Ground Fault Testing
Have you been told you need a ground fault test in order to get your job signed off? Hampton Tedder Technical Services has you covered, and can provide a NETA professional on site within 24 hours to satisfy your ground fault test requirement. Learn more about ground faults below or contact us today to schedule your ground fault test.
What are Ground Faults?
Ground faults are dangerous events that occur when an energized electrical conductor makes contact with ground. Depending on where the electricity comes from, that contact can result in a massive amount of energy release that can be hotter than the surface of the sun! That explosion can result in injury to nearby individuals and can result in a fire. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has recognized this serious hazard and has updated it code, the National Electrical Code (NEC), in 1971 to put requirements in place in order to avoid or mitigate this potentially hazardous event.
Why are Ground Fault tests needed?
Primary current injection performance testing of ground fault systems is a mandatory test per the NEC section 230-95(C). The NFPA recognized, in part from the information provided by the International Electrical Testing Association (NETA) members, that about fifteen percent (15%) of ground fault protection systems were improperly installed, contained defective components, or did not operate correctly. Thus, the NFPA made the performance testing mandatory in 1978. Ground fault testing involves simulating a high current fault on the electrical system, and verifying the system operates and isolates the fault in a safe and expedient manner, as designed. Hampton Tedder Technical Services has been around since 1972 and is a NETA Accredited Company. We are experts in performing these ground fault tests to satify this code requirement.
What problems are found in a Ground Fault test?
Ground fault testing involves performance testing the whole system for a ground fault. That system can have many components that are improperly installed, defective, or non-operable. Some of the main concerns are: missing or undersized main bonding jumper or ground electrode, inadvertent ground on the downstream neutral wiring or neutral wiring incomplete, neutral sensor primary or secondary polarity incorrect, main overcurrent device sensor polarity incorrect, and ground fault not properly set. Any of these issues can result in a ground fault protection system not operating correctly, and many of them cannot be determined without primary current injection testing onsite.
Who performs Ground Fault tests?
Ground fault testing, per the NEC, is to be performed by a qualified person(s). A qualified person is defined as “one who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved” – NFPA 70 section 100. Ground fault testing can be hazardous because many owners do not understand that the system has to be offline to perform this test. This test is usually performed on the main incoming feed to a facility. Which means to have the system offline, you need a utility outage to the facility. By hiring a NETA Accredited Company, like Hampton Tedder Technical Services, you are ensuring that the technicians onsite are qualified person(s), who can recognize these and other hazards, and will provide you documentation that will satisfy your Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), allowing you to energize your facility.
How much does Ground Fault testing cost?
The cost for Ground Fault testing starts at $2,200.