Given the fact that earth leakage current is deadly for humans, can a clamp meter measure earth leakage and ensure high electrical safety?
Leakage current flows to the ground through a protective conductor. If you fail to ground the equipment properly, the current may flow through conductive paths, such as the human body.
Thus, you want to know how to minimize or eliminate the risks of leakage current. Can a clamp meter measure earth leakage? The answer lies within this article to protect you from possible dangers.
- Can A Clamp Meter Measure Earth Leakage?
- The Importance of Leakage Current Measurement
- How To Measure Leakage Current
Can A Clamp Meter Measure Earth Leakage?
Is it possible for a clamp meter to measure earth leakage? Yes, since this equipment works best to examine currents under 5 mA. Most meters cannot measure such low currents effectively.
Experts prefer a clamp meter among various methods to measure current leakage due to its accurate reading and conformation to safety design standards.
It can give a quick check of a series of measurements.
The tool can detect the amounts of leakage current occurring for you to handle the situation in time.
It is helpful equipment in the medical field for effective current reading and reduces fatal risks for patients.
An earth meter will figure out the magnetic field around conductors (a water pipe, a wire armor cable, a single core cable, etc.) and the neutral conductors and paired phrase of a single-phase circuit.
You want to protect the mating faces of the meter jaws from damage to read low current levels precisely.
Moreover, they need to be closed tightly together without any air gap and kept clean while measuring.
The Importance of Leakage Current Measurement
● Why Does Leakage Current Occur?
In cases of insulation errors, most electrical systems already contain a grounding technique to secure against a shock hazard.
It will stop a terrible insulation failure between conductive parts and the power line.
However, an intruded earth connection is highly likely to cause a shock hazard.
The risk gets worse if earth current leakage occurs as it may pose an electric shock threat to someone meeting the system.
● The Importance of Its Measurement
In general, the maximum tolerable range of a leakage current is 210 mA.
It would be incredibly dangerous if it exceeds this safe limit and flows through the human body to increase the possibility of fatality.
Therefore, when a medical patient is receiving an electric shock, this raises a serious concern.
That is why an earth leakage clamp meter is necessary to detect the problem promptly and identify the initial cause.
How To Measure Leakage Current
The clamp meter provides a particular design to determine whether leakage current has been utilized.
The following steps show you how to measure earth leakage current effectively to minimize fatal risks.
When you switch on the load, the measured leakage current contains leakage in the load equipment.
If the leakage is low enough with a connected load, then circuit wiring leakage will be lower.
You may disconnect the load if you only require circuit wiring leakage.
● Test Single-phase Circuits
You can examine the single-phase circuits by clamping a neutral conductor and the phase.
The clamp meter will show a measured value, which is any current moving to the ground at that moment.
● Test Three-phase Circuits
It requires clamping around all available three-phase conductors to test this type of circuit.
In case of a neutral presence, you want to clamp it with other phase conductors with the earth leakage clamp.
The measured value here is similar to testing single-phase circuits.
● Measure Through The Ground Conductor
The clamp ground tester will help you measure the total amount of leakage moving to the intended connection on the ground.
Place this equipment around the ground conductor to get an accurate result.
● Measure Clamping Phase/Neutral/Ground Conductor
Lastly, it is best to combine different sorts of conductors.
Clamping a neutral, ground, and phase conductor together at the same time will identify any imbalanced electric current that represents leakage.
This leakage is likely to occur at an electrical panel or outlet through unintentional paths to the ground, e.g., the panel on a concrete base.
Such a lack of balance may happen if there are other bonding connections.
Because earth leakage is highly dangerous to humans, it is best to locate its source with a low current clamp meter as soon as possible. The sooner you find the excessive leakage current, the safer you are.
So can a clamp meter measure earth leakage effectively? This electronic equipment will be the best method to test the error, so remember to use it wisely whenever a leakage occurs.