Why Ground Bars are Important

Proper bonding is essential to create an equipotential plane between service grounds and equipment during fault and transient conditions. This plane provides just about no voltage differential and works to protect both people and equipment. The most popular bonding product used today is the ground bar. Because the need for ground bars can vary widely, in addition to purchasing “standard” sizes, often companies order ground bars in custom sizes for a specific project.

Why are Ground Bars Important?

Ground bars are electrical connections that divert extra or undesirable electrical current in order to avoid human injury or damage to equipment. They are often made of either copper, steel and copper, or tin and copper. Ground bars provide a specific physical connection to the earth in order to dissipate current safely.

Some products are UL Listed or may comply with quality standards such as ISO 9001. Other ground bars may meet the standards from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Types of Ground Bars

Often, ground bars come in two standard types: copper and tin-plated.

Copper Ground Bars: The copper grounding bars are considered the industry standard due to the excellent conductivity of copper. In most soils, copper provides better corrosion-resistance and longer life than galvanized rods.

Tin-Plated Ground Bars: Tin-plated grounding bars can be a better choice over copper, depending on the type of utilization. For example, tin-plated may be better for outdoor or other harsh environments. This is because tin electro-plating reduces the chance for corrosion interfering with the actual ground connection. Additionally, the tin plating can hide the color of the copper, serving as a theft deterrent, due to the high rate of theft of copper for its scrap and recycling value. Some companies choose to have their ground bars stamped with “do not recycle” as an additional deterrent to theft.

Grounding Bars

While grounding bars may seem minor to some, they are an incredibly important part of equalizing electrical current as well as keeping individuals safe and equipment undamaged. Based on the type of project and the utilization of the ground bar, different configurations and sizes can be custom made, as well as the type of material used in its manufacturing.