How to make a good electrical earth ground

Written by bob white
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How to make a good electrical earth ground
A good electrical ground is important for a safe home. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The electrical ground is the backup safety system for the wires; it provides a safe path to the earth for electricity that gets somewhere it shouldn't. There are several ways to ground an electrical system including using grounding rods and metal water-service pipe. The size of the ground wire is determined by the amount of electricity delivered to your home. Have your installation inspected by your local building authority before turning on the power.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Copper grounding clamp(s)
  • Screwdriver set
  • Two grounding rods
  • Grounding rod driver

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    Metal Water Pipe

  1. 1

    Fasten the grounding clamp to the water pipe in a location that is upstream of the water meter or pressure-reducing devices. Loosen the clamp's fastening bolts, wrap the clamp around the pipe and tighten them down.

  2. 2

    Loosen the wire connection terminal screw on the clamp with a screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Insert the grounding wire into the terminal and tighten it down.

    Grounding Rod

  1. 1

    Choose a location to install the grounding rods on the exterior of the home. This is ideally close to where the electrical panel is installed and in a location that minimises the chances of mechanical damage from lawnmowers or vehicles.

  2. 2

    Hold the first grounding rod vertical to the ground and install into the earth with the grounding rod driver.

  3. 3

    Measure 8 feet from the grounding rod and install the second rod, repeating the process for the first rod.

  4. 4

    Install a copper grounding clamp on each of the grounding rods. Loosen the clamp's fastening bolts, wrap the clamp around the rod, and tighten them down.

  5. 5

    Loosen the wire terminal on both clamps and fasten grounding wire to both terminals in series. Tighten the terminals down.

Tips and warnings

  • Have a company locate the underground pipes and wires before you drive the grounding rods and possibly damage them.

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