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Earthing

Necessity different methods pipe earthing and plate earthing materials required - requirements of good earth electrode neutral wire difference between neutral wire and earth wire - connection with earth value of earth resistance and factors on which it is dependent points to be remembered while providing earth ELCB system - Earthing of domestic fitting and appliances Industrial Earthing Substation Earthing. Why earthing: Electricity today is playing an ever increasing role in the lives of everyone in the civilized world. Increased use of electricity has resulted in increased danger to human beings. Not only defects at consumer's premesis, but even at Supply Authority's premesis can electrocute a customer at his own premesis.Earthing protects humans from danger of electrocution.A lightening strike on a tall building can seriously injure the occupants or even completely demolish that building. Tall buildings or structures like towers are more prone to lightening strikes. Earthing tall structures protects them against lightening. Earthing provides return path for large number of electronic equipments or RF antennas etc. For example a 3phase star wound generator must have its neutral point at earth potential.Earthing is necessary for proper functioning of certain equipments. What is earthing? Earthing a tower/ equipment means connecting that tower /equipment to general mass of earth by means of an electrical conductor. Connection to earth is achieved by embedding a metal plate or rod or conductor in earth. This metal plate or rod or conductor is called as "Earth electrode". Effectiveness of the earthing connection made by embedding a metal plate in earth is quantified as "Earth Resistance". This earth resistance is measured in ohms. Earth resistance consists of following components a) Resistance of metal electrode b) Contact resistance between electrode and soil c) Resistance of soil away from electrode surface. Need of good earthing: 1. 2. 3. To save human life from danger of electrical shock or death by blowing a fuse i.e. To provide an alternative path for the fault current to flow so that it will not endanger the user To protect buildings, machinery & appliances under fault conditions ie. To ensure that all exposed conductive parts do not reach a dangerous potential. To provide safe path to dissipate lightning and short circuit currents.

4.

To provide stable platform for operation of sensitive electronic equipments i.e. To maintain the voltage at any part of an electrical system at a known value so as to prevent over current or excessive voltage on the appliances or equipment .

5.

To provide protection against static electricity from friction Main Objectives of Earthing systems are:

1. 2. 3.

Provide an alternative path for the fault current to flow so that it will not endanger the user Ensure that all exposed conductive parts do not reach a dangerous potential Maintain the voltage at any part of an electrical system at a known value so as to prevent over current or excessive voltage on the appliances or equipment.

Types of Earthing
There are various ways of doing EARTHING: 1. Conventional EARTHING * Pipe Earthing, * GI Plat Earthing, * Cast Iron plat Earthing, * Copper plat Earthing 2. Maintenance Free EARTHING Conventional Earthing: The Conventional system of Earthing calls for digging of a large pit into which a GI pipe or a copper plate is positioned amidst layers of charcoal and salt. It is cumbersome to install only one or two pits in a day. The Conventional system of GI pipe Earthing or copper plate Earthing requires maintenance and pouring of water at regular interval. Maintenance free earthing: It is a new type of earthing system which is ready made, standardized, scientifically developed. Advantages of Free earthing: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Maintenance Free: No need to pour water at regular interval- except in sandy soil. Consistency: Maintain stable and consistent earth resistance around the year. More Surface Area: The conductive compound creates a conductive zone, which provides the increased surface area for peak current dissipation. And also get stable reference point. Low earth resistance. Highly conductive. Carries high peak current repeatedly. No corrosion. Eco Friendly. Long Life. Easy Installation. How earthing Works? The basic idea of a safety from electrical disaster the same everywhere. The case (chassis) of the equipment (and except for special situations, the internal electronics) is connected to an earth pin on the mains outlet. This is then connected through the house wiring and switchboard to an electrically solid earth point, which is called EARTHING or GROUNDING. Should a fault develop within the equipment that causes the active (live) conductor to come into contact with the chassis, the fault current will flow to earth, and the equipment or main switchboard fuse or circuit breaker will blow. This protects the user from electric shock, bypassing the dangerous

current directly to earth, rather than through the body of the unsuspecting poor bastard who just touched it. Earth leakage circuit breakers (RCD - residual current detectors) measure the current in the active and neutral conductors. If these differ by more than a few milliamps, the circuit is disconnected. The principle is simple - if the current in the two wires differs, some of it must be going somewhere that is undesirable, so the supply is interrupted almost instantly. While these are mandatory in some countries (or under some circumstances), it is best not to rely on any advanced technique, but provide a system that is intrinsically safe.

Earthing In Electrical Fitting


In electrical works, earthing or earthed means to connect electrical system to general mass of earth in such a manner as it ensures an immediate discharge of electrical energy without danger at all times. The earthing is helpful to enhance voltage. It saves human life from sudden electric shock. When proper earthing is done in building, it saves building of thunder effects i.e. from fall of natural cloud lighting. In general earthing is not provided in building at the time of electrical fittings either due to ignorance/carelessness or to save expense on earthing. The earthing is most essential part of electric work which must be provided to protect from any mishap. The following are tips on implementation of earthing.

