I see some posters mumble about "earthing" vs. "grounding" in the
context of lightning protection, and have hard times deciding whether
what they say has some sense to it, or is complete balderdash.
I am meaning in the direction of believing that it is complete
The term grounding and earthing are one in the same but earthing is the
preferred term in British English whereas grounding is the American
Other terms like this are things like flashlight/ torch wrench/spanner etc.
Other times this can lead to some funny things. In British English a "pack
of fags" refers to a pack of cigarettes and if you were to "knock up" a girl
you hardly knew, that would be just fine in the UK but big trouble in the
Term paper in English course in college was based on difference in
spelling between the two countries across the waters. Had a blast
writing it and it was received well.
On Mon, 02 Apr 2007 15:38:29 -0500, Ignoramus6419
Electric power systems use "grounding". Grounding has 2 major functions.
One is to provide a low resistance path for a short circuit to reliably
trip a breaker. The "neutrals" and "grounds" are connected at services
as part of that path. If a failure connects a "hot" to a metal frame,
current is carried by ground wires back to the service, then to the
source neutral and back to the supply transformer. The earth does not
play any significant part in providing this low resistance path.
For the second function, the neutral-ground connection is also connected
to earth via water service pipes, ground rods, or several other means.
Connecting to earth limits the voltage from earth to frames, conduits,
... and minimizes the voltage from earth to the hot and neutral wires.
It also provides a path to dump surges resulting from lightning - the
surge follows a path from clouds to the earth. An earth connection is
very important particularly in lightning surges.
The second function is sometimes called "earthing" to make clear which
"grounding" function is being discussed. If a surge suppressor must be
"grounded" it is not terribly clear what is intended. If it is earthed,
it is very clear.
The code chapter on grounding may be the most difficult to understand.
IMHO one of the reasons is not making the 2 funcitons of grounding clear.
It might help to read the NIST guide on surges and protection:
"Earthing" is simply the British English for the American English term
Kind of like they say "tension" instead of our "voltage".
A "high tension" line just means "high voltage". Has nothing to do with
how tightly the wires are strung.
The global character of Internet discussion has worsened an age-old
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