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Thread: Just install a Ground Fault breaker

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    Just install a Ground Fault breaker

    Split off of here. JasonLion

    It would probably be less hassle to just install a Ground Fault breaker. The newest generation of breakers that protect against both arc and ground faults are really the safe way to go. I dont really get upset about neutral vs ground. They both go to the same place. So long as both wires are insulated and you do not bond a box with a neutral, they are the same thing. The only time the neutral and the Chassis/frame ground are truly different is when you have to lift the Chassis ground to eliminate electrical interference from performance sound systems or similar equipment. In that instance, you run the neutrals from the panel and you run the chassis/frame ground to a ground rod that is not connected to the panel.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: ground wire at pump

    Quote Originally Posted by reynolds357 View Post
    It would probably be less hassle to just install a Ground Fault breaker. The newest generation of breakers that protect against both arc and ground faults are really the safe way to go. I dont really get upset about neutral vs ground. They both go to the same place. So long as both wires are insulated and you do not bond a box with a neutral, they are the same thing. The only time the neutral and the Chassis/frame ground are truly different is when you have to lift the Chassis ground to eliminate electrical interference from performance sound systems or similar equipment. In that instance, you run the neutrals from the panel and you run the chassis/frame ground to a ground rod that is not connected to the panel.
    Doing that is not safe. And even if you go ahead and do it anyway, it won't work. Neutral and ground are not the same. Mixing them up will trip a GFCI breaker. And under no circumstances should you ever connect a chassis ground to a ground rod instead of the ground bar in the main panel. That completely defeats the purpose of grounding and opens the user up to all kinds of risk.
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    Re: Just install a Ground Fault breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by reynolds357 View Post
    In that instance, you run the neutrals from the panel and you run the chassis/frame ground to a ground rod that is not connected to the panel.
    Don't fool yourself into thinking that ground rod will protect you in case of a short circuit. A ground rod poses too much resistance back to source to clear a fault. Ground rods are only there to provide a path for high voltage events such as lightning strikes.
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    Re: Just install a Ground Fault breaker

    Ground rods suck anyways.

    We had an temp situation where we lost the ground coming from the power company and my house has plastic pipe feeding the water main so we had no primary ground, no neutral, no nothing.

    To try and get a temp grounding, we drove 2 ground rods 6' apart. Nothing. We then added a third ground rod 60' away. Nothing. Then we attached to a metal fence that went around the yard. And still Nothing! (Maybe a few volts but no where near the +/- 5% we needed.)

    Different soils will yield different results but ground rods get a big thumbs down from me. ����
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    Re: Just install a Ground Fault breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Trick View Post
    Ground rods suck anyways.

    We had an temp situation where we lost the ground coming from the power company and my house has plastic pipe feeding the water main so we had no primary ground, no neutral, no nothing.

    To try and get a temp grounding, we drove 2 ground rods 6' apart. Nothing. We then added a third ground rod 60' away. Nothing. Then we attached to a metal fence that went around the yard. And still Nothing! (Maybe a few volts but no where near the +/- 5% we needed.)

    Different soils will yield different results but ground rods get a big thumbs down from me. ����
    Power companies don't provide you with a ground, and the ground has no functional effect on the operation of your power system. The power company provides you with a neutral and the ground is created at the service entrance.
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    Re: Just install a Ground Fault breaker

    That's correct for here in the U.S. For residential service, you get 240 Volts and a Neutral (center tap of the transformer) for a total of three wires. Earth ground is not provided at all. That is an National Electric Code (NEC) requirement for any line (electric, phone, radio cable) penetrating a building. The ground rod's ultimate purpose is for lightning protection only, not fault currents in equipment.

    Electricity will always try to return to its source, which for us is the utility company's transformer, not the earth. The return path for 240 Volt devices is either one of the Hot wires, 120 Volt devices have to use the neutral wire for it's return path. Some 240 Volt devices have a neutral which is for 120 Volt items within the equipment. The safety ground under normal conditions does not carry any current. It is there to provide a direct low impedance (low resistance) path back to the neutral bar in the main panel, which causes high fault current to quickly trip the breaker in the event a problem with a device happens. The ground bar in the main panel gets bonded to the neutral bar for this purpose. By NEC code, the main panel is the only place where the you can have your G-N bond, never in subpanels.
    J.R.

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    Re: Just install a Ground Fault breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Trick View Post
    Ground rods suck anyways.

    We had an temp situation where we lost the ground coming from the power company and my house has plastic pipe feeding the water main so we had no primary ground, no neutral, no nothing.

    To try and get a temp grounding, we drove 2 ground rods 6' apart. Nothing. We then added a third ground rod 60' away. Nothing. Then we attached to a metal fence that went around the yard. And still Nothing! (Maybe a few volts but no where near the +/- 5% we needed.)

    Different soils will yield different results but ground rods get a big thumbs down from me. ����
    It really sounds like you lost the Neutral in this case, which can cause all sorts of problems for your devices. Some things will get under volted (really bad for motors) and some will get overvolted (bad for electronic items). As you learned, ground rods do not provide a path back to source (the utility transformer). Grounding to the water pipe is only required if the pipes are metallic, and that is also for lightning protection and preventing the pipes from becoming energized (shock hazard).

    On a positive note, you now have good lightning protection

    NEC requirement for a single ground rod is 25 Ohms or less of resistance. If it does not meet that specification, then a second rod is required to be driven and connected to the first. Keep in mind the purpose of the ground rod is lightning protection only.
    J.R.

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