How To Ground Main Electrical Panel: 2 Steps To Follow

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Grounding the electric lines is crucial for the safety of your house. If the electric lines aren’t grounded well, it can be a catalyst for accidents. It’s important to know how to ground your electric lines and how to deal with them.

How to ground main electrical panel? 

To ground your main electrical panel, you need to install a ground rod first. Once installed, run the ground wire to an electrical panel box. Once these are set, you’re good to go! 

Still not clear about the process? That’s alright. We’re going to discuss everything you need to know about grounding your panel. If you want to know the details, keep reading.

Let’s begin!

What is Grounding? 

A typical electric line has three wires. The live, neutral, and the ground wire. Current flows through the live wire into appliances and comes back through the neutral. The ground wire isn’t very useful in conduction. 

The ground wire protects your appliances from accidents. It is a reference point for your electrical system. It helps keep the voltage difference between the two wires steady. 

For example, if you measure your potential difference with a voltmeter, you might get a reading of 120V. This means that the difference in electricity between the electric lines is 120V. The grounding wire provides a reference point, by keeping the neutral wire at 0.

If you don’t have a grounding wire, your circuit breakers might now work properly. Eventually, making the circuit breakers trip. Also, if there’s a loose wire, the lack of grounding will make it active. 

The active wire can create an electric field by coming in contact with metal. Eventually, risking accidents and shocks. Not grounding your electric lines can be life threatening. It’s important to ground your electric line as soon as possible. 

Grounding Main Electrical Panel: 2 Simple Steps 

If you’re living in an old house, there’s a chance that your main electrical panel isn’t grounded. The easiest way to know is by checking the outlets. If you have an abundance of two-prong connections, your connections aren’t grounded. 

If you have an old knob and tube wiring, we recommend that you call an electrician. Knob and tube wiring are pretty hard to deal with and can be risky. If you have normal wiring, it’s pretty easy. 

The steps for grounding main electrical panel are-

Phase 1 of 2: Install a Grounding Rod 

First, you need to install a grounding rod for your panel. Generally, the grounding rod is made of copper or copper-coated steel. An average grounding rod can be ½” in diameter and 10-12 feet in length. 

Step 1 of 2: Placing the Rod 

You have to choose a location in the ground to set it up. Make sure it’s not anywhere in the distance between the gas line and the electrical outlet. Once the location is set, place the tapered tip on the ground. 

Make sure the location isn’t too close to water sources or obstructions. Since you have to pull wire through it, you need to make sure it’s in a good place.

If you’re wondering what kind of rod to use, check our recommendations-

Product 1
Product 2

Step 2 of 2: Setting it Up 

Now, drive the rod into the ground. Use a hammer and strike it down hard. However, be careful to keep the rod straight and reach the maximum depth. Don’t strike it too hard because it might break the rod. 

With 3-4 inches of the rod remaining, stop hammering. Attach the grounding wire to the clamp on the rod. Now, take your wrench and tighten it up. Thread the loose end of the wire and we’re good to go!

Once the rod is set, we move into the next phase. Now, we have to connect the wire to the line. 

Phase 2 of 2: Attaching Ground Wire to The Panel 

Now, it’s time to set the wire to the panel. We recommend that the ground wire is the same gauge as the panel. That’d make the entire process a lot easier. 

The steps for grounding the wire to the panel are-

Step 1 of 3: Turn Off The Main Breaker 

To begin with, make sure the breaker is turned off. Any sort of electricity passing through the breaker can be risky. So turn it off first. 

Once the main breaker is turned off, keep it that way for a while. Let everything cool down and then get to work. This will prevent any risk of electrocution.

Step 2 of 3: Connect the Wire 

Now remove the faceplate from the main electrical panel. Remove the screws and get to work. Once the faceplate is removed, thread the wire carefully. Be careful, in case the electrical outlet is hard to plug in.

Take the wire and get it through the knockout hole in the appropriate part of the panel. Generally, the knockout hole is on the bottom or on the side. Place the wire carefully and set it up.

Step 3 of 3: Connect to the Grounding Bar 

Go back to your grounding bar and attach the ground wire. If your service panel doesn’t have a slot for the grounding abrm connect it to the neutral bar. Make sure the connections are sturdy. 

Re-attach the faceplate and you’re good to go. Check everything again and turn on the main breaker! 

That’s all you need to know about grounding your main electrical panel. Make sure to follow our instructions properly for the best result.

FAQs 

Question: Where does the ground wire go in the breaker box? 

Answer: There should be a hole for the grounding wire at the bottom of the box. It’ll be marked in either white or green to help you find it. 

Question: How to identify wiring easily? 

Answer: The easiest way to identify the different kinds of wiring is based on color. The red wire is the live wire, through which the current passes. The white one is the neutral wire where the current travels back from the appliance.

And finally, the green wire is the ground wire. It’s used to maintain the potential difference. 

Question: What would happen if you switch neutral and ground wires? 

Answer: Misplacing the wires could be detrimental to your wiring. If the neutral wire is connected to the ground, it takes the extra energy to the ground. Thus, making it risky for electrocution. 

Final Word 

Now you know how to ground main electrical panel. Grounding is crucial for the electrical appliances in your house. It prevents accidents for both the appliances and the users. If you haven’t grounded your appliances yet, you should get going as soon as possible! 

We hope you find this article helpful. Make sure to follow the steps accordingly. 

Good luck!

Richard Allen