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Thread: Grounding, bonding, potential??

  1. #1
    DIY Member hammerslammer's Avatar
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    Dec 2005

    Default Grounding, bonding, potential??

    I keep thinking there is a fairly simple explaination or maybe a drawing that can set me straight on grounding, bonding , and potential. I've read quite a bit on the subject and consider myself of reasonable intelligence. Why can't i get this?? Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    North Carolina


    Ask a specific question and receive a specific answer.

    Grounding is connecting to earth

    Bonding is joining together

    Potential is capable of

    Just what are you having a problem with?

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    A grounded item something which is somehow connected to the earth gorund, electrically.

    A grounding conductor is the wire which connects something to ground. The bare wire in your outlets etc. is a grounding conductor.

    Bonding connects two things together. In you main service panel the neutral bus bar is bonded to the ground bus bar. In your house, the metal water pipes are often bonded to the electrical grounding system.

    EMF ( electromotive force) is also referred to as a difference in potential between two points . Potential means potential energy. It is energy which has the ability to do work if a means is then provided for current to flow between the two points.

  4. #4
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY


    and bonding equalizes the potential between the things being bonded - so you won't get shocked by touching both at once.
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  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    New England


    One thing to confuse things, but interesting, is when working on high voltage things like a regulator, or an rf generating device that is operating at high voltages. They often have the filaments at a potential of say 5-7 volts dc, while the stuff around them is at 5000vdc or higher. If you measured from the filament to ground, you'd get maybe 5005, but if you measured between the two leads, 5 volts. This is where understanding what the reference, or bonded point, can be very interesting and dangerous. Neither side of the filaments in this case are referenced or bonded to ground, but one side of the filaments is bonded to one side of the high voltage supply. They do this so you don't end up with arcing internal to the tube.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014


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