Current in ground rods


Old 08-07-09, 10:49 AM
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Current in ground rods

I just ran a ammeter test on my ground rods underneath my meter, both rods are practicaly together about a inch and half apart, they could of pounded them in together with the same hammer. Each reads 5.1 amps, now I have a buried line running to a sub panel (yes one of those again)in my workshop. I tested the the circuit at my breaker panel and got 9amps I then tested the sub panel and got 8.5 amps. I clamped my meter on one of the ground rods and had someone flip the breaker to the sub panel off and the ampherage drop to 1.4 on the ammeter.High usage has been a problem for 10 years that I have owned this house, high to the tune of over 100 KWH per day in the summer.We have had licensed electricians, 12, out looking for a reason.The area around the rods is damp due to a rain the other day, I have checked those grounds before but I think it was in the winter when the ground was dry. Could there be a cut in the wire that leaks out current.
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Old 08-07-09, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by atcrafts View Post
Could there be a cut in the wire that leaks out current.
Yes there could be, but I find it really hard to believe that it could be damaged for 10 years and not completely corrode through the wire. Having some measured current in the ground rod is normal, so that in itself is not necessarily a sign of a problem. High usage is often caused by an old or failing appliance like a water heater element, bad fridge compressor, bad fridge seals or heat tapes. The idea of a leaky cable is very easy to test though.

1) Turn off all breakers in the workshop subpanel.
2) Turn off all breakers in the main panel except the main breaker and the feeder breaker to the workshop subpanel.
3) Observe the meter dial to see if it's spinning. If it is spinning at all, then you have a leak in the underground cable.

If you suspect it's related to moisture, make sure to run the test when the ground is wet.
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