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Why Cable Gland Earthing Is Required - Northern Connectors


Cable glands are vital components of any system. They provide support and protection to connections between cables, or from cables to devices, including resistance to ingress by water, solid matter or other elements. They also help to take pressure off cables by holding them firmly, thereby preventing wear or disconnection at vulnerable points, and can offer any additional protection that may be necessary - for example, in applications where there is a heightened risk of explosions or extreme temperatures.

In addition to these benefits, cable glands provide earthing, which is a vital safety function that should not be overlooked. In case you are unaware, the experts at Northern Connectors will take this opportunity to explain why cable gland earthing is required from a safety perspective, and how you can go about ensuring that any product you choose meets the needs of your application.

How does earthing improve safety?

To begin answering this question, it is important to clarify how earthing itself works, before discussing why it is important for cable glands to enable this. Earthing is a vital aspect of electrical safety that helps to prevent electric shocks. In basic terms, an electrical current that is not connected to a circuit - for example, from a wire that has come loose - will try to reach the ground via any conductor it can find. Because human beings conduct electricity, a person could easily be shocked by a loose wire as the current inside tries to find the shortest pathway toward the earth.

The presence of an earth wire means that, should a connection come loose, the electrical current is channelled back towards the earth through this wire instead of through nearby objects or people. The wire is usually made of copper and therefore represents the path of least resistance for the electrical current to reach the ground. This mitigates the risk of electric shock, and will also serve to trip the fuse inside the plug and quickly shut off the power.

Most buildings will have an earth rod or plate, and the electricity will be drawn towards this point via the earth cable. Depending on the casing of the wire, it might also offer additional protection from fire or risk factors associated with unsecured electrical current, although this may not be necessary for all applications.

Why is cable gland earthing necessary?

Cable glands are not usually an endpoint in a network and as a result, they will not have an earth wire in the same way that a plug socket usually does. For this reason, it may be necessary to purchase earth tags or clamps for your cable glands, which can connect a gland or other vulnerable point in the system to an external earth wire or earth rod. This then provides the same earthing functionality and prevents the gland from becoming electrified in the event that a wire comes loose.

When installing an earth tag or clamp, it is vital to make sure that the electricity in your system is switched off and that devices are isolated, so there is no chance of the power turning back on accidentally. This is true whether the gland has been effectively earthed or not, as there is still a significant risk to health when working with live electrical wires.

Find out more

If you want to know more about cable glands or need guidance with selecting a suitable solution for your application, Northern Connectors is here to help.

You can explore the glands & cable protection section of our website, call us on 01744 815001, or complete our online contact form and we will be in touch at the nearest opportunity.

Technical expertise is just a click away. For rapid service & personalised support, complete the following form or call 01744 815 001

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