According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 166 deaths and 1,900 injuries due to workplace electrical incidents in 2019. Properly grounding all electrical equipment is an essential means of minimizing these unfortunate occurrences.
Power surges, faulty equipment, and even lightning strikes can cause dangerous electrical spikes. Grounding is a means to provide excess electricity with a safe and effective route from a device back to the earth (ground).
Because electricity takes the path of least resistance, a surging charge will pass through a ground wire connected from a device to the earth, rather than through the equipment or people nearby.
Grounding is an important safety consideration when dealing with any electrical equipment and is particularly critical in industrial settings. Ground wire (aka ‘grounding cable’) is a key component of every grounding solution.
Each type of ground wire has unique characteristics that make it suitable for specific environments and applications:
Polyvinylchloride (PVC) Ground Wire. A cost-effective industry staple, PVC insulated ground wire is weather and abrasion-resistant. PVC is a single conductor ground wire and is used in many communications applications. It is available in solid or stranded annealed bare copper.
High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (HMWPE) Ground Wire. HMWPE insulation is resistant to abrasion and crushing and is well suited for direct burial applications. HMWPE ground wire is a single conductor ground wire available in solid or stranded annealed bare copper.
The insulation properties of HMWPE ground wire make it particularly useful in Cathodic Protection (CP) applications. Cathodic protection is a means of preventing metal corrosion by using a sacrificial anode connected to what you are trying to protect via a cable. HMWPE ground wire is often found in storage tank and pipeline applications or other corrosive environments.
Cross-Linked Polyethylene (XLP). XLP ground wire has thicker insulation than PVC wire and is more resistant to heat, chemicals, and abrasion. XHHW is a common type of XLP ground wire and is widely used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications.
Another type of XLP wire is RHW/USE-2. Sometimes called XLP-USE, RHW ground wire is direct burial rated and often specified for raceway, duct, direct burial, and aerial installations.
Thermoplastic High Heat-Resistant (THW). THW and THW-2 are single-conductor, PVC-insulated ground wires. They are frequently used for grounding cellular towers, antennas, and other telecommunications applications. Both of these grounding wires are available in bare or tinned copper versions.
Some ground wire is available in ‘tinned copper.’ Copper wire coated in tin strengthens the wire and makes it more suitable for wet and high-temperature environments.
Tinned copper is more resistant to corrosion and oxidation than bare copper wire and lasts about ten times longer. Tinned copper’s low resistance also makes it an excellent conductor.
Electrical substations and large industrial installations sometimes require a more robust grounding solution. This is usually created by using a grid grounding system.
In this application, a bare (uninsulated) copper ground wire is connected to a grounding rod that, in turn, connects to a wire mesh or rebar grid system underneath the substation or other structure. These connections are made using an exothermic welding process to join copper conductors together to form a durable electrical connection. This mesh or grid connection provides a broader surface contact with the earth and a better ground.
As one of the largest suppliers of ground wire in the US, Kris-Tech provides a wide range of bare, tinned, and insulated wire in several gauges. Our UL-certified ground wire is available with green or tan insulation, while our non-UL ground wire insulation is available only in black.
With a large stock on hand, Kris-Tech offers some of the fastest delivery times in the industry. Our customer support team is always available to answer your questions, as is our expert technical support staff if needed.
All of our ground wire is made with pride in our New York facility, and ongoing, in-house testing ensures our wire meets or exceeds all technical specifications and quality standards.