Electrical devices are essential to our daily lives, but they can also pose a safety risk if not properly maintained. Earth leakage is a common problem that can occur in electrical circuits and cause electric shocks or appliance damage. In this guide, we will show you how to test for earth leakage using a multimeter, a simple yet effective tool that can help ensure your electrical devices are safe.
Electricity is the flow of charges. We need electricity for almost every purpose in our life, so we have to install an electric system at home because we use many appliances that will run on electricity. As there are many benefits of electricity, there are some drawbacks also, which we have to face if any issue occurs in the electrical wiring at our home or workplace.
To keep ourselves safe from any future damage, we should keep checking the condition of the electrical wiring at regular intervals so that any issue like a short circuit or damaged earth connection cannot lead to enormous damage.
What is earth leakage?
The earth connection plays a significant role in our stable electrical connections. The current is the flow of charges, but what if some extra flow occurs that the appliance doesn’t need? In that case, there is an excellent chance of a short circuit or burning of the system. So to cope with that condition, earthing is done.
Earthing is the process in which the electrical wires come in direct contact with the ground so that if any extra discharge or leakage of electrical charges occurs, they can go to the ground’s soil and will get controlled and will not harm anything else with its effect.
But the process of earthing has its own needs and checks. So you should remain conscious about the earth’s leakage. It occurs when there is some issue in the earth’s connection. In this way, the charges will start getting leaked, and they can even cause you to feel current in your taps or lead to a short circuit. So checking the earthing condition is equally important as installing an earthing system.
Types of earth connection
Earthing has two major types. These are:
System earthing is also called neutral earthing. This is called system earthing because, in this earth connection, the system’s neutral gets connected with the ground, and for this, a GI wire is used. After connection, the system receives earthed, and any extra leakage will find its path in the ground, and it will not give any damage.
The second type of earthing is called equipment earthing. It is called so because, in this type, the non-conductive component of the system is connected with the earth or ground using a conducting wire.
So in this way, the system gets grounded, or you will not have to face any harm in the system in case of any charge leakage.
Benefits of testing earth leakage
So many matters in which our single neglect can lead to a big disaster. The same is with the checking of the earth leakage. To avoid any problem with the electrical system of your place in the near future, you have to be conscious and keep testing the mains, like the earth connection of your place, so that if any leakage is present, then you can solve the issue immediately before it gets too late.
There are many other benefits of checking earth leakage, including:
- It is suitable for the maintenance of your electrical system
- It saves your appliances from getting damaged
- It protects you from any human-related damage
- It will make your electrical system strong
- You will get to know about the problems at the initial stages
- You don’t have to run for the professionals after big damage occurs
- It will make you save money by keeping your electrical system safe.
How to test earth leakage with a multimeter?
There are different ways to test the earth leakage, but most are complex, and only professionals can use those methods. But you don’t have to move towards the tough ones when you have the easiest way of testing the earth leakage using a well-known gadget, a digital multimeter.
You can test the leakage of the earth if you have a working digital multimeter by having brief guidance about using the digital multimeter in an exact way for testing an earth leakage.
Material and tools required:
- Digital Multimeter
How to test earth leakage with a multimeter (Step by step guide):
Step 1: Turn ON the digital multimeter
Before start testing the earth leakage, you have to turn ON the digital multimeter so that we can make it useful to test the earth leakage in the electrical system.
Step 2: Set the digital multimeter
The second step is to set the digital multimeter; so for this, we have to set the digital multimeter at the AC voltage settings by turning the selection knob of the digital multimeter towards the AC voltage symbol present on the multimeter. Now the digital multimeter is ready to test the earth leakage by calculating the amount of AC voltage.
Step 3: Range the digital multimeter
To test the earth leakage, you have to select the highest range of the Alternating current voltage on the digital multimeter so that the gadget cannot get damaged during the leakage detection. Turn the dial at the highest Ac voltage readings of the digital multimeter.
Now you will get the exact Ac voltage of your system which will tell you whether there is some issue in your plan or no earth leakage is occurring.
Step 4: Connect the leads
Now you have to connect the digital multimeter’s red and black leads at their corresponding jacks. Connect the black lead with the COM Jack of the digital multimeter and the red lead with the V jack to detect the earth leakage.
Don’t try to change any rhythm; otherwise, you will not get the accurate value, leading to a faulty testing procedure.
Step 5: Connect leads with the system
Now you have to connect the leads of the digital multimeter with the system because you need to do this to check the system’s earth leakage.
For this, take the tips of both the black and red lead of the digital multimeter and connect it with the specific sockets of the system. Connect the black probe of the digital multimeter to the Live socket of the system and the red probe of the digital multimeter to the neural socket of the system.
Step 6: Get a standard voltage
Getting the standard voltage value is very important because you can easily conclude whether the system is faulty or not with your resulting values. So to get the standard voltage reading, note the voltage readings of the above connection from the display screen of the digital multimeter and then move forward.
Step 7: Get the second reading
To proceed with the test, you now have to get the second reading by changing a few connection settings. Remove the red probe from the neutral socket and connect it to the earth socket. Look at the screen of the digital multimeter for the results. Note the readings.
This the called the second reading, and compare it with your first reading. If earth leakage occurs, these two readings would have a big difference.
Step 8: Get the third reading
Remove the red probe from the earth socket and connect it to the neutral socket again. Connect the black probe to the earth socket. Get the third voltage reading. Note down this voltage reading and calculate the results from it.
To get the resulting voltage value of the system, which will lead you to get the results, you have to subtract the first voltage reading from the second voltage reading and add the third voltage reading to the resulting value.
The resulting answer of less than 2 volts will indicate that there is no issue with your earthing system, and if you get a resulting value bigger than 2 volts, then this indicates the presence of earth leakage.
Earth leakage can be harmful, so checking it regularly is essential.
Because having a leaking earthing is equal to no earthing, if you want your earthing to be effective, you have to save it from any leakage.
You can perform testing using gadgets like analog and digital multimeters, but using the digital multimeter provides perfect results, and the testing procedure is quite easy. So make sure you mark the calendar and keep checking the earth leakage of your electrical system at regular intervals by using this easiest testing procedure.