How to Troubleshoot Electrical Grounding Issues in Commercial Buildings

How to Troubleshoot Electrical Grounding Issues in Commercial Buildings


Grounding issues in commercial buildings can cause a variety of electrical problems that range from minor annoyances to serious safety hazards. As the building owner, it is critical that you understand the principles of proper grounding and are able to effectively troubleshoot grounding problems when they arise. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the key aspects of electrical grounding in commercial buildings and provide actionable steps for diagnosing and resolving common grounding issues.

Understanding Electrical Grounding Fundamentals

To troubleshoot grounding issues, you first need to understand the purpose and function of grounding systems. Here are some key principles:

Understanding these key functions will help guide your troubleshooting approach.

Common Signs of Grounding Issues

Here are some of the most common indicators that your commercial building may have deficient grounding that requires troubleshooting:

Paying attention to these signs can allow you to proactively identify and correct grounding problems before a safety incident occurs.

Inspecting the Grounding Electrode System

The grounding electrode system provides the vital connection from the electrical system to the earth itself. Start your troubleshooting by thoroughly inspecting:

Ground Rods

Ground Ring

Bonding Conductors

Supplemental Electrodes

Remediate any issues discovered during this inspection before further troubleshooting.

Checking Main Service Grounding

With the grounding electrode system checked, next assess the main electrical service:

Correct any improper connections or high resistance readings at the main service panel.

Testing Feeder and Branch Circuit Grounding

Extend your troubleshooting to the remainder of the electrical system:


Branch Circuits

Remediate any poor connections or voltage disparities discovered.

EvaluatingSite Conditions

Also evaluate how local site conditions may be impacting the grounding effectiveness:

Mitigate any adverse site conditions present that may compromise grounding performance.


Thoroughly inspecting the grounding electrode system, main service equipment, feeders, and branch circuits allows you to identify and remedy deficiencies. Evaluating site conditions is also an important troubleshooting step. Taking these actions will help restore proper electrical grounding, preventing safety hazards and equipment damage in your commercial building.