Ground Rod Explained

Learn what is the ground rod used for and what it connects to.

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Learn what is the ground rod used for and what it connects to.

Scroll to the bottom to watch the Youtube tutorial.

Connected to the main panel, we will find a thick copper wire which leads out to a ground rod. Ground Rod is buried into the ground outside near the property. This Rod is not used for ground faults. Its purpose is to dissipate static electricity and external high voltages like lightning strikes.

There is also a ground Rod connected to the neutral at the transformer. Many people think that during a ground volt, electricity flows through the ground rod and into the Earth. But remember, electricity tries to get back to its source. It doesn’t just go into the Earth. And as there is a ground Rod at the transformer, then there is a potential path for the electricity to get back to the source.

But this path will have a very high resistance or impedance. And as we know, electricity will take preference over the path with the least resistance. So as we already have a very low resistance ground wire which provides a path directly back to the source, the ground fold is going to take this route instead. When it comes to lightning, the source of lightning is essentially the Earth. So lightning is always trying to get back to its source, which is the Earth.

If lightning strikes utility cables, it will flow along the wires to get to the ground rods of both the transformer and also your main panel. It’s going to do this to try and get back into the Earth. If it wasn’t for this, then it’s going to blow all our circuits and it’s going to cause house fires. Now, if the hot wire came into direct contact with the ground rod, then electricity will flow through the soil back to the transformer, but the resistance is very high so the current will be low.

This means the circuit breaker will not likely detect the fault and the circuit breaker will not automatically flip to cut the power.


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