How exactly does the ground pin work

What is grounding and why is it essential?

Before you can use a new electrical installation, it should be checked. The auditor checks whether the safety regulations are being adhered to. This can be found in the VDE regulations for electrical installations.

One of the requirements of the VDA is grounding, but what exactly does this term mean? And what is its use? In this article, we're going to answer all of these questions.

What is a grounding?

The ground is a metal conductor that connects all electrical appliances and carries leakage current to the earth around the home. Earthing is an essential part of every electrical installation, as the grounding prevents the risk of electric shock. If there is an insulation fault, the differential switch will automatically turn off the power.

For example: while you were moving your washing machine, the cord was badly damaged. The power cables are visible and even come into direct contact with the metal device housing. If you touch the washer you will be electrocuted unless you have a grounded connection. This will lead the electricity to the earth and in this way prevent tragic accidents.

You can recognize the grounding conductor by the yellow-green insulation.

Earthing for new buildings

One uses one Earth loop for new build houses with a substructure of at least 60 cm depth. Then you take a copper conductor with a diameter of 35 mm², which is placed on the bottom of the foundation trench. This wire must never come into contact with the foundation walls and should therefore be hidden in the earth. The cable ends remain open and they are brought together at the level of the earthing switch.

Earthing in existing buildings

Some older buildings do not yet have an earthing system or have a poorly functioning earthing system. It is not possible to install a ground loop here. Fortunately there is another solution. Namely, you can have one or more Grounding rods (at least 3m between the earthing rods). These metal spikes are driven 80 cm deep into the earth and connected to the electrical installation using the earth conductor. The earth conductor connects the earth electrode to the earth breaker and the main earth terminal. The section of this conductor is a minimum of 16 mm² if it is equipped with a yellow-green insulator, or 25 mm² if it is not insulated.

More parts

In addition to the ground loop or the ground electrodes, you also need one Earth conductorconnecting everything to the main earth rail. This has a diameter of at least 16 mm². Get one too Earthing breakerso that the resistance can be checked. This resistance should be a maximum of 30 ohms.

What then have to be "grounded"?

There are several elements in your home that need to be grounded. For example, think of in the first place Sockets and points of light. You can recognize the protective conductor by the yellow-green insulation. It must have the same diameter as the phase conductor.

In addition, some metal lower parts are protected against dangerous voltage. Potential connections are needed for this purpose. We distinguish between two types:

  1. The main potential connections: for the main gas and water pipes and the central heating. You need yellow-green wire that is at least 6 mm² wide.
  2. Additional potential connections: for the metal structures of a bathroom (bathtub, drain, etc.). This connection, insulated by yellow-green wire, has a diameter of at least 2.5 mm² when placed in a pipe. If this is not the case, a diameter of 4 mm² is required.

In our webshop you can find clamps with which you can attach the ground cables to other elements.