Monday, 24 February 2014

Earth testers for simpler, faster testing!

Two new Earth Ground Testers, indispensable troubleshooting tools to help maintain uptime and lower the risk of electric shock to personnel ahve been introduced by Fluke. Their 1623-2 and 1625-2 GEO Earth Ground Testers offer automated data collection and storage, with download capabilities via a USB port, eliminating data entry and recording errors. The choice of models targets electrical contractors, industrial maintenance technicians and power utilities and telecom engineers. The higher end 1625-2 features Automatic Frequency Control (AFC) which identifies interference and chooses measurement frequency to provide an even more accurate earth ground value. Optional colour coded wires provide easier identification and deploying of wire reels and stakes, thus offering faster setup.

A lack of proper grounding also increases the risk of equipment failure. Without an effective grounding system, electrical devices are subject to instrumentation errors, harmonic distortion issues, power factor problems and a host of possible intermittent dilemmas. Studies show that as much as 25% of power quality problems are related to poor grounding. The new IP56-rated Fluke 1623-2 and 1652-2 GEO Earth Ground Testers can perform all four types of earth ground measurement:

  • 3- and 4-pole Fall of Potential (using stakes)
  • 4-pole Soil Resistivity testing (using stakes)
  • Selective testing (using 1 clamp and stakes)
  • Stakeless testing (using 2 clamps only)

The testers are also easy to use. For each test, the tester indicates which stakes or clamps need to be connected and the large rotary switch can be used even with a gloved hand. Other advanced features on the Fluke 1625-2 include R* measurement, which calculates earth ground impedance at 55Hz to more accurately reflect the earth ground resistance than a fault-to earth ground would see, and adjustable limits for quicker testing.

With the stakeless test method, two clamps are placed around the earth ground rod and both are connected to the tester: no earth ground stakes are used at all. The tester automatically determines the resistance of the earth ground rod which does not need to be disconnected - leaving the bonded earth ground system intact during test. This enables tests inside buildings, of power pylons, and anywhere there is no access to soil. This test method only works if a bonded earth ground system exists for the building or structure under test, but most are. If there is only one path to ground, as at many residential applications, the stakeless method will not provide an acceptable value and the Fall of Potential test method must be used.

Available also as complete kits, these come with the 1623-2 or 1625-2 tester, test leads, 4 earth ground stakes, 3 cable reels with wire, 2 clamps, batteries, and manual - all inside a professional Fluke carrying case.

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