Engineering Question #4831

Steve T, a 40 year old male from glade valley asks on December 1, 2009,

If only one terminal of a battery is grounded to a pipe in the earth, regardless of which one terminal is grounded, will that battery drain or lose electrons to earth given time?

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The answer

Justin at answered on December 2, 2009

No. It won't drain to earth unless there is a return path via the other electrode. The battery will slowly self discharge over time, some chemistries much faster than others, but this happens regardless of whether a terminal is grounded or not.

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