What is an Earthing System?
The connection between electrical appliances and devices with the earth plate or electrode through a thick wire of low resistance to provide safety is known as ‘Earthing’ or Grounding.
Earthing System or Grounding System in an electrical network work as a safety measure to protect human life as well as equipment, the main objective of the Earthing system is to provide an alternative path for dangerous currents to flow so that accidents due to electric shock and damage to the equipment can be avoided.
Metallic parts of equipment are grounded or connected to the earth and if the equipment insulation fails for any reason, then the high voltages that can be present in the equipment covering or outer box need some path to get discharged. If the equipment is not earthed, these dangerous voltages can be transferred to anyone who touches it resulting in an electric shock.
The circuit gets shorted and the fuse will blow immediately, in case a live wire touches the earthed case.
Why should you have an Earthing System?
This question generally arises when you have all the right equipment, wires, sockets and well maintained electrical devices. Yet, why is there a need for an Earthing system?
The answer is very simple…
Earthing system makes the equipment electrically shock free and gives you a safe place to stay.
Here are some advantages of the Earthing system:
1. Safety for Human Life, Electrical Devices and Buildings
It saves the human life from the danger of electrical shock which can cause death, by blowing a fuse. It protects your electric equipment or devices.
It provides a safe path for lighting and short circuit currents and saves the building from structural damage.
2. Voltage Stabilization
Electricity comes from many sources, every transformer can be considered as a separate source. If there is no point which will act as a common point, then it is impossible to make a calculation between these sources.
In an electrical distribution system, Earth is the omnipresent conductive surface, which makes it a universal standard for all-electric systems.
3. Over Voltage Protection
Earthing System provides an alternative path in the electrical system to minimize the dangerous effect in the electrical system which happens at the time of lighting and unintentional contact with high voltage lines.
Now that you have got an idea of the Earthing system, it is time to know how to set up an Earthing or Grounding system at your home, office or shop.
Methods of Earthing
Conventional Method of Earthing is Plate type and Pipe Type Earthing.
1. Plate Type Earthing
You need to have some basic components, a cast iron plate or a copper plate or a galvanized iron plate. The plate is buried 8 feet into the ground with bolts in a vertical position.
These pits generally filled with layers of salt and charcoal up to 4 feet starting from the bottom.
2. Pipe Type Earthing
Earthing pipes are also known as earthing electrode pipes, these can be used in homes, offices as well as power stations. Earthing pipes are used in the electrical installation and transmission line. Copper pipe is generally used in this type of earthing system.
The Pipe size depends upon the current to be carried and on soil type. Generally, the pipe used for this purpose is of 38mm diameter and 2.5m in length, buried in the ‘earthing pit’ at that depth.
This type of Earthing is reliable, durable, easy to handle and highly secure. Connectivity of the pipe is up to the Chamber or earth terminal. The connection of earth wire goes in a galvanized iron pipe, which, being above the ground level makes it easy to check for any faults.
To have an effective earthing in the summer, this type of earthing requires about 3-4 buckets of water poured into this earthing pit through a funnel to make sure the earthing works fine.
Overall, it is one of the most widely used methods of earthing.
3. Rod Earthing
This type of earthing is same as pipe earthing. Rods can be of copper or galvanized iron. If you are using a copper rod, make sure the diameter of the rod is 12.5mm and if you want to use a galvanized iron rod then diameter should be of 25mm.
The length of the rod should be approximately 2.5 M (8.2 ft), which will be buried in the earth vertically.
4. Earthing through Waterman
In this type of Earthing, you need galvanized iron pipes. Before using these pipes, make sure that resistance is good. Also, use Earth clamps to minimize resistance for setting a proper connection.
If you prefer standard conductor in earthing wire, be sure that the wire is straight & in parallel form and both ends of the wire are clean.
5. Strip/ Wire Earthing
This type of earthing has strip electrodes of cross-section not less than 25mm x 1.6mm in case of copper and 25mm x 4mm of Galvanized Iron buried into a horizontal pit of a minimum depth of 0.5 m.
This type of Earthing is best in rocky soil as in these places it is difficult to do plate type earthing.
You need to take care of all these points discussed above before setting up an Earthing System. Besides these, the moisture of the soil is also an important thing to remember.
We at Rallison Electrical Pvt. Ltd. are keen to give you good suggestions as we believe in safe electricity for you.
Earthing system can prevent the dangerous accidents that may occur due to short circuits and very high voltages due to lightning. So consult with an electrician today and ask for your Earthing system to be properly connected and set up.