Verifying electrical panel grounding

Verifying electrical panel grounding

First order of business when checking the electrical panel after we double check it’s not live is to confirm it’s grounded. The panel below looks grounded right?  Further review using a multi meter and running a continuity test showed it was not grounded and proved to be a safety issue.  Usually it’s common to find a ground rod located below the main electrical meter, not in this case.

Another option is attaching a ground to copper piping which I found. However, using a multi meter I found I had an open ground, the panel is NOT grounded.  Someone cut out the copper piping and replaced it with PEX. Note floating copper pipe above.

It helps if one understands why we have grounding electrodes for in the first place.  The most common electrode system is a metal water pipe, single rod, pipe, or exterior ground rods then it is required to be bonded to another electrode as pictured above.

The electrode system serves four purposes and these four purposes only. They are installed to help dissipate lightning, line surges, unintentional contact with higher voltage lines, and to stabilize during normal operation. 

Tip of the day: look and verify ground and bonding wiring using a multi-meter, I’ve caught a many of these issues with this simple tool.

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Submitted by StephenGaudet