Earthing connection may be of either copper or galvanized iron. Normally GI pipe or plate is used but copper pipe or plate should be used where the soil is corrosive. Electric earthing may be either pipe or plate earthing. Dry earth has more resistance whereas moist earth has less resistance. Low earth resistance is required to give effective earthing protection to electrical fittings. The location of earth pit should be such where the soil has reasonable chances of having moist. If possible earth plates or pipes are located near water tap, water drain or rain water pipe. Earth wire and earth plate must be of the same metal.

Charcoal and salt must be filled in the earth pit around earthing pipe or plate. The position of the earth plate or pipe when fixed should be clear from all building foundations. A masonry enclosure should be made over earth pit. Entrance, pavement and roads are definitely avoided for locating earth pit. Inside building in addition to all electrical appliances, all switch boxes; meter boxes etc. should be earthed also.

Electric Shock and Leakage of Current


Sometimes due to carelessness or ignorance, electric phase (Live) wire comes in touch with human body and the current flows through the body as the body is good conductor of electric current. Muscular functions of the body are paralyzed. The current gives shock although it depends on voltage. When the body is dry, its resistance is more; hence, there is less current and less shock. But when the body is wet, its resistance is less, so there is more current and more shock for the same voltage. Electric shocks also occur due to leakage and earth faults in electrical appliances.

Leakages of Current
1. Phase to Earth Shorting:
When phase wire in an appliance gets in touch with the body of the instrument, the current starts flowing through the earth as a parallel circuit. If there exists proper earth connection through earth pit (hole in the ground), a huge current will flow through it.

2. Leakage of Current to Earth:If phase wire is connected to the body of instrument


through a resistance, some amount of current will flow through earth. There will be no short (distance) between the phase and the earth and the fuse will not blow out. If the instrument is in touch with earth properly, leaking current will go to earth. If a person touches the body of appliance, he would not get any shock. If earthing of instrument is not proper, some current will flow through the body and we will feel shock.

3. Wet Walls and Electrical Shocks:


If the water comes in contact with live electric wire either in a switch plate or naked joint, the conduction of current will start via water through earth. The entire wet wall will start giving shock. If earth path through building walls and floors has considerable resistance, the amount of current will be less. If the supply is on, the water touching with naked wire will cause the same shock as with live wire.

Precautions during Electric Shock in Wet Walls


Whenever naked electric wire touches the wall either due to ignorance or carelessness or due to any fault, electric current flows into the wall. The intensity of electric current or shock is less when the wall is dry as dry wall has more resistance to electric current. The intensity of electric current or shock is more in the same voltage in case of wet wall because wet wall has less resistance to electric current. To avoid electric shock in wet walls, take following steps.

First of all switch off power in the portion where the water is likely to come in contact with electrical wire. Let the wall be dry. Correct the source of leakage of water at the wall. Seal the joints of switch boxes etc. Change naked wires with proper insulated wire or apply proper insulation over naked wire. Restart electrical supply.

In construction of a house/ building house owner should focus on electric works also; which need a lot of attention while laying wiring as well as quality of wiring, specification of electric appliances and cables/wires. Due to carelessness or lack of knowledge by electrician fatal accidents may occur in later and take up more money in repair. Thus every care should be taken while doing electrical fittings. Here are given some tips on how to lay wiring.

Electrical cables/wires are laid inside walls and RCC slab which may require dismantling if any problem/defect arises in later. Dismantling is very costly as compared to getting it rightly fixed first time.

Always choose standard quality wires and cables

n case of defects in electrical wires they can cause fire in house and may even take human life in some cases. So make sure you do the following to ensure good electric works.

1. A professional or good electrician should be hired for electric works. All electric works and installations should comply with latest Indian Electricity Acts and Rules in all respects. 2. All materials used in electrical fittings should be of approved and from a reputed manufacturer as per ISI specifications. 3. Make sure that electrician has calculated total load from various items that would be used in the house. Whether he lays wires that are capable of taking total load. 4. It is seen that a lot of times electricians are careless while putting right load bearing wires for a purpose and these wires get burnt at the movement when entire load is put on wires.

House Wiring Rules as Per ISI Specification



The wiring should be carried out on distribution systems with main and branch distribution boards to convenient centers and is without isolated fuses. All conductors should run, as far as possible along walls and ceilings, so as to be easily accessible and capable of being thoroughly inspected.

3 phase conductor wires

(This Picture is Contributed by "Ahmed")

In any case wiring should not run above ceiling. Circuit on opposite side of three wires system or on different phases of three phases system is kept as far apart as possible in all cases; the minimum distance should be 7 feet. Medium pressure wiring and all associated apparatus should comply with specification. The numbers of points in light circuits should not exceed 10 or the total load on circuit should not exceed 800 watts. One circuit can be explained as one connection from electrical meter or main fuse circuit. For power wiring circuit the numbers of points in a circuit should not be more than 2 and the size of wire is 1.5 mm square for copper and 2 mm square for aluminum. Switch boards should be fitted at a height of 1.5 meter. Horizontal run of wiring should be at a height of 3 meter. Earth wire should be 14 SWG in case of copper and 4 mm square in case of aluminum. Fuse wire should be connected to phase wire only. Connect a neutral link in neutral wire. Connect all switches in phase wire. All conductors should be of copper and have a cross section less than 0.0020 sq. inches, nominal area (3/0.029 inches) and every such conductor should be stranded. Minimum size of earth wire for light circuit is 1 mm square for copper and 1.5 mm square for aluminum.