Basics of Grounding Wires: Keeping You Out of Harm’s Way

Basics of Grounding Wires

In an electrical current, there are many pieces that come together to make a circuit run smoothly. One essential part of an electrical circuit is a grounding wire.  A grounding wire acts as a shock absorber. Taking on excess electrical charges and safely transport them in a process called grounding. Here we break down the basics of grounding wires.

The ground is an electrical conductor, and it is a common pathway used for carrying fault currents, signals and radio waves. Most fault currents involve the ground; therefore, power system grounding is an important part of an electrical circuit. Especially when it comes to the safety of those involved and for the operator of any electrical device. A grounding wire is there to save the day in the event of a faulty circuit because it carries excess electrical charge and safely discharges it into the ground, helping to guard against potential electrical dangers.

What is a Grounding Wire Made Of?

A grounding wire, often called the grounding electrode conductor, links the ground rod to the service ground connection. Ground wires are typically made of copper and are six AWG or larger.

When selecting a grounding wire, you will have the option to choose from one of the following:

  1. Bare Copper Wire: Bare copper is most commonly used with grounding wires, and it is not covered in any kind of protective coating. It typically has the best conductive properties because it is not covered or protected by insulation.
  1. Green 6 THHN Wire: This wire is green, used as an outdoor grounding wire and is insulated so moisture cannot get to the copper wire within.
  1. Gauged Copper: This type of wire is available in multiple sizes, and the larger the gauge wire the smaller the wire typically is. The size of the wire will vary based on the size of the electrical current that is needed.

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