Compliance Testing

The ground system is critical for the protection, reliability, and performance of sensitive equipment. Verifying that a newly installed grounding system, or your “old” one meets the specification is very important for many reasons.

1. Validation of Design/Construction
2. Validation of Equipment Warranty
3. Establishment of baseline for future testing

Two methods are commonly utilized for compliance testing. The first is the 3-Point Fall of Potential test. This IEEE standard is the most recognized. The vast majority of these tests are invalid. There are two primary reasons. One, the ground system must be electrically isolated, which is often impossible to do. If not isolated, the test result will always be extremely low, even if the system has several hundred ohms of resistance. Two, the test may require a probe to be installed several hundred feet from the system under test. This is often impractical, but if not done, the test will be invalid.

The second method of test is using the AEMC 3711 Clamp-On meter. The meter is extremely convenient when properly used. It must be installed such that all the current it induces flows through the ground system and returns via the utility neutral.

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