From some of the discussions below, it appears some people still just dont understand (and likely NEVER will) the reasons for and differences between MOTHER EARTH GROUND and SAFETY EQUIPMENT GROUND.
Out at the Utility HV Primary and LV Secondary the NEUTRALS (A GrounDED Conductor) is connected to a huge copper wire leading down the pole to a "made" grounding Electrode, thats the common low voltage mother earth reference.
At the homes Service Entrance (often Weatherhead or Meter base or Panel) the LV Secondary Neutral GrounDED Conductor IS AGAIN WIRED TO A GROUNDING ELECTRODE CONDUCTOR THAT IS WIRED TO A GROUNDING ELECTRODE ("made" ones such as driven into earth rod or rods or other approved GroundING Electrodes)
NOW WE HAVE THE SYSTEM EARTH GROUNDED that helps with surges and electrical spikes and lightning and stray current and keeping the entire system at a common mother earth reference!!!!!!!! Get it???????????
Now at the main panel the Equipment Ground Buss and Neutral Buss are bonded together (and yes that Neutral has a tie to mother earth and its tied to the equipment Ground Buss)
EVERY BUILDINGS ELECTRICAL SERVICE (a few minor exceptions) REQUIRES GROUNDED be it the home or barn or shop etc
When you run say a 120 volt 3 wire (Hot, Neutral, Ground) branch circuit from that panel out to some receptacles THAT THIRD SAFETY EQUIPMENT GroundING CONDUCTOR is there intended to carry ONLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY fault current NOT normal return current which the Neutral GrounDED Conductor is there for.
NOW TRY TO UNDERSTAND THAT SAFETY EQUIPMENT GroundING Conductor is NOT the same as the earth GroundING of the Neutral !!!!!!!!!!! If you were standing barefoot on wet earth and were going to touch an appliance that had the hot wire shorted to its outer case/frame you touched
Just prior to that would you feel safer if
1) That appliance case was attached to a wire leading to a rod drivern in the ground
HINT lol with no safety equipment GroundING Conductor tied to the appliance case THERE WOULDNT BE SUFFICIENT CURRENT FLOW TO TRIP THE BREAKER AND DEENERGIZE THAT HOT CASE youre about to touch, but there could be (depends on earths resistance) sufficient current (say as low as 50 milliamps) to run from your hand to your feet via your ticker to kill you dead) if you touched it YIKES
2) The case was attatched to a wire that led back to the panels Equipment Ground Buss (thats also tied to the Neutral Buss)
HINT HMNNNNNNNNNNN that could carry enough fault current in the Equipment GroundiNG Conductor to trip the breaker before you touched it (I kinda like the sound of that before I touched it)
SO MAKE YOUR CHOICE I know mine and what the NEC would say.
DISCLAIMER AND FRUSTRATION GRRRRRRRRRRR
Ive been here like 15+ years and tried my darndest to explain this to the uninformed the untrained and the know it all Billy Bobs here BUT I CONTINUE TO FAIL, I'm not a good enough teacher and communicator and thats frustrating. HOWEVER being an optimist HEY I KEEP TRYING. I have to realize its IMPOSSIBLE for someone who was never formally trained nor experienced nor made this his lifes work to comprehend from a paragraph what may take volumes of books and years of practice to understand BUT STILL IM GONNA TRY MY BEST LOL
Yall take care now, dont take my word for any of this, you just might want to consult local trained competent trained professionals Electricians and Engineers and the NEC before the untrained Billy Bobs when your life is at stake, right??????????
John T Still trying