Typical Earthing Resistance Value

  • The resistance offered by the earth electrode to the flow of current into the ground is known as the earth resistance or resistance to earth.
  • Ideally a ground resistance should be of zero ohms but It is always greater than Zero .System ground resistances can be reduce by the use of a number of individual electrodes connected together.
  • Total earthing resistance is the sum of the resistance of earth lead wires, Contact resistance between the surface of the earth electrode and the soil and The resistance of the body of the soil surrounding the earth electrode.
  • The value of earthing resistance varies on the Type of Soil, Soil characteristic, soil resistivity and the climatic condition. Moisture content in soil plays a vital role in the soil resistivity. value of individual earthing pit resistance is not so important. Different codes specifies the required value of earthing system.
  • Electrical Systems can work with earth resistance of 20 ohms, though generally 10 ohms is the specified Maximum limit.
  • But communication systems need very stringent limit, typically one ohm. This is because the higher the ground resistance, higher would be noise interference in the systems.


a) Power stations (generating station)

0.5 ohms

b) EHT Sub-station

1.0 ohms

c) 33 KV Stations

2.0 ohms

d) D/t Structure

5.0 ohms

e) Tower Foot resistance

10.0 ohms


Chapter: 4.1.3 , page 164
For industrial plant substations and buildings and large commercial installations.

1Ω to 5 Ω

Resistances of less than 1 ohm may be obtained using a number of individual electrodes connected together. Such a low resistance is only required for large substations, transmission lines, or generating stations.

National Electric code (NEC) 2011, (IS SP30 Chapter 14 -India)

Chapter: 3.0.9
unless otherwise specified ,It is recommended that the value of any earth system resistance shall not be more than

IS 3043 (India)

Chapter: 22.2.3
The continuity resistance of the earth return path through the earth grid should be maintained as low as possible and in no case greater than

This applicable for main earth grid connected with the transformer/return path

Oil Industry Safety Directorate Government of India (OISD STANDARD – 137)

Chapter: (7. ii. b) Allowable earth-Resistance Values
Allowable earth-Resistance Values The resistance value of an earthing system to general mass of the earth should not exceed.
For electrical systems and metallic structures.


For storage tanks.


for main earth grid, and bonding connections between joints in pipelines and associated facilities.


for each electrode to the general mass of the earth


IS 2309 (india) / BS 7430:1998

Clause:12.3.1 Page 32,Resistance to Earth
Lightning arrestors ground resistance for  Protection of buildings and allied structures is


An earth electrode should be connected to each down conductor. Each of these earths should have a resistance not exceeding the product given by 10 a multiplied by the number of earth electrodes to be provided.
The whole of the lightning protective system, including any ring earth, should have a combined resistance to earth not exceeding 10 Ω without taking account of any bonding.
If the value obtained for the whole of the lightning protective systems exceeds 10 Ω, a reduction can be achieved by extending or adding to the electrodes or by interconnecting the individual earth terminations of the down conductors by a conductor installed below ground, sometimes referred to as a ring conductor

IS 2689:1989

Table 4 page 28 (Reaffirmed March 2010)
Lightning arrestors ground resistance for Protection  of buildings and allied structures is


NEC 250.56

Clause: 250.53 Grounding Electrode System Installation.
The maximum resistance for a single electrode consisting of a rod, pipe, or plate.


If a higher resistance is obtained for a single electrode, a second electrode of any of the types specified in the NEC is required.
This should not be interpreted to mean that 25 ohm is a satisfactory resistance value for a grounding system.

IEEE Std 80-2000 (Revision of IEEE Std 80-1986)

the evaluation of ground resistance for the most transmission and other large substations, the ground resistance is usually about

1Ω or less

In smaller distribution substations, the usually acceptable range is

1Ω to 5Ω

NFC 17-102, July 1995

that the resistance value measured using conventional equipment should be

1Ω or less

This resistance should be measured on the earthing termination insulated from any other conductive component.

