What Is the Purpose of Grounding Wires?

In our modern world, we are often dependent on countless electronics that support our business endeavors, communication, personal lives, and much more. Despite our ability to effectively harness electricity for power, it remains a volatile force that can easily lead to damage and danger if not properly managed and controlled. While there are a number of ways in which we can better manage electricity for safety, one of the most simplistic and common solutions is to use grounding wires. As electrical protection is one of the most important elements of safety for any building, aircraft, automobile, or facility, it is highly beneficial to have a general understanding of grounding wires and how they benefit an electrical system.

Put simply, grounding wires are implemented within applications to provide ample protection against electrical shocks that may occur within an electric circuit. By reducing the amount of shocks that may occur, accidents stemming from electrical energy can be minimized with ease. When excess electrical charges are present within an electrical system, the grounding wires swerve to direct such charges to a safe place for dissipation. For systems that are on the ground, unlike an aircraft, this safe place is often a solid mass of earth. Masses of earth most often exhibit a negative electrical charge, meaning that positive excess charges will be attracted to that area. With a grounding wire directed into the earth, excess charges will be sent into the ground where they are safely discharged, preventing the chance of a shock, fire, or other similar danger.

Ground wiring standards were first implemented in the United States during the 1960s, and most modern buildings are not designed with ample grounded outlets for safety. The most common material for grounding wires is copper due to the material’s high conductivity and durability. While varying forms of copper may be used for different designs, bare copper and gauged copper wire materials are the most prevalent.

Out of the two, bare copper is more commonly used and is often simply referred to as “grounding wire.” When compared to many other forms of wires found in a typical electrical system, bare copper provides the most conductive capabilities as a result of its lack of protective coating, leading to low insulation. Bare copper wires are often used as grounding wires for residential homes, though they also can act as the base of standard electrical system wires as well. Bare copper wires are also beneficial for outdoor applications as they provide sufficient protection from elements that cause wear and tear over time.

Despite the popularity of bare copper wires, gauged copper wires are still widely in use as compared to many other options. Gauged copper wires are beneficial for their variety of sizes, and standard sizes range from 1/0 to 16 gauges. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the gauge number, the smaller the wire will be. It is important to know that larger wires are better for handling higher currents, making options like the 16-gauge wire suitable for applications within residential home circuits. For industrial settings, 1, 2, and 4 gauge wires are beneficial as they can produce 350, 225, and 150 amps respectively.

With the various options available and their differing capabilities, it is important that you take the time to determine your particular needs before making a purchasing decision. Whether you require a small wire for a residential space or a large wire for industrial machinery, rely on a reputable distributor for all your part procurement needs. Luckily for you, Internet of Purchasing is a premier distributor with over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts ready for purchase at any time.

Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we conduct business with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation. With a strict NO CHINA SOURCING pledge, we guarantee that all items come from leading global manufacturers that we trust, and every purchased part ships out alongside its qualifying certifications and manufacturing trace documentation. Take the time to explore our current listings, and customers may use our RFQ service to rapidly request quotes for your comparisons. Once we receive a completed form, our team of industry experts will quickly craft a customized solution for your comparisons and present it within 15 minutes or less. Get started today with the submission of an Instant RFQ form, and our team will do the rest for you!


November 4, 2022

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