Note: This procedure is hazardous. Do not attempt this if you are not familiar with electrical safety.

A lot of folks need to have a good grounding point when working with electricity or radios. Everyone that works with computers should have a static-free area to repair or replace electro-static discharge sensitive devices, like RAM and CPUs. Other folks want to ground their computer systems or use amateur radio equipment, which requires a safe electrical ground.

Some folks just use the cold water pipe in their house. There are many regulations in local US codes that prohibit using cold water pipes or gas lines for grounds. The best thing to do is to purchase a ten foot grounding rod and install it near where you need the grounding point.

Some soils do not give good conductance, so you need to test the grounding rod.

The first thing to do is use a multimeter to check the resistance between the ground socket on an outlet to the grounding rod. The resistance should not be infinity, but it most likely will not be zero. Soils and moisture content determine the conductivity of the system. Make sure you do not accidently stick the multimeter probe between the hot or neutral line, as you can be electrocuted.

The second test is particularly hazardous. It is commonly called the drill test. You need to run an extension cord out to the grounding rod. Do not use a ground-fault circuit. Now, take a standard wired electric drill and place the plug in off-center on the hot side.


  ______
 /      \                                        ____
|  ____  |                   ||   ||             |  |
| |____| |--------------->   ||   ||<----------->|  |
|        |                  _||___||_            |  |
|0       |                 |         |           |  |
|  ____  |                 |         |           |  |
| |____| |<-- no            \       /            |  |
|        |   connection      \_____/             |  |
 \______/                      | |               |  |
                               | |              Ground
 Outlet on                   Wire to              Rod
 Extension                    Drill
   Cord

NOTE: THE EXPOSED PLUG CAN ELECTROCUTE YOU. MAINTAIN SAFE PRACTICES, USE A HIGH-VOLTAGE GLOVE.

When you connect the second prong of the drill cord plug to the grounding rod, you should be able to run the drill. The principle behind this test is that the electrical service box must be properly grounded, and using the ground rod to simulate the neutral or ground should give you a complete circuit path.


SharQ says re How to test the electrical ground for a house: It is worth noting that this should never be attempted outside of the US: In europe, in some countries both prongs are live, for one thing.

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