Magnetic fields are known to cause a number of biological effects. So, if they’re in your home, it can put your health at risk. This is why, in collaboration with Andrew McAfee, we designed the NCB Pro to help you eliminate magnetic fields before they can cause any harm.
Have you ever experienced a sudden sense of fatigue upon entering a certain room, turning a specific light on, or sitting in a certain chair? These might be signs that you are being exposed to a high level of magnetic fields in your home.
A unique property of magnetic fields is that they will project right through most objects, walls, surfaces, and materials. They also carry another high-frequency voltage known as “dirty electricity,” which is equally bad for your health.
In this post, we’ll discuss magnetic fields in depth, how you can confirm if there’s a magnetic field present in your home, and most importantly, what you can do about it. So, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
What Are Magnetic Fields?
Have you ever noticed the force between two refrigerator magnets—the way they attract or repel each other based on their positioning? That’s a magnetic field in action.
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Now, when electric current flows in a circuit, it also creates the same kind of energy. This field flows in a circular force around a wire or cable (see the diagram below), exposing anything or anyone near it to this energy.
But the good thing is that the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires all home wiring to be designed to cancel out the magnetic fields.
Understanding the Hot and Neutral Wire
There are two types of electrical energy, alternate current (AC) and direct current (DC). And both these energies are bound by one rule— if current comes from one source, it has to return to the same source after energizing whatever you’re using the current for.
This process is called completing a circuit.
Check out the diagram below of a battery generating DC current.
Notice how energy comes from one end, and after powering up the bulb, it returns to the same source through the other?
The only difference between AC and DC is that:
- DC is reserved energy, like in batteries
- And AC comes from the grid, returns to the grid, and then again travels back from the return path, taking the other end to go back to the source.
That’s why it’s called alternate current, because it alternates, unlike DC power. Check out this diagram for more clarification.
So, the critical thing to understand is that current comes from the source and returns back to the source. And to make this happen, we have hot and neutral wires. The hot brings the energy, and the neutral takes it back.
And if done correctly, this process cancels out magnetic fields.
Because of this very reason, you can’t connect the neutral path to the grounding conductor. Because it’s only when the current goes back to the source that there won’t be any magnetic fields in your home.
But mistakes happen.
How Do Unnecessary Magnetic Fields Come into Your House?
If the electrical system isn’t set up properly, or there are problems in the system, it can cause magnetic fields to be present in your home. Have a look.
In this scenario, you receive magnetic fields only when you turn the power on in your home. Here are some examples.
Switched outlets are the kind of outlets that doesn’t have a turn-off switch. They’re always on as long as there’s current coming from your breaker. Usually, this isn’t a problem, but switching outlets can generate magnetic fields if there’s a mistake in the electrical fittings.
Loops And Parallel Return Current Paths
So again, the simple rule is that if electricity comes from one path, it must return from the same path using the neutral wire. Look at this diagram below.
In the diagram, current comes from one breaker panel and energizes the outlet. But notice how it’s also going back through a different neutral wire to a different breaker?
This creates a magnetic field because you’re not sending 100% of the current back from the same source. And because there are two paths, the current divides.
Because of this error, you’ll experience unusually large magnetic fields across a large distance (all the way across the loop or the circuit).
Though most magnetic fields come from errors like the ones I mentioned above, some appliances can also generate a large volume of magnetic fields when turned on.
And all of these are in violation of the National Electrical Code (NEC).
If there’s an erroneous switch outlet, unnecessary loops and parallel paths, and faulty appliances, you’ll have magnetic fields in your home.
And there are ways to verify if these are the cases—through professional panel diagnostic, using a gauss meter and an amp clamp. More on that later.
The most important thing to realize is that if there’s a magnetic field present because of an error in your electrical system, it will only be present when you turn the power on in your home. Once you turn the power off, the magnetic fields will also go away.
If that’s the case in your home, it violates the NEC. So, you need to get in touch with an electrician or a building biologist to diagnose and fix that issue immediately.
Another way magnetic fields can enter your home is through the non-current carrying conductors like the equipment grounding conductor, water and gas pipes, or any other conductive surface with current on them. Unsurprisingly, this also violates the NEC.
Using a gauss meter, you can test to see if you have this problem in your home. You can simply turn off all the electricity in your home, and if there are still magnetic fields present, then most certainly they’re coming from the sources mentioned above.
Since these paths do not have a way to cancel their fields, the magnetic field extends to some distance but not as far as the parallel path magnetic fields.
But that’s not the case all the time.
Sometimes there are magnetic fields present even after rectifying the errors mentioned above. That’s because the source of these magnetic fields must not be local.
Phone bonds, cable internet bonds, water pipes, well pumps, sump pumps, secondary building grounds, appliances on concrete slabs or attached to metal frames of buildings, and anything that has a path or makes contact with the earth for grid current are all possibilities.
And just like the magnetic fields from your grounding conductors and metal pipes, they won’t go away after turning off the breakers.
Magnetic Fields Could Also Signal Contact Current’s Presence
Suppose there are magnetic fields present in your grounding conductors. In that case, it’s also a sign that there’s contact current present on the surfaces. And that’s really bad because contact currents are powerful. If you touch an energized surface, it can cause serious harm.
