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The Dirt on Earthing Using Electrical Outlets

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I might have felt ease, comfort and relaxation using Earthing equipment I recently purchased but also wound up with much more than I bargained for.

Days after writing “Reconnecting with the Earth’s Healing Energy” in mid-August, I discovered my boundless energy to have come up against a wall. I was exhausted. At first, I connected this wiped-out feeling with having gone too far with my work. I was up against a book deadline and came to the rescue in fixing a film at the last minute for a special screening. Plus, I helped run a 12-hour raw food festival, Raw Experience 4, at the raw food café Arnold’s Way in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. All this doesn’t even cover my regular Fruit-Powered work. It was a lot of moving parts to manage at once.

But once I had slept nine to 10 to even 10½ hours nightly (lately, I had been sleeping eight hours) over almost two weeks and felt zonked each day, having little to no energy to exercise, I knew something was definitely wrong. I started wondering whether my Earthing Universal Mat with Cover Kit and Small Orange Body Band Kit were causing these negative effects. I scoped out others’ experiences online and found several in forums and comments in articles describing their feelings of being exhausted, too. To be fair, grounding, or Earthing, indoors using electrical outlets also has plenty of proponents. Some, however, link this low energy to detoxification. But after leading a low-fat raw food diet for almost four years, I know I’m past much of this detox.

I stopped using this equipment on August 31 except for two one-hour experiments the following two days. I got sick the evening of September 2 and stayed in bed for 36 consecutive hours, awake half the time with an agonizing headache that made me think repeatedly of the T–1000 character in Terminator 2, with its head split wide open.

I wrote Earthing co-author Martin Zucker. He offered a few scenarios on why I might have felt the way I did but asked not to be quoted in this article. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the answers I received and thought there was more to it. I was too sick and tired, however, to dig deep.

On September 5, raw food and health expert Don Bennett rolled into town, into Lansdale, for his special talk at Arnold’s Way. I picked Bennett’s very intelligent, wise brain and learned that it’s not the best idea to ground yourself using an electrical outlet because, inevitably, you wind up taking in “noise” from your local power utility.

The body is an amazing antenna of sorts, and as we get healthier, the characteristics of that antenna get more sensitive, and we are more affected by those things that should affect us badly. Or at least those things become more noticeable to us as we get more sensitive to them because of our increased state of health.

—Don Bennett

A young girl sleeps on grass

Check out Don Bennett’s special story, “To Ground Or Not to Ground?”

Ultimately, if you find that you’re sleeping like a rock using Earthing equipment plugged into an outlet, it’s very likely because your body is using its valuable energy trying to push out all the electrical current you are also taking in when you ground yourself.

I also got to speak to George Karpati, an experienced engineering technician and regular at Arnold’s Way. Karpati said that, like me, he read Earthing and watched Grounded but determined it’s not safe to use the AC ground on an electrical outlet. Karpati said that if you are grounded through an AC line, you are also connected to every electrical item throughout the property—even from properties down your block—such as televisions and computers via “inrush current.”

Engineering Technician George Karpati’s Top Reasons Not to Ground Yourself Using an Electrical Outlet

  1. All homes have their AC ground tied to AC neutral somewhere in the home, usually at the fuse box. There is “always” some leakage of AC current through the AC ground. That means no matter how well the house is grounded, there will always be some AC coupling between the AC ground and AC neutral. … There is no way one can achieve safe and sufficient grounding to “ground” an individual to Mother Earth.
  2. You do not know how the house is wired. … Do you really want to take a chance on house wiring … particularly when you are wiring your body to the AC outlet?
  3. By law, each house must have a grounding rod so many feet in the ground. One does not know the conditions of the grounding rod particularly after so many years in an acidic environment of dirt. The grounding rod may not be operating as well as it was first put in the dirt. Which leads to a much bigger problem. If the house ground is not in proper working order, the house is then getting its ground from the utility poles. … That means that if there are any issues such as “sheath current,” you may have a very bad result and even electrocution. Not to mention lighting strikes.
  4. A small fuse must be in series between you and the earth. Even if you are connected directly to the earth with a short length of wire, a fuse will protect you if a lightning strike were to occur anywhere around your house. It’s a small protection that costs very little to install.

The best method to install your Earthing device, Karpati said, is to use a coax cable, shorting both ends on the earth side and using only the center conductor as your ground. “The reason for this is that the outside braid of the coax will prevent any AC inductive coupling between the center conductor and the outside electrical environment,” he said.

Any coax will work for this application, Karpati said. “Be sure that you connect a fuse at the center conductor,” he said. “If you do not have coax, a simple wire wire do. But if that wire were to be in close proximity to any AC cable, you may still see some small current being picked up from inductive coupling. As for the grounding rods, the best one to use is copper-clad grounding rod, which you can buy from most home repair stores. This rod can be several feet long and may take some effort to hammer it into the ground. You can also use re-bar.”

Karpati warns not to install this grounding rod anywhere close to the house grounding rod, septic system, transformers, power lines, cable lines and antennas. “If the ground is dry, then the lack of ground conductivity would create a condition where the house ground would couple to your Earthing rod,” he said. “You would get all the noise from the house devices going through you.”

A simple voltmeter from a home repair or appliance store, Karpati said, will help you check your connection. Take one probe on the meter and touch AC ground and then take the other, touching exposed parts of your body, he said. “You will read a small voltage,” he said. “The amount of potential voltage depends on the length of AC cabling between you and the fuse box and the electrical environment you are in such as electric clocks, cell phones and any equipment that requires AC power. Then measure yourself with a wire tied directly to a medal grounding rod in the ground. You will find that the AC voltage is far lower.”

Karpati concluded: “When you see close to zero volts for both AC and DV, then you’re good.”

A young girl sleeps on grass

Check out Don Bennett’s special story, “To Ground Or Not to Ground?”

A woman's feet walking away on grass

Read “Reconnecting with the Earth’s Healing Energy.”

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