The terms “grounding” and “bonding” are often misused even by electrical contractors. The terms are ambiguous because they mean different things to different people.

An electrical contractor must know the difference between both words so as to be able to advice their clients accordingly.

Grounding versus Bonding

Bounding and grounding offer safety and protection. They do this by creating a low impedance path. Although there is a bit of relationship between these two, they are quite different in the way they are applied. System failures and accidents may happen if grounding is not done properly. Hence electrical contractors must understand why they are extremely important.


Bonding means merging different electrical conductors by using another conductor. By doing this, the electrical potential across the combination will be maintained and current will no longer flow because both conductors have an equal potential, i.e., no potential difference. Bonding provides safety by ensuring there is no electrical discharge across conductors.


Here, conductors are connected to the ground through the use of another conductor such as a wire. It is very similar to “earthing” although there are a few big differences. With grounding, we try to achieve load equilibrium by deliberately establishing a connection to the earth. On the other hand, earthing is done to prevent shock and electrocution.

Why is it important to know the difference between grounding and bonding

  1. It helps electrical contractors prove that they understand certain NEC code and requirement.  
  2. It improves safety of people and equipment.
  3. By knowing the difference, electrical contractors can serve their customers better.

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