You can learn more about contact current in my in-depth post, “Is Contact Current Something You Should be Worried About?”.
Magnetic fields also carry high-frequency voltage spikes called dirty electricity. Dirty electricity causes the currents flowing through our electrical wiring to deviate from our expected standards.
And this is also not good for your health because dirty electricity can be delivered right into your deep tissues and organs. Without the ability to shield against them, this can result in many health problems.
You can learn more about dirty electricity in my post “What is Dirty Electricity.”
How to Know If You Have a Magnetic Field Problem
Energies like magnetic fields are colorless, odorless, and you can’t touch or feel them. Therefore, it doesn’t become immediately apparent that you have a magnetic field problem.
Some of the symptoms of magnetic field exposure include sudden fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, nausea, and dizziness. If you’re sensing these problems, or if you have even a shred of doubt that you may be exposed to magnetic fields, here are some ways you can confirm if that’s the case.
Panel diagnostic is one of the best ways to know if there’s a magnetic field present in your home. This needs to be done by a licensed electrician or a certified building biologist.
When magnetic fields are present in your home, most of the time, the problems are:
- Either the neutral wires in your circuit are connected to another neutral wire, creating a parallel path, also known as N/N or Neutral-to-Neutral connections
- Or the neutral wire in your circuit is connected to your grounding conductor, also known as N/G or Neutral-to-Ground connections.
Both of these are in violation of the National Electric Code and need to be rectified immediately.
Checking for Loops: Using a Gauss Meter
If you have loops in your electrical system, it won’t show in the panel diagnostic. So, to check if there’s a magnetic field because of loops, you’ll need a gauss meter.
A gauss meter is a magnetic field detecting device that shows the magnetic field levels in a unit called Milli gauss (mG).
To test the magnetic field from loops, you’ll have to walk through your home with all electricity turned on and gadgets and appliances plugged into the outlet.
Now, you’ll turn on the gauss meter and look for the change in magnetic field levels. Anything changing above 0.5 mG is an indication that you’re in the presence of high magnetic fields.
If there’s current on your grounding conductor, it can also generate high magnetic fields. To confirm this, you’ll need an amp clamp.
Check for specific sources to see where the highest levels of magnetic fields are coming from. And once you find that, there’s a high chance of finding an electrical loop in that source.
You’ll again have to contact a licensed electrician or a certified building biologist to open up the receptacle and confirm the presence of an electrical loop.
Use an Amp Clamp
An amp clamp lets you measure currents without breaking the electrical circuit.
Using this device is fairly simple. Take an amp clamp, and connect (clamp it) over the bare copper conductor or any wire, pipe, or conductor.
Once you do this, you can read how much current is flowing on the grounding conductor.
Also, be sure to purchase an amp clamp that can measure current at least as low as 1 mA (Milli Amps).
Can You Control the Magnetic Field?
As I already mentioned, the wiring in your house should be built in a way that cancels the magnetic fields. There needs to be one hot wire and one neutral wire, bringing and taking back the same amount of current.
For example, if the hot wire brings 5 amps of current to your appliances, the neutral wire has to return exactly 5 amps. There is no room for any additional experiments.
And if everything is set up as it should be, you won’t have a magnetic field problem.
But as I also mentioned, mistakes are made. And these mistakes violate the NEC. So, you need to contact a professional immediately to sort this out.
But there are cases where there’s no problem with your electrical wiring. Still, the residents will be receiving high magnetic fields. And they come from non-current carrying conductors like the equipment grounding conductor, water and gas pipes, or any other conductive surface that have current on them.
You can’t sort this out by fixing the electrical wiring in your home.
So, if that’s the case, you need the NCB Pro.
Introducing the NCB Pro
Designed by the creator of the NCB, Andrew McAfee, the NCB Pro stops current right on the grounding conductors – before they can even enter your home.
Because the NCB Pro is designed to be connected directly to your grounding conductor, it makes it safer for you to use more than one grounding product, EMF shielding canopies, and more.
But also, since it connects directly to your grounding conductor, the NCB Pro requires professional installation. This could be a certified building biologist or a licensed electrician.
This is why upon purchase of the NCB Pro, we offer:
- A 30-minute consulting session with Andrew McAfee ($198 value)
- An extensive library of training materials, created by the inventor
You can use this if your electrician isn’t familiar with the NCB Pro.
Check out the all-new NCB Pro in the SYB store.
Get In Touch with a Professional
So, in conclusion, there are usually many fixes for magnetic fields if you can control them by turning the power off. If the current doesn’t go away with the power off, you need the NCB Pro.
The furnace with a transformer is one of the few “power on” appliance problems that puts current onto the grounding system. The rest should be fixed with an electrician as they violate the NEC by making an N/G connection.
All other current flowing around the grounding system needs to be stopped. That current all adds to the background magnetic field source and contributes to very damaging contact current exposures.
If you want to discuss your magnetic field situation much more in-depth, you can also book a session with Andrew McAfee himself. You can visit his website, HomeEMFTracing, for more information.