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One of the most utilised things by humans is electricity. Through the use of wires, it is transmitted from the powerhouse to different residential, commercial, and industrial locations. However, while electricity has provided new dimensions to technology and power systems, it can pose some dangers if not handled properly. For instance, a spark in an electrical cable can potentially result in a fire.

To avoid any such incidents, there have been several safety methods adopted by industries with the view of minimising electricity-related damages. Among them are earthing and grounding. Although many people think both are the same, they have numerous differences. Read on to learn what earthing and grounding mean and how they differ from each other.

What is Earthing?

Earthing is a safety measure carried out for the purpose of preventing unwarranted fluctuations of electricity that may result in damage to life and property. In this process, the electric circuit is yielded physically to the ground. Nowadays, wires usually have three components, namely the neutral wire, live wire, and earth wire. In the earthing method, the earth wire is essentially connected to the ground.

If the wire or any device that has current is touched by mistake, an electric shock may occur. However, an electrical earth cable discharges the current towards the earth. The earthing method also secures household appliances from lighting, as it passes any additional charge to the ground. Most of the time, an earthing system is installed below the ground in soil.

What is Grounding?

Grounding is almost the same as earthing, which attains insulation against accidental currents. However, in this method, the circuit’s current-carrying component is led under the ground. Its neutral wire is then connected to the earth, and its main live wire is connected to a power supply to power an appliance or machine.

In the grounding process, electric devices are grounded in a manner that the voltage difference between the equipment and the ground becomes zero. It helps save electrical equipment, such as generators and transformers, from faults. Since the phases become unbalanced during a fault, the grounding method provides a passage to additional current. 

A Summary of the Main Differences Between the Two

In essence, the principal distinction between earthing and grounding is that in the former process, the circuit is connected physically to the ground, which means that there is zero-volt potential to the earth. On the other hand, in the latter process, the circuit is not connected physically to the ground, but it still has zero potential with respect to other points.

Here are some key points to remember in differentiating between earthing and grounding:

  • Earthing protects humans from electric shocks, whereas grounding protects the whole power system from malfunctioning.
  • In earthing, the wire utilised is usually green in colour, whereas a black-coloured wire is often used for grounding.
  • Earthing is mainly performed to prevent electric shocks, while grounding is primarily carried out for the purpose of unbalancing when there is an overload in the electric system.
  • Earthing is situated under the earth pit, between the underground pit and the equipment body. On the other hand, grounding is located between the ground and the neutral of the device being used.


Earthing and grounding are both used as safety measures in electrical devices and circuits. While they have numerous similarities in terms of their functions and purpose, they likewise come with several differences between them. In the process of earthing, the electrical circuit’s earthing wire is used. Meanwhile, in grounding, it is the neutral wire of the electric circuit that is utilised. Understanding these differences is a crucial step in preventing electricity-related accidents.

To further avoid any damage caused by faulty electrical cables, it is best to consult with a specialist whenever you are in the process of installing new cables or wire solutions for your facility. One of the most trusted experts you can count on is Cable Source, which offers a variety of first-class cables for different applications, such as flame retardant and fire-resistant cables, rubber-insulated cables, and more. Aside from this, we provide top-quality cable drums in Singapore. Visit our website to learn more about our products.