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Understanding Soil Resistivity Testing

Soil resistivity measurements have a threefold purpose. First, data is used to make sub-surface geophysical surveys as an aid in identifying ore locations, depth to bedrock and other geological phenomena. Second, resistivity has a direct impact on the degree of corrosion in underground pipelines. A decrease in resistivity relates to an increase in corrosion activity and therefore dictates the protective treatment to be used. Third, soil resistivity directly affects the design of a grounding system, and it is to that task that this discussion is directed. When designing an extensive grounding  system, it is advisable to locate the area of lowest soil resistivity in order to achieve the most economical grounding installation.

To accomplish this task you need a ground resistance  test instrument capable of testing using four electrodes commonly referred to as a four point or four pole tester. You also need four auxiliary electrodes and four  spools of wire.

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