What Does Grounding Mean?
Grounding is connecting an electrical system to the ground in order to prevent unintended electrical discharge. The ground is an electrical conductor that is used to carry fault currents to the earth instead of allowing it to go through another object or a person.
Grounding is also known as earthing.
Safeopedia Explains Grounding
Grounding is a key principle for electrical safety. It takes advantage of the negative electrical properties of the ground, creating a path of low resistance between electrical equipment and the earth. Grounding essentially guides excess current to the earth where it can dissipate, protecting equipment from damage by electrical surges and people from injury by electrical shock.
There are two kinds of grounds required by the OSHA construction standard:
- System or service ground: a neutral conductor wire grounded at the transmitter and at the service entrance of a building, protecting machinery, tools, and insulation from damage
- Equipment ground: grounding tools to prevent their metal frames from becoming energized in the event of a malfunction, protecting the user from electrical shock
Grounding can also be used to manage the current in electrical systems by stabilizing voltage levels, making it easier to distribute the right amount of power to the right places.