This how-to article explains several ways to properly ground an ESD floor. Detailed instructions supported by illustrations for an easy-to-follow field guide.
Need additional information about specific ESD products? Visit our Staticworx product site.
Grounding an ESD floor is straightforward and easy.
Conductive adhesive eliminates the need for expensive copper equipotential grounding grids of the past.
The conductive adhesive is linked to ground with copper connector straps placed at the perimeters of the room. The straps, usually about 24” long, can be attached to electrical outlets, conduit, building steel, or a dedicated grounding bar. Only one connection is necessary for every 1000 square feet of contiguous ESD flooring.
Grounding Method 1: Easiest
Grounding to an ESD Electrical Outlet
Grounding conductive and static-dissipative tile and sheet flooring to an AC electrical outlet is the easiest and most common grounding method.
Caution: Only use electrical receptacles/outlets that have been previously tested using an approved circuit tester complying with CSA and/or UL standards.
- Screw driver
- 24-inch copper grounding strap
- ESD flooring
- Conductive adhesive.
One copper grounding strap should be installed for every 1000 square feet of ESD flooring. Each room should have at least one grounding strap.
Remove center screw on cover of AC electrical outlet using a screw driver.
Locate and remove grounding screw inside AC electrical outlet.
Punch small hole in 24″ copper grounding strap (provided with Staticworx ESD flooring). The hole should be smaller than the head of the screw removed in Step 2.
Secure copper strap to the AC electrical outlet with the same screw removed in step 2.
Allow 24″ copper strap to run down wall to subfloor (concrete, etc.).
Fold copper at a 90-degree angle at the point where the wall meets the floor. Lay remainder of copper strap flat on the subfloor. The strap can be placed directly on the concrete subfloor in advance of installation or pressed into the conductive adhesive during installation.
At least 6 inches of copper should contact the floor. If the copper is applied directly to bare concrete or another subfloor, it will need to be covered with conductive adhesive during the installation.
Cover copper strap on floor with conductive adhesive and new flooring material. For a cleaner installation, copper should be covered by wall base.
Finish installation by re-attaching AC outlet cover with screw removed in step 1.
Any electrical outlet can be tested using a ground plug tester.
A Ground Plug Adapter is equipped with three indicating lights. The ONLY indication that is acceptable for the Ground Plug Adapter to be in use is with the two outer “CIRCUIT OK” lights energized, i.e., Lights #1 and #3 ON, Light #2 OFF.
|Light #1||Light #2||Light #3|
If any other condition exists, do not use the receptacle or the Ground Plug Adapter until tested and approved by a qualified electrician.
Examples of wiring defects include, but are not limited to the conditions described below:
- OPEN GROUND WIRE – The equipment grounding conductor is not complete.
- REVERSE POLARITY – The hot and the neutral circuit conductors are reversed.
- OPEN HOT WIRE – The hot circuit conductor is open from a blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker, switch off, broken wire, etc.
- OPEN NEUTRAL WIRE – The neutral circuit conductor is open.
- HOT AND GROUND REVERSED – The hot circuit conductor and the grounding conductor are reversed.
- HOT ON NEUTRAL AND HOT OPEN – The hot circuit conductor is connected to neutral terminal and the hot terminal is unwired.
Alternative Grounding Methods
Grounding Method 2: Grounding to a Natural Earth Ground
If the floor will be installed on-grade or below grade, a copper grounding rod can be driven into the ground, creating an earth ground for the floor.
Drive the 4- to 6-foot rod into the ground until only 2 or 3 inches of the rod remains exposed.
Attach the copper-grounding strap to the exposed end of the rod using a grounding clamp, usually sourced from the same manufacturer as the grounding rod (refer to www.stormgrounding.com.) If necessary, a #10 or #12 wire can be attached to the grounding rod.
Run the wire from the rod to the grounding strap, and tie it to the strap with a wire nut.
Grounding Method 3: Grounding to an Earth Ground
If the building is constructed with exposed steel support columns, the copper grounding strap can be attached directly to one or more of the columns.
Affix the grounding strap to the tile as described in paragraph one.
Drill a hole in the support column.
With a grounding screw or clamp, attach the end of the copper strap directly to the column. Or mount a grounding clamp to the column and use it to clamp the copper strap.
Copper grounding straps should be attached to aluminum studs using sheet metal screws and a washer.
A continuity test should be conducted with a volt ohm meter (VOM) to confirm a compliant electrical ground connection between the copper strap and electrical ground.
Copper bus bars can serve as a dedicated Common Point ESD Flooring Ground Connection.
Copper ground straps may also be adhered to structural I beams.
Note: The beams must be bare metal. Paints and coatings must be removed from beams prior to attaching copper straps.
AC Equipment Ground
a) The ground point at which the equipment grounding conductor is bonded to any piece of equipment, at the equipment end of the conductor in a single-phase 120VAC electrical service.
b) The 3rd wire (green/green with yellow strap) terminal of a receptacle.
c) The entire low impedance path (electrically equivalent to the equipment grounding conductor) from a piece of electrical equipment to the neutral bus at the main service equipment.
Common Connection Point
A device or location (less than 1 ohm within itself) where the conductors of two or more ESD technical elements are connected in order to bring the ungrounded ESD technical elements to the same electrical potential through equipotential bonding.
Common Point Ground
A grounded device or location where the conductors of one or more technical elements are bonded.
a) A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.
b) The position or portion of an electrical current at zero potential with respect to the earth.
c) A conducting body, such as the earth or the hull of a steel ship used as a return path for electric currents and as an arbitrary zero reference point.
ESDA Technical Requirements – Grounding
|< 1.0 ohm|
|< 25 ohms to the|
|< 1.0 x 10E9|
Please note: Staticworx® carpet, tile, and sheet flooring installations utilize conductive adhesives. Copper ground straps are supplied with every Staticworx® flooring shipment.
- 7 Common Mistakes Selecting an ESD floor
- Choosing ESD Flooring for:
- ESD Footwear: What Is It and When Is It Necessary?
- Facility Managers’ Guide to Selecting ESD Flooring
- Keeping Architects Grounded
- The Need for Due Diligence in Specifying Static-Free Flooring
- Standard of Care for Specifying Floors in Mission-Critical Spaces
- Static-Control Footwear for Electronics Manufacturing and Handling Applications
- Understanding the Hidden Costs of ESD Flooring
With Staticworx ESD flooring, you never have to choose between performance and aesthetics. Our beautiful, high quality ESD carpet tile, vinyl, EC rubber tile and sheet goods, and ESD epoxy floors are as beautiful as they are functional.