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Difference between Earthing and Grounding

Difference between Earthing and Grounding


Earthing is defined as the process of protecting electrical circuits and electronics from sudden rise or fall in the voltage. It is necessary to control spikes in the current in residential and commercial buildings. Earthing means the electrical circuit is connected to the Earth, which is zero volt potential Earth.


Grounding is similar to Earth. With the help of grounding, accidents are prevented that are caused by currents. The circuit has zero potential concerning other points in grounding, but it is not connected to Earth. To power an appliance, the main live wire is connected to the power supply. The other portion of the wire is buried deep inside Earth to prevent accidental electrical circuit damage, side effects due to short-circuits, and overloading in the circuit.

Difference between earthing and grounding



Earthing prevents humans from getting electric shocks. 

Grounding prevents the complete system of electrical power from malfunctioning. 

The earth used is green in colour. 

The wire used for grounding is black in colour. 

It is used to avoid shocks to human lives. 

It is used to balance the electric overloads that are caused due to voltage fluctuations. 

Earthing is done between the Earth and the electrical appliance or equipment. 

It is connected between the ground and the used neutral of the equipment. 

It is a UK-based term. 

It is a US-based term. 

A circuit is connected to the earth as the earth (neutral earth) is an equipotential surface.

A circuit is not physically connected to the earth but the potential is zero with respect to the other points.

Earth is used for the protection of the human body in faulty conditions.

Grounding is utilized for the protection of electrical equipment.

Earthing means connecting to the dead component (to the part that does not carry current) under normal conditions to the earth.

Grounding means connecting the live part, it means the constituent that carries current under normal condition to the earth.

Earthing is achieved through the connection of a metallic system to earth. It is achieved by inserting ground rods or other electrodes deep inside the earth.

Grounding ensures a safe, alternate path around the electrical system of your house or commercial building by protecting it from high voltage.

Earthing is a preventive measure.

Grounding is a backup pathway.

Types of earthing

The various types of earthing are described below-

1. Plate earthing – In this, a copper or galvanized iron plate is placed vertically to the ground in a pit inside the Earth. The      pit is around 4-5m depending upon the equipment load for which earthing is being made. The electrode plate connects          the Earth to the electrical conductors. There should be enough moisture near the plates so that this type of earthing can          function correctly.

2. Pipe earthing – In this, a galvanized iron rod is inserted into the Earth vertically to transfer the extra load to the Earth.          The pipe length and pipe size depend upon the magnitude of the current that needs to be transferred and the soil type.

3. Rod earthing system – In this system, a stainless steel rod or a copper rod is placed inside the Earth. It is similar to a           pipe earthing system.

Frequently asked questions on earthing and grounding

Ques: What is electrical grounding?
Ans: Electrical earthing is the process to transmit the release of excessive electrical energy to the Earth by using a low resistance wire. It is done by connecting the ground to the neutral of the wiring system or non-current carrying equipment. It prevents harm to the electrical appliances in case of overloading or voltage fluctuations, thereby preventing the complete electrical circuit from damage.

Ques: Why does the electric field of the Earth transfer to the body?
Ans: Human body is made up of minerals and water. This makes the human body a conductor of heat and electricity. There are ample electrons present on the surface of the Earth. These electrons are readily available to be transferred to the human body generating an electric field.

Ques: What do you mean by touch potential?
Ans: The touch voltage occurring between the feet of a human and simulated object whenever they come in contact is known as touch potential. It is equal to the potential difference between a person's feet and the body part touching a faulty structure. The human body resistance is highly inconsistent. The current passing through the body relies on this resistance. Therefore, the human body can be subjected to different voltage or current fluctuations, leading to death in worst cases if it comes in contact with a faulty electrical circuit.

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