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EARTHING – The term’EARTHING’ means connecting the neutral point of a power supply system or the non – current carrying parts of electrical apparatus to the general mass of earth the earth electrode and the ear thing lead. This is essential as provides safely to human being from the fatal electric shocks.

EARTH ELECTRODE AND EARTHING LEAD – Any wire, pipe, rod or metal plate embedded in earth for the purpose of making an effective electrical connection with the general mass of earth is known as earth electrodes.

The wire or strip which connects earth electrode to any ear thing pr. Is known as ear thing lead. According to I.S.I. specifications.

The cross section of the earthing lead, as a general rule, should not be less than half of the section of the main supply conductor feeding the installation.

In small instruction, G.I. or copper wire of 8 SWG should be run from earth electrode to main distribution board and to sub main distribution board. From submain distribution board copper wire of 14 SWG should be run to three pin sockets and other ear thing points.

In large installations the cross section of ear thing lead should not be less than 161.1 mm 2 for main connections and 64.5 mm 2 for branch connection.

Copper strip of 25.4 mm x 3.18 mm or 6.35 mm are usually employed as a rinf main for connecting all the electrical apparatus to the earth.

Methods of Ear thing – The various methods of ear thing are:-


Pipe Ear thing


Plate Ear thing


Strip or Wire Ear thing


Rod Ear thing

(a) Pipe Ear thing – Pipe Ear thing is the beast from of ear thing and is very cheap in cost. In this method of ear thing, a galvenised and performed pipe of approved length & diameter is placed upright in a permanently wet soil.

The size of the pipe depends upon the current to be carried and type of soil. Usually the pipe used for this purpose is of diameter 38 mm and 2.5 meters in length for ordinary soil or of grater length in case of dry and rocky soil. The depth at which the pipe is to be buried depends upon the moisture of the ground but it should be minimum 3.75 metres. The pipe is tapered at lower end in order to facilitate the driving. The pipe at the bottom is surrounded by broken pieces of coke or charcoal for a distance of about 15 cm. around the pipe. Alternate layers of coke and salt are used to increase the effective areas of earth and to decrease the earth resistance respectively. Another pipe of 19 mm diameter and 1.25 metres length is connected at the tape to G.I. Pipe through reducing socket.

In summer session, 3 or 4 buckets of water are put through the funnel can connect to 19 mm diameter pipe which is further connected to G.I. Pipe.

The earth wire (either G.I. wire or G.I. strip of sufficient cross section to carry fault currents safely) is carried in G.I. pipe of diameter 12.7 mm at a depth of about 60 cm. from the ground

Care should be taken that earth wire is well protected from mechanical injury, when it is carried from 1.2 another.



Plate Earthing – In Plate ear thing an ear thing plate either of copper of Dimension 60cm x 60cm x 3.15 mm or galvanized iron of dimension 60 cm. x 60cm.x 6.30 mm is buried into the ground with its face vertical at a depth of not Less than 3 meteres from ground level. The earth plate is embedded in alternate layers of coke & salt for a minimum thickness of 15 cm. The earth Wire is securely bolted to an earth plate with the help of a bolt, nut & washer made of Material of that of earth plate.


small masonry brick wall enclose with a cast iron cover on top is provided to

Facilitate identification and for carrying out periodical inspection and tests.


Strip or Wire Earthing – In this system strip electrodes of cross section not less than 25 mm x


1.6 mm of copper and 25 mm x 3 mm if of galvanized iron or steel are builed in horizontal trenches


minimum depth 0.5 metre. It round conductors are used, their cross sectional area shall not be

smaller then 3 mm 2 in case of 6 mm 2 in case of galvanized iron or steel. The length of buried conductor shall be sufficient to give the required earth resistance. Its shall however be not less than 15 meters. The electrodes shall be as widely distributed as possible, preferably in a single straight or circular trench or in a number of trenches reradiating from a point, If condition require use of more than one strip, they shall be laid either in parallel trenches or in radial trenches.

This type of ear thing is used at places which have rockey soil earth bed because at such places excavation work for plate ear thing is difficult.


Rod Earthing – In this system of earthing 12.5 mm diameter solid rods of copper or 16 mm diameter solid rods of galvanized iron steel or hollow section 25 mm G.I. pipes of length not less than 2.5 metres are driven vertically into the earth. This system of ear thing is suitable for areas which are sandy in character.

For smaller installations G.I. pipe earthing is used and for larger installations and transmission lines where the fault current is likely to be high, plate earthing is to be used. Under no circumstances gas pipe be used for the purpose of earthing of electrical equipment.


Ear thing Resistance- the main principle regarding earth resistance is that the earth Resistance should be low enough to cause flow of sufficient current to operate the Protective relays or to blow fuses. The value of earth resistance is maximum during Summer season as it depends upon the moisture content of the soil. The following values of earth resistance will give satisfactory results :

Large power station


0.5 ohm, Major Power Station


1.5 ohm

Small Substation


2.0 ohm, In all other cases -

8.0 ohm

The resistance of ear thing lead from earth electrode to any pt. in the installation Should not be more then 1.0 ohm.