IEC 62305-1

edition 2.0 – 2010-12
the conventional earthing impedance related to the earth termination system is (*for the soil resistivity less than or equal to 100 Ω)

4 Ω

Ministry of Railways- Government of India

The acceptable Earth Resistance at earth MEEB bus bar shall not be more than


For achieving this value more than one earth pits can be installed if necessary depending upon the soil resistivity. In places where space is not available to provide parallel earth pits then longer earth rods may be provided.
The longer earth rods thus provided should be in multiples of three meters.
The combined resistance of the earthing system shall be not more than the following values
Traction substation


Switching station


Booster transformer station


Auxiliary transformer station


Maximum values of earth resistances specified for earthing of Signaling and Telecommunication equipment’s are as under
Telegraph and Block Instrument using earth return circuit 10 Ω
Earths for surge arrestors/ lightening dischargers


Earthing of Signalling equipment


Earthing of signalling cable screen in AC electrified areas


Earthing of Telephone Exchange

Earthing of aluminum sheathed telecom cable in AC electrified area

Earthing of equipment in VF repeater stations and cable huts.

Axle counter cable screened in AC electrified area

Electronic Interlocking installation

Integrated Power Supply System & its individual modules

Digital Axle Counter EJB and its apparatus case connected to same earth All cable armors connected to same earth.

Reset box of Digital Axle Counter connected to earth (indoor) near SM’s Room.

Railway Vikas Nigam Limited

The earth continuity test of metallic envelopes shall be done for electrical continuity. Electrical resistance of the same, along with the earthing lead, excluding any added resistance of earth leakage circuit breaker, measured from the connection with the earth electrode to any point in the earth conductor in the completed installation, shall not exceed

No earth electrode shall have resistance greater than

In rocky soil, the resistance may be up to

Locations having more than one electrode shall be connected in parallel to reduce the resistance.


Equipment’s with solid state components which are more susceptible to damage due to surges, transients and over voltages being encountered in the system due to lightning, sub-station switching such as Electronic Interlocking, Integrated Power supply equipment, Digital Axle counter, Data logger etc. shall Value of earth resistance shall not be more than

For conventional signaling equipment’s the earth resistance shall not be more than



Specification no CSC-140 / DH/UH/P&D
Hose hold Earthing (3KA)


Commercial / Industrial Buildings (5KA)


Transformer / LT Line Earthing  (15KA)

1Ω to 2Ω

Transformer / Substation /HT Line ,HT Switchgear (40KA)


Lighting Arrester /Extra High Current appliances (50KA)


UPS / Data center / ATM

<0.5 Ω

*Earthing may be Single or Multiple Electrode.

Earthing Value

Earthing Condition Earthing Value

0.1Ω to 2Ω


2.1Ω to 5Ω

Need to be Maintenance

5.1Ω to 10Ω

Need to be Replacement


About Jignesh.Parmar (B.E,Mtech,MIE,FIE,CEng)
Jignesh Parmar has completed M.Tech (Power System Control), B.E(Electrical). He is member of Institution of Engineers (MIE) and CEng,India. Membership No:M-1473586.He has more than 16 years experience in Transmission -Distribution-Electrical Energy theft detection-Electrical Maintenance-Electrical Projects (Planning-Designing-Technical Review-coordination -Execution). He is Presently associate with one of the leading business group as a Deputy Manager at Ahmedabad,India. He has published numbers of Technical Articles in “Electrical Mirror”, “Electrical India”, “Lighting India”,”Smart Energy”, “Industrial Electrix”(Australian Power Publications) Magazines. He is Freelancer Programmer of Advance Excel and design useful Excel base Electrical Programs as per IS, NEC, IEC,IEEE codes. He is Technical Blogger and Familiar with English, Hindi, Gujarati, French languages. He wants to Share his experience & Knowledge and help technical enthusiasts to find suitable solutions and updating themselves on various Engineering Topics.

One Response to Typical Earthing Resistance Value

  1. jagdish parmar says:

    Nice to meet you sir

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