How to Build Electrical Grounding

An electrical grounding system is now required for most modern high-tech electronic installations. Certain electronic devices such as radio communications and high-frequency welders may require a specialized and separate system for the protection of the equipment against static electrical charges and surges. By following a basic process, you can build an electrical grounding system for your home or office to protect expensive electrical equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • Copper ground rod
  • Handheld 3-pound hammer
  • Emery cloth
  • Anti-corrosion compound
  • Approved ground rod to wire connector
  • #8 solid copper wire
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and slotted)
  • Wire pliers
  • Large copper ground plate (optional)

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Place the ground rod in a location outdoors that is close to the area you want to build the grounding system. The shorter the pathway for the ground wire, the better the system will dissipate errant electrical charges.

Drive the copper ground rod into the ground as deep as possible with the handheld 3-pound hammer. Most ground rods come in lengths from 6 feet to 8 feet long. Get as much as possible of the ground rod into the earth for maximum conduction of the electrical grounding system. Leave approximately 6 inches exposed above the ground for the connector.

Use the emery cloth and thoroughly clean the top portion of the ground rod. The cleaner the connection, the better the conductor. After cleaning it to a shiny copper color, apply a liberal amount of the anti-corrosion compound to the connection point on the ground rod. The compound should help provide an excellent conductor path for years.

Attach the ground rod connector to the ground rod with the screwdriver. Follow any torque requirements from the manufacturer. Generally just a tight fit will be sufficient. Install the #8 solid ground wire to the connector and run the wire indoors to the access point for the system you want to protect.

Cut the solid copper wire to length with the pliers and connect the wire to the grounding system. Install a large copper plate as the main distribution point for the new grounding system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some local electrical codes may require you to connect a separate grounding system to the home or business main distribution panel. Check with the local authority before installing a separate grounding system. Some electronic manufacturers may withhold warranties if a separate grounding system is not installed before operation of that equipment. Check with all manufacturers before installing such a system.
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