unplugging and re-plugging.

I hope some knowledgeable person will study this idea and comment. Over to you, readers!

By Sunil Cooray, Dehiwala

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