What to Look for When Ordering Ground Bars

Ground bars are used to protect people and equipment during inclement weather such as thunder and lightning storms. They provide protection from high voltage electrical shocks. Utility companies and telecommunication companies use ground bars to prevent damage caused by electrical storms. Proper grounding is essential and must pass all NEC regulations during a construction project. Copper, galvanized steel and stainless steel are used in the manufacturing of grounding materials and can be ordered in various lengths and thicknesses with predrilled holes if a business prefers. Purchasing the correct mounting plates, cables, clamps and other accessories are essential during the installation process.

Pros and Cons of Ground Bars and Materials

There are pros and cons involved in materials such as copper, galvanized steel and stainless steel. For proper grounding, meeting the requirements of NEC is vital and businesses who sell grounding products must meet their standards. When choosing the right material for grounding and bonding, consider the life span of the building being grounded. If it has a lifespan of less than 15 or 20 years, it may be more affordable to purchase galvanized steel ground bars. Galvanized steel is less costly even though it does have a shorter life span. Copper is more expensive and lasts longer. Stainless steel is not as popular in the use of grounding, especially for large grounding in cell and radio towers.

Mounting Ground Bars

An assortment of mounting plates, brackets, clamps, cables and other accessories are needed when installing grounding products. Ground rods require the use of wires and cable while bars require mounting plates. Most businesses will drill holes per customer specifications, although not all customers want them pre drilled, probably because of the cost involved. They may have the proper tools to drill them themselves. Custom made bars are made according to what a customer needs, including cutting them to meet a customer’s specifications. Often a customer will order a specific length and have them drilled to fit a specific hole pattern so they can be mounted using a variety of lug nut styles. If this is the case a manufacturer may include lug nuts and other mounting accessories as part of a kit. Purchasing a kit may be more affordable, especially for larger projects.

When ordering ground bars and rods consider the type of soil you have. Copper and galvanized steel materials have a steel core so they are strong enough to be drilled into many types of soil. Copper is stronger and lasts longer, of course, but it is more expensive. Stainless steel may mushroom when pounded into the ground, so this may not be a great choice. Creating a sound ground is vital to the safety of people and equipment during high voltage electrical storms and must pass all NEC regulations.