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I don't have sandy soil in MD

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Willbe

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What kind of current flow can I expect if I run a wire from a screwdriver shaft stuck in sandy soil to 120v, 60 Hz?
Will this current light a 7-1/2w 120v incand. lamp?

bulk resistivities

soil 30k to 50M ohm-meter
tap water 1M to 100M ohm-meter
concrete 200 ohm-meter
human body 5 ohm-meter
copper 20 nanoohm-meter
 
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tcmtech

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how do you get 120 VAC someplace without a common line associated with it?

I doubt the screwdriver will do much good. Topsoil has the least amount of average compaction and moisture and thusly the least conductivity.
A ground rod driven several feet into damp soil will carry a fair wattage for a while but eventually the soil and ground rod may have problems with electrolytic corrosion.
That will depend on the type of soil and type of metal you use for a grounding rod.

Plus to create a circuit the other end of the power source will need to have a solid ground to work. If you dont you could cause all sorts of electrical problems in your home wiring. Some possibly dangerous!
 

Sceadwian

Banned
tcmtech, the ground itself will become the common line. I guess the neutral line here in the states is grounded where the power comes into the house.
 

Willbe

New Member
how do you get 120 VAC someplace without a common line associated with it?
Run an extension cord from a non-GFCI'ed outlet inside the house, and run a clip lead/probe to the short slot of the cord when you get outside. As soon as the rum wears off I will get someone else to try it with damp topsoil in MD.:)
 
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Willbe

New Member
I should also measure the AC or DC voltage between said soil and the house ground connection. This establishes the level of background noise but will probably be dependent on the bandwidth of the voltmeter.

Sandy soil readings are welcome; supposedly poor grounding in Iraq was partly responsible for US soldiers being electrocuted in showers, but I've never heard of this happening in the US.
 
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Hero999

Banned
Why do you want to do this?

It's a silly idea.
 

Willbe

New Member
Why do you want to do this?

To better the literal and abstract concept of grounding

It's a silly idea.
Oh, ye' of little faith!
:p
 
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tcmtech

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tcmtech, the ground itself will become the common line. I guess the neutral line here in the states is grounded where the power comes into the house.
I understand the physics of it. But What I should have elaborated on apparently was whenever I have a 120 volt power source any place it is part of an extension cord of some sort. Thus the common return line is already in place.
I understand the using the ground and a ground rod to act as a secondary back up for crude protection purposes.
I was just concerned that this was one of those, I am such a cheap ass I wont buy an extension cord to do the job, so I am going to just skip the common return line part and run a single strand of wire to save on extension cord costs, type questions.;)

(Saddly I know people that cheap.) :(
 
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