So, you think it’s grounded?

What is the total cost for a failed high voltage circuit – equipment materials, labor, and outages? During a recent test we discovered a new 138kV circuit breaker that was solidly connected to two grounding conductors but completely disconnected from the substation ground grid. Visually everything looked great. However, one fault, lightning strike or switching surge could destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment and put customers in the dark.

Disconnected breaker the US Safearth team found in the field
Disconnected breaker the US Safearth team found in the field

Compare that against the cost of performing a quick integrity test: less than ten minutes of one’s time.

One thing that makes Safearth’s CS3 site continuity meter industry-leading is the ease of set up. The process takes from about three to five minutes. Add another three to five minutes and the grounding system in the direct vicinity of the equipment can be confirmed to be well-bonded to the ground grid. The added step of the CS3 test ensures new connections and old connections are properly bonded to the grounding system.

The ideal job for the CS3 is to test the integrity of the grounding for an entire substation. In the US, we often find ourselves testing post construction, once all the contractors have left site. While we find that most connections are properly installed, we commonly discover examples of unbonded equipment and structures creating hazardous environments for workers during fault conditions. This is due to many things: poorly made connections, copper theft, damage from digging equipment, deteriorations of the grid underground, etc. If CS3 testing were performed at the completion of the installation the problems could have been repaired and future failures eliminated before the contractors left.

The result of routine testing is a safer work environment and a reduction of equipment loss. Safearth is passionate about the need for proper ground testing across North America. Our goal is to work alongside utilities, transmission companies, and contractors to assess their grounding and testing needs. Some customers do not have the manpower to perform their own testing and choose Safearth to perform the testing for them. Some customers have the resources to perform their own testing and choose Safearth to provide equipment and training. Our engineers have years of experience in the utility world and understand the difficult process of planning and budgeting for testing. We will work with you to help determine the most cost-efficient path for testing all assets. Other customers value our experience and knowledge of grounding. We are available for grounding design, consulting, standards development and offer training throughout the year to help equip utilities and contractors with best practices and knowledge of grounding systems.

At Safearth, we desire to be a catalyst for positive change in the industry. Our customers appreciate that our method of testing is faster, more efficient, more effective, and provides valuable information unmatched by traditional methods. Safearth wants to be a resource for you. If you have any questions, please reach out via email at or call us at (877) 847-6863.