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Difference between Earthing and Grounding

People keep many things in mind while building a house. The same goes with the government while building roads, tunnels, bridges, etc. The main aspect of building these things is wiring. Wiring is essential while building homes. Internal wiring, earthing, grounding, etc., are important parts of wiring. Wiring helps in managing the electric current. The safety of people is ensured through the process of wiring. There are two kinds of managing these electric shocks, i.e., earthing and grounding. Earth is a good source for conducting electricity. While building the infrastructures, the electrical systems are connected to the earth so that the people living there or working there are safe.

Now, earthing and grounding might seem similar but is different. So, let us discuss the primary definition of these terms.

Earthing vs Grounding


Earthing is defined as the process of transmitting electricity directly to the earth. This is done by cable or wires comprising of low resistance. Earthing is done in order to ensure the safety of people, i.e., earthing is done to protect people from electric shocks. There are certain types of earthing.

The system earthing has certain codes attached to types. Each code has a separate meaning. Majorly, there are two kinds of earthing, i.e., neutral earthing and equipment earthing. There are sub-types of neutral earthing as well. They are solid-earthed neutral, unearthed neutral, reactance-earthed neutral, and resistance-earthed neutral. In neutral earthing, the neutral part of the system is attached to the earth through a conducting wire.

Interestingly, green-colored wires are required for earthing. For neutral earthing, white-colored wires are used. Well, earthing is essential because it saves people from electric shocks. Earthing also prevents the damage of electrical equipments and appliances.

It is essential to note that plate earthing is the best kind of earthing. One of the prominent disadvantages of earthing is that the electric current does not reach the earth in case of lightning. The voltage due to the lightning is not able to find the path to travel in the earth. Another disadvantage is that earth protection is challenging for the unearthed system. Earthing is an alternative measure to ensure the safety of the people. Earthing must be essentially done as there are more benefits to it than disadvantages.


Grounding is defined as the process wherein certain activities are undertaken in order to reconnect you to the earth. This practice is highly related to grounding physics, wherein the electrical charges have positive effects on one's body. These electrical charges come from the earth. The main aim of grounding is to control the voltage to earth through predictable limits. There are three significant kinds of grounding, namely resistance grounded systems, ungrounded systems, and solidly grounded systems. All these systems aim at having a positive effect on a person's body. Some of the features of grounding include:

  • Good conduction of electricity
  • Grounding has a long life (i.e., about 40 years)
  • Low ground resistance
  • The conductors in grounding are able to withstand faulty currents.

In case if the process of grounding does not take place, then the individual's body is used as a medium to pass the negatively charged current. This means that a person can be electrocuted or shocked. Grounding is a safety feature that must be done for all electrical equipments and systems. In order to prevent the equipments from damaging, grounding is required. Sometimes, if a particular place is not grounded, it might even lead to a fire in that place.

Now, there are certain differences between grounding and earthing. So, let us have a look at them.

1. Earthing is defined as the process of transmitting electricity to the earth. On the other hand, grounding is defined as the process of conducting several activities in which a person is reconnected to the earth.
2. There are two significant kinds of earthing, i.e., equipment earthing and neutral earthing. There are three prominent types of grounding, i.e., resistance grounded systems, ungrounded systems, and solidly grounded systems.
3. The main purpose of earthing is to ensure the safety of people. The main purpose of grounding is to control the voltage to earth through predictable limits.
4. The equipment body is linked to the ground. The part that carries the current is attached to the ground.
5. The process of earthing takes place between the equipment and the earth pit. The process of grounding takes place between the ground and the equipment.
6. Earthing has zero potential. Grounding does not have potential.
7. The color of the wire in earthing is green. The color of the wire in grounding is black.
8. Earthing is done to prevent electric shocks. Grounding is done for balancing the voltage in the earth (the unbalanced load).
9. Examples:
  • The enclosure of a transformer
  • The enclosure of a generator
  • The enclosure of a motor
(All three are linked to the earth).
  • Power transformer
  • Neutral generator
(These two are connected to the ground).

So, these are some of the contrasting points between earthing and grounding. Both these processes are responsible for ensuring the safety of people. In order to avoid damaging the body and equipment, these processes are undertaken. It is essential to do earthing and grounding as it is beneficial for people. Thus, both earthing and grounding are significant parts of managing electric currents.

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