This site has no connection to EarthFX, the company that makes Earthing products and owns the registered trademark, EARTHING®. But we are very grateful to the inventors of Earthing, and especially to Mr. Clint Ober, who deserves the Nobel Prize many times over.
Once you have tried out the DIY device described below, if you find it effective, please express your appreciation to Mr. Ober by going to earthing.com and purchasing one of their fine products. It could be for another room of your house or for a friend. Thanks very much!
Grounding (also known as "Earthing") is a way of conducting the energy of the Earth to your body. Humans evolved walking barefoot, so our physiology depends on this electrical grounding to function properly. The theory and research on Earthing is discussed fully at the website earthinginstitute.net.
Here is a short video that summarizes the principles of Earthing:
The device described below is electrically identical to the ones sold commercially. It has been made by thousands of do-it-yourselfers with great success. It can be made in three ways:
Stick a copper ground rod (or a 12” piece of copper pipe) in the Earth and attach a wire from it into the house through a window or through a hole in the wall.
Use the ground hole in a standard outlet and connect this ground to a wire.
Attach a wire to the cold water pipe under the kitchen or bathroom sink. This method is the simplest of the three. No need to drill a hole in the wall and no need to deal with electrical outlets.
Method 1 - Using the Ground Rod
Stick the rod or the pipe in the ground near a window or near the hole that you drilled in the wall. Three-quarters of the rod should be underground. Get a length of wire which will reach into the house. Stranded wire is best, since it should be flexible, once the device is attached to your body. 18 gauge wire is thick enough, but a thicker gauge will also work fine. Strip the insulation from the end of it and connect it to the ground rod, using some duct tape.
Run the wire into the house through a window, or through a hole drilled in the wall.
Get a 1/2” copper coupling in the plumbing department of a hardware store. Pound it with a hammer or squeeze it with a vise-grip until it's almost flat, but still will allow a wire to be inserted. Strip off about an inch of insulation, fold the bare wire back onto the insulated part and insert the wire into the opening.
Before inserting, wrap a little tape around the area where edge of the coupling could cut the wire. Pound or squeeze the coupling until it grabs the wire (but don't pound so hard that the wire is cut.) If any of the corners are sharp, smooth them with a file or some sandpaper.
Then, to do your grounding, drop the flattened coupling in your sock, and keep it there when sleeping, watching TV, working at the computer, etc.
If it tends to fall out, tie the wire loosely around your ankle or calf before putting the coupling in your sock. To double the grounding dose, make a duplicate device (attached to the same copper ground rod) and put it in your other sock.
Some people prefer to keep the coupling near their wrist instead of their ankle. A tennis wristband or a sock cut in half can be used to hold it against the wrist. You can even use 3 couplings at once.
Note: Conductive socks greatly enhance the effect. They turn the whole foot into a conductor. (See Tips section below.)
As an alternative to the copper coupling, you can use an alligator clip. Just connect the wire to the clip in the normal way and drop the clip into your sock. In this case, don't think of it as a clip, just as a hunk of metal.
One more tip: In arid climates or sandy soil, the ground rod should be watered once a week to improve conductivity. Even if the climate is not arid, it's a good idea to water the ground rod whenever there's been no rain for a while.
Method 2 - Using an Electrical Outlet
Get a grounded plug at a hardware store.
At an electronics store like Radio Shack, get a 100 K ohm resistor (1/2 watt).
Attach a short wire (about 12”) to the ground terminal on the plug. Attach one lead of the resistor to the other end of the wire.
Attach a long wire (about 10 feet long) to the other lead. Use lots of tape to avoid putting any stress on the resistor if you pull on the wire.
For the copper coupling, follow the same instructions as in method 1. If you want to use two couplings (for both socks), attach another 10-foot length of wire to the same resistor lead. If two or three people are grounding at the same time, it does not "dilute" the effect on each person.
The completed device should look like this.
Important: Test the outlet for proper grounding before plugging in the Earthing device. Use an outlet checker like this one (available at any hardware store or at Wal-Mart.)
This video explains how to use it.
Method 3 - Using the Cold-Water Pipe Under the Sink
Strip off one inch of insulation from a long piece of wire (around 10 feet).
Tie the wire around the cold water pipe. This way, the wire, not the connection, will take the strain in case you accidentally tug on the wire.
Tape the bare end (where you stripped off the insulation) to the copper pipe. First make sure the pipe is dry, so the tape will stick. If your pipes are plastic, tape the wire to the brass cutoff valve. It might be easier to attach the wire to the valve with an alligator clip. If your valve is also made of plastic then you'll have to use a ground rod or an electrical outlet instead.
For the copper coupling, follow the same instructions as in method 1. Multiple wires can branch off from the original wire with no loss of effectiveness. So, many devices can be in use (by many people) simultaneously.
Testing the Device
Use a circuit tester to test for continuity and proper grounding. This test will work whether you used method 1, 2, or 3.
If you used method 2 (the plug-in version), plug the grounding device into the bottom receptacle of an outlet.
For ANY of the three methods, insert one probe of the tester (either color) in the small slot of the top receptacle.
Touch the other probe to the flattened coupling. If the tester lights up, you've got good grounding and good continuity.
Repeat the test every two weeks to make sure the device is working properly and no wires have come loose.
Conductive socks greatly enhance the effect. They turn the whole foot into a conductor. They vary greatly in price, so check Ebay for "X-Static socks".
Another important technique is to position the coupling at the ball of your foot.
This acupuncture point is known as "Kidney 1" and is the natural energy conductor when humans walk barefoot.
Instead of a coupling, you can use a short piece of copper pipe (2-3 inches long). The diameter of the pipe can be 1/2" or 3/4". Flatten it using the same method described for the coupling.
For the plug, you can use an old computer power cord. They practically give them away at thrift stores. Cut off the female end. Then use a utility knife to remove the outer insulation. You'll see 3 wires, one black, one white and one green. The green wire is the ground. Cut off the black and white wires and save them for connecting to the coupling(s). Make the black stub 1 inch longer than the white stub (to keep them apart). Wrap lots of tape around the stubs for safety. Proceed as described in the main steps above.
You can also make an grounding device for your car.
Just attach the wire to the frame (any metal under the seat) using an alligator clip. File or sand off the paint for a better connection. This device prevents static buildup on your body and reduces fatigue while driving or riding in a car.
If you work at a computer, you can keep yourself grounded very simply. Get a 5-7 foot long piece of wire. Attach an alligator clip (uninsulated) to each end. Attach one of the clips to the chassis of your computer (the fan's outlet is a good place.) Put the other clip in your sock so it touches your ankle or foot. Then your body will be electrically grounded, since the computer's chassis is grounded. It will help to neutralize the EMF pollution that pervades the modern office.
Do not omit the 100K ohm resistor if you are plugging the device into the wall. It's a safety feature, in case there is a short in the building's wiring.
Do not use any grounding device in a thunderstorm.
According to the earthing website: "Research has demonstrated that earthing the body plays a substantial role in the reduction of inflammation and functioning of other physiological processes. On this basis, it is strongly recommended that individuals taking medication to thin the blood, regulate blood sugar, control blood pressure, or to regulate hormone thyroid levels, consult their doctor for advice and a medication monitoring routine before they begin sleeping earthed."
Earthing shoes can be purchased from various companies. But be advised that they only work on dirt or grass. Concrete is a poor conductor, especially if sealed or painted. Concrete is usually poured over a plastic moisture barrier. One source for high-quality grounded sandals is Earth Runners.