A “Ground” can be thought of in a handful of ways but simply put it is the return path of current within a given electrical circuit. This ground path may be a ground that is derived from a battery terminal or circuit board which is technically referred to as a ground plane. Another form of grounding is just as it says; an electrode that is driven into the earth called a grounding electrode which is the point of connection in the electrical circuit where any static voltage or stray voltages such as a short to ground are connected. A short to ground is what is commonly referred to as a short. A short will be noticed by either a loud pop followed by smoke and possibly fire and will always create some sort of bright arc. If there were no grounding within an electrical circuit the voltage would travel the shortest path to a large potential ground which could be your body. Electrocution occurs when a human body gets between the path to ground and you become the conductor.
Grounding is by far the most important aspect of electrical installation with regards to life safety and proper electrical operation.
As mentioned prior, it is our opinion that connecting the grounding electrode to the cold water piping of your home or business is not a good idea. Our reasoning for this is electrolysis. Copper tubing run underground protruding through concrete, combined with the salt content of the soil and water of Florida and possible residual current these copper pipes will eventually develop small pinholes and can leak under the slab. The Code allows for a few other means of connection such as a grounding electrode which is driven 8 feet into the ground. You can also connect to the rebar within the footer if it is new construction. Connection to building steel structure is also allowed by code.
In Phaze Electric offers a grounding system that is specified in many government design specifications. We refer to it as a Delta Ground due to the triangular shape. The installation involves adding a third grounding electrode to the current grounding system and connecting the proper size grounding electrode conductor to the additional ground rod. We also increase the size conductor of the single point of connection at the service to the first ground rod. This form of grounding increases the potential to ground which in the event of a lightning strike could save your electronics. This is a fairly inexpensive cost for the security it provides regarding life safety and overvoltage’s.
Make mention to whomever your technician is that comes out to take a quick look at your grounding to look for any loose connections.