How to wire electrical grounding for a metal storage shed

Written by g.k. bayne
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According to the National Electrical Code, or NEC, electrical grounding is the wiring that connects directly to the earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth. The conducting body can be either a designated wire or an electrically conductive metal frame. In the case of a metal storage shed, this can be interpreted as the entire metal storage shed. In all cases for an outdoor metal shed, there are certain tasks that must be performed to properly install the electrical grounding.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 6-foot grounding rod
  • 1.36kg. hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Grounding rod clamp
  • Eight feet of #6 AWG bare copper wire
  • Wire pliers

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  1. 1

    Identify the position along the exterior wall where the new electrical service or existing electrical panel is already installed on the opposite interior wall.

  2. 2

    Place the pointed end of the grounding rod 6 inches from the base of the metal shed, in the area of the identified electrical panel. Pound the grounding rod into the earth using the 1.36kg. hammer. Leave the top 3 to 4 inches of the 6-foot grounding rod exposed.

  3. 3

    Secure the grounding rod clamp to the exposed top of the grounding rod. Tighten the screws with the screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Insert one end of the #6 AWG bare copper wire into the wire connector of the grounding rod clamp. Run the wire through the opening at least 1 full inch. Tighten the connecting screw.

  5. 5

    Run the other end of the bare copper wire into the electrical panel that houses the circuit breakers or fuses for the electrical system in the metal shed.

  6. 6

    Connect the bare copper wire to the main grounding bus bar inside the electrical panel. The main grounding bus bar will be attached to the rear of the electrical panel. It is the same bus bar in which all the white neutral wires and electrical grounding wires, coloured green or bare copper, are connected.

  7. 7

    Cut the #6 AWG bare copper wire to length with the wire pliers. Tighten the #6 AWG bare copper wire into the wire connector that is 3/8 inch in diameter.

  8. 8

    Install the long bonding screw that came with the electrical panel through the main grounding bus bar. The bonding screw will mechanically connect the grounding bus bar to the electrical panel. Follow the electrical panel manufacturer's instructions for proper installation of the panel to the metal building structure.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult local electrical regulations, as the local governing body may supersede regulations from the NEC.
  • Local electrical codes may dictate that all electrical installations are inspected before power can be energised to the new system.
  • AWG is the American Wire Gauge standard.

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