Electrical Earth Grounding Methods
How should I install a ground for my electrical service panel? How to Install an Earth Ground System for a Home Electrical Panel.
Electrical System Grounding
Electrical Question: How should I install a ground for my electrical service panel?
- Ground rods are usually copper coated and 4 foot long. My question is a multiple.
- Does having a longer ground say 8 feet make any difference?
- How much and what is the difference in conductance of a copper, galvanized, Black pipe, or EMT and how would they work as a grounding point?
- Ground wire or strap? If you were to use # 12 AWG as opposed to #6 AWG stranded or solid how much difference does it make in the real world?
This electrical question came from: Larry, a Homeowner from Redlands, California.
Thanks for your electrical question Larry.
Earth Grounding Using Ground Rods
Application: Grounding an Electric Service Panel.
Skill Level: Advanced. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the grounding method to be used and available access to the project area.
Precaution: If the only ground source for the electrical system will be removed or modified then the electrical service should be shut off until the new ground source can be reconnected. Working in an electric panel is dangerous due to arc flash hazards and the possibility of electric shock.
Notice: Making changes to the Electrical Service Panel should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
How to Install an Earth Ground System for a Home Electrical Panel
Earth Electrical Grounding Methods
- Ground rods typically are available in eight and ten foot lengths and driven to that depth, depending on your location and other grounding methods that are used.
- Some applications mat require more than one ground rod and more than one type of grounding method may be required, such as a UFER or foundation ground.
- The conductivity of the grounding device that is used will depend on the material. For example a copper clad ground rod will have better conductivity and a lower resistance to ground than a galvanized ground rod.
- Keep in mind that all earth grounding materials must be approved for the application. Driving an EMT conduit to be used as a ground rod is not an approved method because the EMT conduit will rot and decay over time.
Electrical Grounding System Design
- It should be understood that the grounding system is designed to the electrical service that will be grounded.
- Local requirements and environmental conditions may also need to be considered due to the electrical conductivity of the earth or soil conditions.
- When the earth grounding system has been designed according to the factors involved the specifications will be produced that must be followed for the electrical project and application which must be installed with a permit and inspected.
More about Earth Grounding and Bonded Ground Systems
Electrical Grounding Methods and Requirements
Listing of electrical codes for grounding with examples of electrical grounding codes for home electrical wiring.
Electrical Grounding Methods and Requirements
- Electrical Codes for Home Wiring
- Electrician Explains Home Electrical Wiring Codes including Electrical Grounding, and Electrical Service Panels.
More about Electrical Codes For Home Wiring
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
Wiring a Switch for an Air CompressorWayne asks:
I am wiring my 240volt air compressor using 10/3 to a lighted 30 amp switch to place by exit door to turn off when im away.
My question is: when I wire the switch I will have essentially two hots, do I place both the black and red on one screw and the black and red on the other?
Also its the lighted Leviton 3032-plr, a lot of the comments say I need to use the neutral to operate the light.
I dont know what to do with that.
Thanks for your help.
Wayne, The Leviton 3032-plr switch that you have described is for 120volt applications and will not work on a 240volt circuit.
A typical 240 volt air compressor requires two hots and a ground wire.
A neutral wire is not required.
A 120volt lighted control switch could be wired as an add on control circuit, however this would require a separate 120volt control circuit, a 120volt lighted switch, and a 120volt control relay with 240volt contacts rated for 30amps.
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