What is bonding? Electrically speaking, bonding is related to SAFETY. Without the proper earthing and bonding in your home, should an electrical fault develop, a sudden turn of events can see metallic objects in your property conduct electricity. Touching metal that is charged with electricity results in electrical shock, and in the very worst cases this can lead to serious injury or death.
Your home has several earthing arrangements in place (or it should have), bonding is just one of them. Electricity will, if it has the chance, take the most direct route to the actual earths surface, if you happen to be in the way, it will travel through you. Electric shocks aren’t usually fatal, but they can be (why risk it?). If your property doesn’t have adequate earthing in place, in all of the areas it is required, there are a number of situations lurking behind the scenes that can lead to a nasty shock.
By having your home wired in the appropriate places with earthing electricity will escape to the earths surface in a safer way, i.e not through your body. If you are working on your own property or having others work for you, make sure any green cable or green and yellow as it now is, gets put back as it was. It’s not just there for decoration.
Earth cables link to a variety of different places inside of your home. Over the years the inner fabrics of properties get messed about with often, such as water stop taps being changed and the earthing being removed and re-attached poorly or incorrectly, or removed totally, the same goes for gas meters that get changed or altered when you have a boiler replaced, for example. Some properties have simply never had adequate earth bonding to begin with or have earthing in place that doesn’t fall in line with current regulations. Just like gas, electricity is dangerous and people undertaking work on domestic properties who aren’t competent can eventually lead to accidents and injuries.
Typically, you will tell if you have issues with your properties earthing and bonding if you experience RCD’s (Residual current devices) that trip often, light bulbs that blow, intermittent electrical problems and static electricity shocks.
If you need to hire an electrician to do some work for you, such as extra sockets, fit a shower, change a consumer unit, one of the first things an electrican will do is check to see that your current electrical installation is safe. If it’s not, not only will you have to pay for the work you wanted to be done originally, in order to have it done in the first place you must also pay for your system to be made safe. This is obligatory under electrical safety regulations that fall under something called Part P. After your new electrical works, no matter how big or small the job was, your circuit(s) will need to be tested, and part of that reason is to ensure everything is safe.
If you live in an old property with old electrical outlets and lighting, an old consumer unit (mains box) , a very out of date electrical system in general that lacks safety and requires a fair amount of work doing to it, it’s often better to think along the lines of having the whole property rewired when you factor in the cost to put all of the issues right vs the cost of having it fully upgraded, should you be OK with the fact that in many rooms you will need to touch up the decorating and / or have plastering and decorating work done. Typically, most people choose to have their home rewired at the start of a general home improvement, before they move on to decorating or having a new kitchen installed.