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Grounding is an absolutely essential part of an electrical installation or system. Proper grounding ensures that the electrical system is safe for use at all times and that electricity flows to earth, rather than through a nearby conductor such as a human.
Grounding systems are actually different to conventional installations - whereas a normal electrical installation will have a ground wire built in to direct the flow of current, grounding systems only have current flow when there is a problem. Grounding systems create a path for current to flow, but during a problem, current can range from a couple of mA of unwanted static charge to induced voltages or fault currents of several thousand amps. Current flowing to ground through a grounding system is not constrained to follow any given path to earth as current would in a normal circuit.
Since this is the case, specialist earth testing equipment is required to ensure that earth grounding systems have overall resistance up to a maximum of 25Ω, which is the standard defined to ensure the overall safety of grounding installation. Although this is the overall standard of resistance, several devices experience problems with ground resistance of this level, and specialist earth equipment can be used with sensitivty electronic equipment to carry out proper earth grounding as necessary.
Earth testing equipment allows for different kinds of earth grounding to be installed correctly. No matter whether you're carrying out earth grounding in buildings, on equipment or electronics, there's a piece of equipment in store that can do that.
Proper grounding requires extensive testing procedures before, during and after the installation of the grounding. Earth testers and other earth testing equipment are used regularly in this field to carry out testing procedures on grounding, allowing users to test such things as voltage measurements (system voltage and static electricity voltages), current measurements (system currents and leakage currents) and resistance measurements (ground system resistance, soil resistance and soil PH measurements).
There are many different types of earth tester, suitable for a wide array of different earthing applications. There's clamp-on ammeters, clamp-on leakage current meters, electrostatic locator meters, multimeters, three-terminal ground resistance meters, four-terminal ground resistance meters and soil pH meters. There's also a selection of accessories available for these different products that expand the overall capabilities of the tester. Example accessories used with earth testers included earth spikes, cable reels and attachable optional clamps.
The following equipment types are suitable for the following grounding applications:
|Test or Measurement||Test Instrument|
|Measuring circuit, system or ground voltages||Standard voltmeter|
|Measuring circuit or system current||Standard clamp-on ammeter|
|Measuring ground leakage current||Clamp-on leakage current meter|
|Measuring static electrical charges||Electrostatic discharge meter|
Measuring earth ground system (ground rod/grid, ground connections
etc.) resistance without connecting the earth ground to the building grounding system
|Clamp-on ground resistance meter|
Measuring earth ground system (ground rod/grid, ground connectionsetc.) resistance before connecting the earth ground to the building grounding system
|3-terminal ground resistance meter|
|Measuring the earth's resistance (resistivity)||4-terminal ground resistance meter|
|Measuring soil pH||pH meter|