Grounding the electrical installation
Whatever the type of building, an electrical installation must be grounded in order to ensure your safety. Grounding a new building is done using a ground loop, while ground rods are used for renovations.
The goal of this technique is to protect both assets and people. If one of your appliances is defective, evacuating fault currents to the ground will guarantee safety and prevent electrocution.
The process consists in creating a conductive bond between an electrical installation or an electrical appliance and the ground. If an insulation fault is detected, the current will be automatically cut off by a ground fault interrupter.
- The PE conductor wire must be distributed with all circuits: lighting and outlets.
- All metal components in the building are also grounded. These are the main and additional (primary and secondary) forms of equipotential bonding.
Grounding an electrical installation is mandatory in Belgium, whether it is a new building or an upgrade for a renovation. It must be validated by an approved inspection body and comply with the Règlement général sur les installations électriques (RGIE, ‘General Regulations for Electrical Installations’).
Ground loop for a new building
For a new building whose foundation is at least 60 cm deep, the procedure involves a ground loop with a cross-section of 35 mm2. It is installed at the base of the foundation parallel to the external walls and is covered with soil in order to prevent any contact with foundation materials. The ends of the loop must remain accessible and come together at the ground switch.
Ground rod for renovation
For an existing building with no or defective grounding, it is necessary to plant one or more ground rods in the soil. The minimum distance between two ground rods is 3 m. The tip of each rod must be inserted to a depth of at least 2.10 m with respect to ground level. The end must be buried to a minimum depth of 60 cm and connected to the ground clamp by means of a PE conductor wire with a minimum cross-section of 16 mm2.
- The main or primary equipotential bonding connects all the metal structures of the building to the ground clamp by means of a PE conductor wire with a minimum cross-section of 6 mm2. The relevant metal structures are steel beams, water pipes, gas pipes and heating pipes, as well as all the metal components in the building.
- The additional or secondary equipotential bonding connects the metal structures of the bathroom or shower room (bathtub, heating, outlet ground terminals) by means of a PE conductor wire with a minimum cross-section of 2.5 mm2. This connection can be made either to the ground clamp of an outlet in the bathroom or to the ground terminal of the BT electrical box.
Do you need to ground your building? Are you renovating a house and you need to bring your electrical installation up to code?
Call us on +32 (0)2/479 40 27 or request your free quote.