Quote Originally Posted by GT Jets View Post
Now we're getting to the meat and potatoes.

A higher end meter very well may have been able to prove the motor partially grounded. What make/model meter were you using?

I agree that the ground issue needs to be investigated further. My bet is that the breaker panel the power is coming from has lost continuity with the ground stake at some point. Either that or it was never completed (both equally plausible).

For god sakes be careful....
The problem would not be with the grounding stake or rod. The ground path begins at the panel with the system bonding jumper, which connects the ground bar to the cabinet and the neutral. This is the ONLY point in a system where the neutral and grounding conductors meet, so as to avoid what they call "objectionable current," that is, where current typically is flowing through the ground conductors. That current should ONLY flow during a fault. That's why they changed from three wire to four wire plugs for dryers, because we used to tie the ground (cabinet) to the neutral at the terminals in the back of the dryer. Now, only the cabinet connects to the fourth wire, and never carries current until something in the dryer shorts to the cabinet.

The grounding conductors carry fault current to the neutral at the panel, so as to assist the overcurrent device to open. The ground rod outside is there to take any lightning potential in the building wiring system to a low impedance earth ground, which only lightning uses as its sought potential. We can read voltage potential to ground because the building neutral and the utility transformer neutral (the center tap of the secondary) both tie to ground rods for lightning protection of the grid and structure.