Asked in Electrical WiringSoil
How does different types of soil affect the type of electrical systems?
April 06, 2008 8:04PM
The only thing I can think of to such a vague question is; the grounding rods would have to be buried deeper in sandy, or marshy soil. Is this what you're after, or do you mean the construction and location of a powerplant? Different types soil have different electrical resistance properties. The higher the resistance in the soil the greater effect on the systems ability to establish a ground. A ground is used for multiple reasons, one being the return path for a 120volt system the other being a fault path for all systems. The lower the resistance at ground the quicker a fault will reach maximum current and opening of the protective device (less chance for fire to result). When the resistance of the soil is above a certain level measured with a ground resistance tester, normal excepted practices are no longer useful. There are many different methods some chemically applied some mechanically applied that can be utilized to reduce the resistance, the most suitable method is generally selected based on past experience and/or exceptability by the engineer responsible for the project. There are many things that affect the ability of soil to conduct electricity, as well as disapate it. Not only at the time of the test, but permanently. Without this ground and/or return path an electrical system becomes unsafe, unpredictable, and in most cases damaging to the 120v equipment that is connected to it.