Grounding a gas boiler: how to do it and why?

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Ground­ing a gas boil­er is one of the basic safe­ty require­ments that must be met in order to obtain per­mis­sion from the rel­e­vant author­i­ties to oper­ate the heat­ing sys­tem.

Why do it?

Ground­ing a gas or oth­er boil­er in a pri­vate house is a mea­sure to ensure the safe­ty of the oper­a­tion of gas equip­ment, which con­sists in lay­ing an elec­tri­cal wire con­nect­ing the heat­ing sys­tem with a spe­cial device — a ground loop.

Ground­ing func­tions:

  • in the event of a short cir­cuit of the wiring to the case, the pos­si­bil­i­ty of elec­tric shock to a per­son when touch­ing the equip­ment is exclud­ed;
  • sta­t­ic elec­tric­i­ty does not accu­mu­late in the sys­tem;
  • the influ­ence on the automa­tion of the elec­tro­mag­net­ic field is reduced.

In addi­tion to ground­ing, the gas heat­ing sys­tem must be equipped with a back­up device for auto­mat­i­cal­ly shut­ting off the gas sup­ply when the elec­tri­cal wiring is closed.

Impor­tant! Ground­ing is a manda­to­ry mea­sure to ensure the safe­ty of oper­a­tion of gas equip­ment, regard­less of the planned dura­tion of use of the boil­er. In the absence of ground­ing, a per­mit for the oper­a­tion of the heat­ing sys­tem will not be issued by the super­vi­so­ry tech­ni­cal ser­vices.

It must be under­stood that as a result of fric­tion of mech­a­nism parts against each oth­er and gas on the inner sur­face of the pipes, a sta­t­ic charge accu­mu­lates on the sys­tem case, which is not only unpleas­ant when touched, but also is a spark-form­ing fac­tor and can cause a gas explo­sion when it leaks. In addi­tion, sta­t­ic elec­tric­i­ty inter­feres with the oper­a­tion of automa­tion, which, in turn, leads to incor­rect oper­a­tion of the heat­ing sys­tem as a whole.

If you are going to make the ground­ing of a gas boil­er your­self, you need to under­stand that for this you need to have cer­tain knowl­edge in elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing. If you are not an expert in this area, it is bet­ter to con­tact spe­cial­ists. This will elim­i­nate doubts about the cor­rect exe­cu­tion and ensure the safe­ty and dura­bil­i­ty of equip­ment oper­a­tion.

Basic Rules

It should be not­ed right away that high­er require­ments are imposed on the ground­ing of a gas boil­er than on an iden­ti­cal oper­at­ing con­di­tion for con­ven­tion­al elec­tri­cal appli­ances. There­fore, this issue must be tak­en seri­ous­ly.

There are sev­er­al basic ways to cre­ate a ground:

  1. Buy a ready-made kit and mount it on site. It con­tains all the nec­es­sary ele­ments. In this case, the instal­la­tion is sim­ple, and the con­nec­tion to the boil­er does not take long, regard­less of whether it is sin­gle or dou­ble cir­cuit. All you need is a small plot of land — no more than a square meter. Instal­la­tion is pos­si­ble near the house or even in the base­ment.
  2. Make your own ground­ing ele­ment. To do this, you need to have a weld­ing machine, grinder, sledge­ham­mer steel cor­ner 60x60, 75x75 or 80x80 mm and strip steel 3 mm thick.


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The ground­ing check is car­ried out before turn­ing on the gas boil­er by a spe­cial­ist who under­stands this issue. He will deter­mine not only the total resis­tance, but also con­duct appro­pri­ate tests with soil con­duc­tiv­i­ty.

Con­trol author­i­ties rec­om­mend buy­ing ready-made designs in order to def­i­nite­ly not make a mis­take. Although, if nec­es­sary, every­thing can be done with your own hands.

How to do it?

Ground­ing is a con­nec­tion by an elec­tri­cal wire of equip­ment with con­duc­tive elec­trodes of an exter­nal ground­ing cir­cuit, capa­ble of accept­ing and even­ly dis­charg­ing elec­tric cur­rent to the ground in the event of a short cir­cuit in the elec­tri­cal wiring to the equip­ment case.

Many, although they know that this is nec­es­sary, nev­er­the­less do not under­stand how to make ground­ing. At the same time, the work on the instal­la­tion of ground­ing is not very labo­ri­ous and does not require spe­cial pro­fes­sion­al skills.

Exter­nal cir­cuit device:

  1. Near the wall through which the ground wire will come out, accord­ing to the above scheme, mark­ings are made for the struc­ture.
  2. Along the ver­tices of a con­di­tion­al tri­an­gle, elec­trode pins from a steel angle, 2–2.5 m long each, are dri­ven into the ground with the help of a sledge­ham­mer, their excess lengths are cut off at ground lev­el. A trench is dug between the clogged pins to a depth of a shov­el bay­o­net, and the rods are con­nect­ed by elec­tric weld­ing with strip steel so that after fill­ing the trench, the strip is 10–15 cm below ground lev­el. Then anoth­er piece is weld­ed to the tri­an­gle of strip steel to the wall of the house, and also along a dug trench, a strip is brought to the wall.
  3. The end of the strip is secure­ly attached to the wall or brought into the house through the hole made, and the equip­ment ground wire is con­nect­ed to it.

Examination

Dur­ing the per­for­mance of work with your own hands, it is nec­es­sary to take into account the require­ments that are set by the rel­e­vant author­i­ties:

  1. drag coef­fi­cient. It can vary from 10 to 50 ohms — it all depends on the ground. In ordi­nary soil, reg­u­la­to­ry orga­ni­za­tions allow an indi­ca­tor of 10 ohms.
  2. Con­duc­tiv­i­ty. For nor­mal soil, no more than 50 ohms are allowed.

Impor­tant! Resis­tance coef­fi­cient mea­sure­ments can be car­ried out accord­ing to dif­fer­ent doc­u­ments. It is best to know in advance what stan­dards will be assessed.

The mea­sure­ment of ground resis­tance for a gas boil­er is car­ried out with spe­cial devices of var­i­ous mod­i­fi­ca­tions. They are rel­a­tive­ly inex­pen­sive. If your pro­fes­sion is not relat­ed to elec­tric­i­ty, it is bet­ter to entrust the con­trol mea­sure­ment of resis­tance to a pro­fes­sion­al. It makes no sense to acquire and mas­ter the device because of a one-time need.

After the instal­la­tion, con­nec­tion and self-test­ing has passed, you can call the inspec­tor for pro­fes­sion­al diag­nos­tics and enter­ing the device into the reg­is­ter. The inspec­tor’s remarks are bind­ing and post­pone the com­mis­sion­ing of the sys­tem until they are cor­rect­ed. It should be remem­bered that the super­vi­so­ry par­tic­i­pa­tion of the inspec­tor in assess­ing the con­di­tion of the installed gas equip­ment is, first of all, a guar­an­tee of your per­son­al safe­ty and the safe­ty of oth­ers, not to men­tion ensur­ing the dura­bil­i­ty of an expen­sive heat­ing sys­tem.

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