#### bwat

##### EE
Is there a utility service to the site?

Yes

#### ActionDave

##### Moderator
Staff member
You could be measuring some voltage drop on the power company neutral, and you might be right about the antennas. I don't think there would ever be a way to get zero amps or volts on the grounding.

#### bwat

##### EE
It’s my understanding that it’s pretty common to have a volt or two to ground from utility neutral. With 1 volt and a residential GES with 25 ohms, it’s below 0.05A. But since you have a large number of ground rods and other electrodes, even a small amount of voltage (less than 1v) on the neutral seems reasonable to produce what you’re measuring.

#### ptonsparky

##### Senior Member
Why would current flow through the earth when you have provided such a better path

#### Hv&Lv

##### Senior Member
Why would current flow through the earth when you have provided such a better path
May not be a great path. Currents flow back to the source through all paths relative to resistance.

#### bwat

##### EE
Why would current flow through the earth when you have provided such a better path
And I don’t have any numbers to provide, but something I’ve heard said many times is that the earth is actually a really great conductor. It’s just difficult to connect to it (like a contact resistance). So when you have an extensive GES, you really reduced that “contact resistance” to the conductor (earth) and can then utilize its conductive properties. So it can actually be a great path.

#### ptonsparky

##### Senior Member
May not be a great path. Currents flow back to the source through all paths relative to resistance.
It may not be, but it is good enough to have concentrated .5 amp onto that wire and that is the path he is concerned with.

#### LarryFine

##### Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
If there are no other power sources nearby, then the current must be from a voltage difference between the incoming utility's grounded conductor and the earth.

I read through the OP again. If you're reading AC, the batteries may be powering inverters

#### Hv&Lv

##### Senior Member
It may not be, but it is good enough to have concentrated .5 amp onto that wire and that is the path he is concerned with.
You misunderstood my post. He was saying the wire was a great path. Sometimes the wire isn’t all that good a path. Not cleaning the terminations correctly will create a less than ideal path...
I was saying the wire may not be that great a path and the earth is carrying current.

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#### bwat

##### EE
This white paper is a little deep, but has some nice graphics http://www.ecs.csun.edu/~bruno/MultiGroundedNeutralFinal_4-17-7.pdf
0.4A is pretty small compared to some that I've seen and may be within the accuracy window of the meter depending on which is sued. Is it stray current or stray voltage, you battle it out?
Thank you for posting this. I certainly didn't read through all of it, but the few sections I looked at were great.

#### electrofelon

##### Senior Member
I would assume the distribution system is an MGN and it is POCO neutral current heading home that you are measuring. We did two cell towers 15 years ago and IIRC the resistance spec on the GES was 4 ohms. IT is very conceivable that some of those lazy opportunistic electrons are using MY GES.

#### ryderimmel

##### Member
Thanks all for the responses. I will submit a report today of my findings and the comments really help with additional info and possibilities. Since there was no measurable voltage I can deduce that there are no issues with damage to equipment and shock hazards to personnel.