What is maintenance free earthing?
Earthing is the arrangement in which electrical charges get transferred to the ground through a conducting material like metal rods or low-resistance cables for discharging any stored energy. Without proper earthing, high voltage electrical current from thunder and lightning or other sources can cause damage to the various electrical and electronic equipment and appliances we use at home or in different commercial spaces.
Earthing is mainly of two types – conventional system earthing and maintenance-free earthing. Because of its various benefits and features, maintenance-free earthing has become a popular choice with many installers and end-users.
Read on to know more about maintenance-free earthing, its benefits, and the various aspects associated with it.
Introduction to maintenance-free earthing
Most people nowadays prefer to safeguard equipment and humans with a maintenance-free earthing system. But before understating the reason and delving into other details, let us first try and find out what is maintenance-free earthing. It is evident from the name that a maintenance-free earthing system is the kind of earthing system that doesn’t need regular maintenance and checks for optimal functioning.
Maintenance-free earthing systems have advanced design techniques for maximizing efficiency and better workability. Along with the design, the materials used in the maintenance-free earthing system are also corrosion and degradation resistant. Hence, when compared to traditional earthing systems, maintenance-free earthing systems are long-lasting and reliable.
A maintenance-free earthing system is mainly used in places where reliable earthing is required, but regular maintenance is not always possible. It is also mandatory in places where continuous earthing is a requirement.
Because of the good quality materials used in maintenance-free earthing, these systems have a longer life span of almost 15 to 20 years on average. Installers and end-users prefer this earthing system to ensure everyone stays protected from step and touch voltage.
Benefits of maintenance-free earthing
If you are planning to have maintenance-free earthing for your residential or commercial property, you can safely go ahead with the plan as there are several advantages associated with using this earthing system. Here are some of the most important and common maintenance-free earthing benefits you can enjoy:
- It offers cost-effective earthing solutions – Maintenance-free earthing systems are low on maintenance while offering optimal performance. These systems do not need regular care and check-ups for proper functioning. This saves money as well as time when compared to traditional earthing systems.
- It scores high in the reliability quotient – The design of maintenance-free earthing systems is such that they are highly reliable. when compared to conventional earthing systems, maintenance-free earthing lasts for a longer period. There are minimal chances that these earthing systems become ineffective or fail in their functions. Hence, there are no fear or safety concerns when installing these systems.
- It is highly durable – The materials used in the making of the maintenance-free earthing system are unique as they are resistant to any kind of corrosion. Not only this, but the materials are also resistant to various kinds of degradation. These earthing systems have the capability of withstanding harsh climatic conditions as they are so durable. This is the reason that these earthing systems are used in different high-end applications that requires the utmost safety and quality equipment.
Along with these, there are other benefits of maintenance-free earthing systems as well, some of which are as follows:
- It remains intact with the earth rod
- It protects machinery and other electrical installations as the system provides a low-impedance path for fault currents
- It has a long lifespan of almost 20 years or more
- It provides an equipotential reference voltage to the system
Copper rod in maintenance-free earthing
When compared to pipe earthing, copper-bonded rods are considered to be better options for maintenance-free earthing systems for various reasons. One of the most common reasons is that levels of conductivity are way higher in copper rods when compare to pipe earthing. As a result, copper rods can dissipate electrical currents more effectively and safely when compared to other materials.
With the high conductivity of copper rods, the maintenance-free earthing system works well as it can pull down the current effectively and provide a high protection level. Apart from the conductivity feature, copper rods are resistant to corrosion and hence have a long life. These rods are not likely to degrade like normal pipes and remain effective for a long time.
Hence, using copper rods in maintenance-free earthing helps in ensuring reliability for a longer time, making the system more durable too. Though these copper rods might seem to be an expensive investment initially, the benefits and the results are long-lasting and secure. In the long run, sopper rods are a cost-effective solution for use with maintenance-free earthing systems.
Maintenance-free or conventional earthing?
If you are still confused between maintenance-free earthing systems and conventional ones, choosing between the two is, indeed, a difficult thing. The reason is that both these systems come with their own set of pros and cons. To decide which earthing system will be best for you, you must understand the earthing requirements first. Having said that, if you need continuous and reliable earthing facilities, there cannot be any better alternative than maintenance-free earthing systems.
However, let us discuss the conventional earthing systems in brief to understand the differences between the two.
About conventional earthing systems
Before we go on to compare the two kinds of earthing systems, let us discuss the conventional earthing system first. In conventional earthing systems, there are layers of salt and charcoal. Using charcoal and salt for earthing is not a very effective and reliable method.
This is because neither charcoal nor salt is a conductive material which can carry the electrical current and pass it down to the earth. As the electrical currents cannot be dissipated effectively with charcoal and salt, there are high chances of experiencing shocks. Electrical accidents are also not uncommon where conventional earthing systems are in place.
Both charcoal and salt are organic materials and hence they degrade over time as well. Degradation reduces the effectiveness of the materials and they do not act as earthing materials anymore. There is also a high chance that the salt will leach out and corrode the earth electrodes which are used in the system.
Last, but not least, both salt and charcoal are to be used in proper proportions for effective earthing in conventional earthing systems. However, in all the systems, the proportions are not accurately measured thus making the system unreliable.
Commonly, charcoal and salt which are used as earthing materials in conventional earthing systems often get exposed to moisture. This exposure reduces the conductivity and effectiveness of the materials to a great extent. The moisture further reduces the efficacy of the salt and charcoal and this makes them difficult to dissipate electrical currents effectively.
To summarise the most common drawbacks of conventional earthing systems include:
- In the majority of cases, GI pipes or commercial-grade cast iron plates are used as an electrode in the earthing system which is not as effective as copper rods.
- The conventional earthing system is not suitable in places with a high-water table, rushing water source, etc.
- There are high chances of corrosion from the reaction between the backfill (salt and charcoal) and the electrode.
- In a conventional earthing system, there is no standardisation for the backfill or the electrodes that are used.
Keeping all the above things in mind, electrical experts highly recommend using maintenance-free earthing instead of conventional earthing systems. Advanced techniques are implemented in the making of advanced maintenance-free earthing systems further maximising their effectiveness and efficiency to a great extent.
Moreover, as is mentioned before and evident from the name of this earthing system that there is no requirement for regular maintenance for optimal performance, these systems are the best choice for places where continuous earthing is needed.
Always purchase earthing materials and other electrical products from a reliable place
Whether in our residences or commercial spaces, there are abundant uses for various kinds of electrical and electronic products. The wrong choice of such products might lead to various kinds of accidents like electrical shocks, short circuits, fires, and so on. This is the reason, the electrical products you purchase and use should be of the highest quality and adhere to all the required safety standards.
If you are looking for good quality electrical products at the best rates, there is no better option than Schneider Electric eShop. The eShop offers a whole wide range of electrical equipment. Talk of any kind of electrical products and Schneider Electric eShop will surely have it for you, in the configuration you want. You can browse through the different products of Schneider Electric on their official website. Select your region and you will be able to see the wide variety of products on offer.
Schneider Electric eShop also caters to B2B users and supplies products in bulk. The customer care support of the company is exceptional as you can get help on a round-the-clock basis. Visit the website for more details.