Capacitance Effect for Underground Electrical Isolation Testing

The electrical isolation status of buried isolator is more difficult to be tested. The overall resistance is equivalent of parallel resistance of soil and insulator. In a very low soil resistivity environment, the overall resistance for an properly functioning insulating joint may be as low as 0.5Ω. Therefore, the resistance itself may not be the reliable indicator of electrical isolation for underground isolator.

Tinker& Rasor CE-IT utilise capacitance effect for underground electrical isolation testing looking for:

  1. Differential ground voltage readings
  2. The percentage of current leaking through the isolator
  3. The voltage drop across the insulato

Tinker & Rasor CE-IT use the following criteria to judge the electrical isolation of underground device:

  1. Ground voltage readings (ΔVg) are smaller or of opposite polarity on the unprotected side of  the pipeline,
  2. The current leakage through the insulator is less than 25 percent and,
  3. The voltage drop across the insulator is greater than 10 to 12mV


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  6. Alex Herrera

    Excellent guidelines. Do you have any technical/experimental support to the criteria or it is entirely field experience?.


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