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Difference Between Earthing and Grounding

Last updated date: 29th Nov 2023
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Have you encountered a minor shock when touching certain gadgets that are in use? These shocks can be harmful at times and cause serious problems. It is generally advisable to have the building adequately earthed to avoid mishaps. 


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Difference Between Earthing and Grounding

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Earthing is the process of sharing charges with the earth. Earthing is a basic method for preventing current leakage and thereby protecting equipment from electrical damage. Grounding is another safety procedure that covers the entire power system from failure and is mostly used to balance the load when the electric system overloads. Now let us go through the article and know earthing and grounding in detail.

What is Earthing?

Earthing is the practice of protecting against unanticipated spikes and bursts of electricity that can harm both appliances and people. As a result, we must comprehend the concept of electric potential.  The connection of non-current carrying elements of the equipment to the soil is referred to as earthing.

When a malfunction occurs in the system, the potential of the non-current section of the equipment increases. And anyone who touches the body of the device may be electrocuted. This earthing releases the current leakage to the earth. We can avoid electric shock this way. It also shields our household appliances from lightning strikes. To achieve earthing, we must link the installation's components to the earth via an earth conductor or electrode. It is buried in the ground some distance below ground level.

Importance of Earthing:

Earthing is a critical component of electrical installation and must be performed in accordance with electrical codes. The earthing system must be tested on a regular basis to verify its correctness and readiness. The necessity of earthing cannot be overstated for the following reasons.

  • Earthing shields employees from electric shock.

  • Because the fault current goes through the least impedance path of the earthing system and the potential falls to zero, earthing protects the equipment from excessive voltage induced by a fault, transient, or lightning.

  • Earthing reduces the risk of fire.

What is Grounding?

It is similar to earthing in that it is used to protect electrical devices from inadvertent currents. To connect the appliance, the main live wire is connected to the power source, but the other portion of the cable is led under the earth. The current-carrying portion is directly connected to the ground during the grounding operation.

Grounding, in this way, offers a return path for the leakage current, protecting the power system equipment from harm. When a failure occurs in the equipment, the current in all three phases becomes unbalanced. The grounding protects the equipment and increases service reliability.

Importance of Grounding:

Assume an electrical problem, such as a lightning strike or a power surge, occurs in an area where there is no grounding. When the metal components get electrically energized, they operate as a conductive surface. When a person inadvertently contacts these components, their body offers a channel for the current to the earth, stunning them in the process.

A good grounding system ensures:

  • From the equipment to the power source, circuits have an effective return path.

  • In the event of an electrical fault, low resistance is provided to trip or short-circuit a breaker.

  • Metallic components are electrically connected in order to prevent a voltage connection between them.

  • The establishment and maintenance of a zero-voltage reference point

Difference Between Earthing and Grounding:

The key difference between earthing and grounding is that "earthing" signifies that the circuit is genuinely connected to the ground, which has zero electric potential to the Earth. The circuit is not physically connected to the earth in "Grounding," but its potential in relation to other locations is zero.

Let us now go through the table and differentiate between earthing and grounding.







It keeps people from being electrocuted.

It prevents the entire power system from failing.



Contains zero potential.

Does not possess any zero potential.



It is positioned between the equipment body and the soil and is kept beneath the earth's surface.

It is installed between the equipment's neutral and the ground.



It is classified into five types: pipe, plate, rod earthing, tap earthing, and strip earthing.

There are three types of grounding: solid, resistance, and reactance.



It is used as a connection to the ground in transformers, generators, and motors.

It serves as a neutral generator and power transformer and is grounded.


Color of wire

Green wire is used in this classification.

The black wire is used in this classification.



Earthing is the process through which electrical energy is discharged to the earth. It is mostly used to avoid stunning humans.

The return path to the current is provided by grounding. It is mostly used to unbalance the electric system when it is overloaded.


The earthing connects the non-current carrying portion to the earth. In contrast, in grounding, the current-carrying component is directly connected to the ground. Grounding is in charge of load balancing, whereas earthing is in charge of protecting against electrical shock. The earthing electrode must not be positioned within 1.5 meters of a building whose installation system is earthed. The earth wire's resistance should be less than 1 ohm. It is critical that the wire used for the electrode and the circuit be the same material. The electrodes must be placed vertically so that they can touch the earth's strata.

The conductor must be larger than 2.6 square mm in size, and only half of the wire shall be used for electrical wiring.

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FAQs on Difference Between Earthing and Grounding

1. What is earthing?

Earthing is a building protection system in which all electrical systems are connected to the earth to prevent harm to property and people caused by a malfunction. This is accomplished by inserting conductive rods into the earth near the point where power enters the house. When working with flammable or electrostatic-sensitive materials, connecting to the ground reduces static charge buildup.

The goal of earthing is to reduce the possibility of receiving an electric shock while touching while there is a breakdown. For a variety of reasons, electrical circuits may be connected to the earth (ground).

2. What is grounding?

Grounding is similar to Earthing in that it provides protection against stray currents. To power an appliance, the main live wire is linked to a power supply. However, the opposite end of the wire is routed beneath the ground. This is done to avoid overloading and other severe side effects in the event of an unintentional circuit cut.

3. Differentiate between earthing and grounding.

The major difference between earthing and grounding is that "earthing" denotes that the circuit is physically connected to the ground, which is Zero Volt Potential to the Ground (Earth). In "Grounding," the circuit is not physically connected to the ground, but its potential in relation to other places is zero.

4. Which material is used for earthing and where is earthing needed?

Copper is the best earth electrode material and underground conductor; solid copper is recommended for high-fault current installations, while copper-bonded rods are typically used for smaller portions.

To keep the user safe from electrical shock. Even after insulation failure, the earthing system indicates the shortest path to the fault current. It protects the circuit's electrical apparatus from short circuit currents, high voltage surges, and lightning discharges.

5. State advantages of proper earthing and grounding.

Some of the advantages of proper earthing are-

  • Earthing is the most secure and effective means of providing safety. We know that the earth's potential is zero and that it is considered Neutral. Balancing is done because low equipment is connected to the earth via low-resistance wire.

  • Metal can be used in electrical installations without regard for its conductivity; however, correct earthing guarantees that metal does not conduct current.

  • If suitable earthing safeguards are taken, a sudden surge in power or overload does not harm the equipment or person.

  • It eliminates the potential of fire threats that might otherwise result from the existing leaking.

Some of the advantages of proper grounding are-

  • Removes the risk of electric shock.

  • Voltage protection for equipment

  • Avoids electrical fires

  • Reduces the cost of equipment repairs and downtime

  • Reduces electrical noise (variations in an electrical signal).