Proper grounding provides many varied benefits to both people and facilities. It lessens the chance of injury due to faulty installation, reduces the likelihood of damage from lightning strikes and induced voltages, improves the performance of computer, communication and other sensitive equipment and protects against static electricity from friction. Over time, ground systems can degrade or become ineffective.
Corrosion and weather influences exert mechanical strain on ground rods and cause metallic corrosion. Catastrophic events like lightning strikes or large fault currents can cause instant degradation. In addition, facility expansion can create different ground system needs. The risks from ground system deterioration include potentially deadly electrical shock situations, plant-wide equipment damage, disruption in the performance of sensitive equipment and heat build-up on a single piece of electrical equipment.
The maintenance of an adequate low resistance ground connection is essential to both the protection and performance of any electrical system. Ground testing should be performed both upon installation, to meet design specification, and periodically thereafter in order to maintain service. All models can also perform bonding tests (using an ac signal), to determine that adequate connection has been made from equipment to the grounding system.
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