Strange question perhaps, but I was wondering if anyone knows if a Pi would in theory consume more energy when the GND pin is connected to pin #16? I have an interactive piece of software running on the oi that changes what video is playing when a switch is pressed and the connection between GND and pin 16 is made. I'm just trying to understand if my overall power consumption will be different if no one interacts with it, versus if that switch is constantly being interacted with all day.

  • Your question is unclear because of this: "I have an interactive thing with a switch, ..." Are you following a tutorial, or setup instructions by connecting pin #16 to GND? Exactly what is the interactive thing? Trying to see through the fog you've laid w/ your question, I suspect the answer depends upon the nature of the interactive thing. Can you explain that?
    – Seamus
    Aug 18, 2023 at 18:01
  • All the GND pins are connected together on the RPi board. So connecting to any one GND pin is equal to every other GND pin. pinout.xyz/pinout/ground Also PIN#16 is NOT a GND pin.
    – Dougie
    Aug 18, 2023 at 19:57
  • @Dougie yes of course I never said 16 is GND. Why would I have a switch connecting GND to GND anyway? Not sure where you got that
    – dongle
    Aug 19, 2023 at 6:29
  • @Seamus edited for clarity. I think you were assuming there was a lot more going on that there is. The info you asked for has no bearing on power, but I’ve added it to satisfy your curiosity
    – dongle
    Aug 19, 2023 at 6:31
  • @dongle: In this case, the answer is YES, the RPi will draw more power (but hardly enough to get excited about).
    – Seamus
    Aug 19, 2023 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


Will the Pi consume more power if a GPIO is connected to ground?

If the GPIO is set to mode INPUT then the current draw will be effectively zero.

If the GPIO is set to mode OUTPUT and set LOW the current draw will be effectively zero.

If the GPIO is set to mode OUTPUT and set HIGH the current draw will be as high as the GPIO can supply (say 50 milliamps). This will likely destroy the GPIO and eventually the Pi.

  • second point isnt true, if the pin is set to ouput, and set low, the GPIO pin will now sync current through that low pin. (Assuming the connected device is being 'switched' on the low side)
    – Chad G
    Aug 18, 2023 at 21:51
  • @ChadG The question was purely about a GPIO connected to a ground pin. If the GPIO is connected to something else that is a separate question with a different answer.
    – joan
    Aug 19, 2023 at 8:39
  • I have tested and confirmed that #1 scenario you described is accurate, using a power usage meter
    – dongle
    Aug 21, 2023 at 21:05

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