Friday, July 20, 2012

Tips for Grounding Telephone Wire and Data Cable

We're going to talk about grounding but remember to select the proper protection for your equipment. Once selected the next step is making sure everything is grounded correctly.


Tip 1: Bonding - Bond or electrically connect together at a single point all of the grounds used for protectors. Typical grounds used for protectors are metal water pipes, grounding rods, well casings, chemical rods, etc. (Double check local building codes for options as local building codes do vary) The communications equipment is typically connected to the power companies multi-grounded neutral (MGN) system and is the best source for a single point ground. Connect the protector (primary and secondary) and cable shield grounds to the equipment grounds (i.e. Multi-Grounded Neutral) with a six AWG solid copper bonding wire.

Tip 2: Physical Connectors - Make sure to use the recommended ground wire size and UL listed ground wire connections. Any ground wire longer than 60 feet in length the next largest wire gauge should be installed. Use a large radius at each bend in the ground wire. DON'T coil the ground wire under any circumstances. Coil wire can act as an inductor that dramatically increase the resistance of the path to ground, jeopardizing the effectiveness of over-voltage devices.

Tip 3: Check Ground System Impedance - There are numerous brands of equipment and methods for checking the integrity of a grounding system. Pick one that test both continuity and the impedance (total resistance) with respect to a true ground. And ideal ground should have an impedance under .250 ohms.

Tip 4: Cable Shields - The metal cable shield should be bonded to the protector/ground systems on both ends of the cable.


Tip 5: Unused Cable Pairs - They must be grounded on the unprotected side of the protector.

Tip 6: Campus Building - Treat each building independently. Do all of these tips in each building.


The effectiveness of all over-voltage protectors relies in a path of least resistance for "dumping" transient voltages. The higher the resistance to ground the higher the true activation level is for a protector and the lower the better.

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"By Mercy Salinas"