Machines that can harness the power of electricity are perhaps some of the most important innovations in human history. With them, we can power homes, create manufactured goods, and control our environment to an extent hitherto undreamt of.
However, the fact that we have mastered the art of harnessing electricity doesn’t diminish its raw power nor its potential danger. That’s why a grounding system is imperative to the safety of those working with electrical machinery. And to ensure that system is effective, knowing how often you should test your ground system is key.
What Is Ground System Testing?
Before addressing the question of how often one should test a ground system, it’s good to review the basics of ground system testing. As you may know, a grounding system connects an electrical system or electrical equipment to the earth. A ground system test ensures that a new ground system will function or that an existing system is still functioning.
These tests focus on checking the resistivity of the surrounding soil and the functionality of the grounding stakes themselves. Engineers typically use stakeless and four-point tests for the former, while fall-of-potential and selective testing is more common for the latter.
The Importance of Ground System Testing
When you consider the importance of effective grounding systems, it’s easy to recognize the importance of testing them. When a lightning strike occurs near your facility, the ensuing energy can enter your system as it tries to move toward the ground. If there is no viable connection to the earth, that energy will overload your system, damaging the material and erasing data.
More concerningly, if energy enters a non-grounded system while people are standing nearby, the energy can jump to the person, causing shocks or even electrocution. It may also jump to other items, causing dangerous fires or arc flashes.
How Often Should Your Perform Ground System Testing?
As soon as you install a grounding system, you should arrange for the system to be tested to ensure it will serve your facility’s purposes. Afterward, you should be able to get away with testing once a year. However, in regions where the climate changes dramatically throughout the seasons, you may want to consider checking the systems every five to nine months. You should also check it every time the system undergoes repairs.
At Dreiym Engineering, we understand electricity and electrical equipment. If you’re looking for a ground testing company, you can be sure we will provide your facility with reliable ground tests.