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Advantages of Electrical Earthing | Disadvantages of not implementing Electrical Earthing

This page covers step-wise guide to Electrical Earthing procedure. It mentions benefits or advantages of Electrical Earthing and drawbacks or disadvantages of not implementing Electrical Earthing.

What is Electrical Earthing?

The procedure used to transfer electrical energy to the earth directly in case of short circuit or fault is called electrical earthing. This is done by connecting neutral of supply to the ground or by connecting non current carrying part of equipment to the ground. Electrical earthing provides low resistant path to the high amount of current to the ground.

Electrical earthing is widely used for different applications which include telecommunication, lightning arrestor earthing, equipment body earthing, water treatment plants, residential buildings, banks, hospitals, heavy industries etc.

There are two methods for earthing viz. conventional earthing and maintenance free earthing. In the conventional earthing large pit is digged and GI (Galvanized Iron) pipe or copper plate is positioned in the middle layers of charcoal and salt as described below. This method requires maintenance and pouring of water at regular interval. Maintenance free earthing is new system which is standardized and scientifically developed.

The conventional earthing is categorized into plate earthing, pipe earthing, rod earthing, strip earthing and earthing through water mains.

Electrical Earthing Procedure

The earth electrodes such as copper, cast iron or galvanised iron are used for earthing. The Earthing protects human being from electric shock. It also protects the expensive equipments or home appliances from damage due to high current in the event of SC (Short Circuit) or Fault. Salt and Charcoal are used as per following procedure along with pipe for Earthing. The layers of salt and charcoal help in maintaining low resistance and also to maintain moisture.

Electrical earthing procedure

Following items are used for electrical earthing. The quantity of these items vary based on power usage and duration desired.
• Industrial salt (100 Kg)
• Charcoal (75 Kg)
• Copper plate (1 x 1 square feet)
• Copper wire 8mm diameter (5 Kg)
• MS earthing pipe (6 feet length, circular shape ) - 2 numbers , called earthing electrodes
• Underground power cable (35 mm diameter), length as per distance from pole to meter panel

Following steps are followed in rod based electrical earthing procedure.
• Step-1: Dig the earth near electrical meter panel about 6 feet deep and 2 x 2 feet wide
• Step-2: Connect the copper plate at the end of MS rod using copper bolts and wrape it with copper wire as shown
• Step-3: Insert the pipe in vertical position as shown with copper plate at bottom
• Step-4: Fill salt in the hollow part of the MS pipe as shown and also surrounding to it.
• Step-5: Put charcoal surrounding to the MS pipe as shown.
• Step-6: Put sand and concrete mixture surrounding to the pipe.
• Step-7: Repeat above three steps (4 to 6) several times till the opening made is filled till level of the earth.
• Step-8: Keep the copper wire above so it can be connected to appropriate place in the electrical meter panel.
• Step-9: One MS rod or pipe is fixed at electric pole side and the other is fixed at the meter panel side.

Following are the qualities of good earthing.
• Must be of low electrical resistance
• Must be of good corrosion resistance
• Must be able to dissipate high fault current repeatedly

Benefits or advantages of Electrical Earthing

Following are the benefits or advantages of Electrical Earthing:
➨It provides alternative path for the fault current to flow so that it will not endanger the user. It saves human life from danger of electrical shock or death by blowing a fuse.
➨It ensures that all the exposed conductive parts do not reach a dangerous potential.
➨It maintains voltage at any part of electrical system at known value. This prevents over current or excessive voltage on the appliances or equipments.
➨It provides safe path to dissipate lightning and short circuit currents.
➨It provides protection against static electricity from friction.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of not implementing electrical Earthing

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of not implementing Electrical Earthing:
➨If house is not earthed, children or people could get electrocuted.
➨Safety switches will not work and hence any fault can cause house or appliance to become live as current flows to earth.
➨Equipments get damaged during short circuit or fault or lightning conditions. This reduces effective life of equipments or home appliances.

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