PO Box 7052 671 Kadar Drive Wilmington, DE 19803-0052 West Chester, PA 19382-8123
Abstract – Misunderstandings concerning stray current and equipotential planes are prevalent in North America. Clarification of and differences between equipotentials found in high voltage cable and in concrete encased re-inforcing bar installations in concrete pads and swimming pools are explained. Misunderstanding and false interpretation of the IEEE Standard 80, “Guide for Safety in AC Substation Grounding” has led to flawed conclusions and the false concept of equipotential planes, which are shown to be erroneous and are debunked by tests performed in the field. Also discussed are the dangers associated with bare concentric neutral high voltage cable, the use of can and has contributed to the proliferation of stray current which has
resulted in death.
Index Terms – Bare concentric neutral cable, equipotential planes, multi-grounded neutral, stray current,
EFINITIONSBonding (Jumper):A reliable conductor to ensure the required electrical conductivity between metal parts required
to be electrically connected.  The connection together of two or more electrically conductive parts using an electrical
EPRI:Electric Power Research Institute. “Created by the nation’s electric utilities in 1973, EPRI is one of America’s
oldest and largest research consortia, with some 700 members and an annual budget of about $ 500 million. Linked to a global network of technical specialists, EPRI scientists and engineers develop innovative solutions to the world’s toughest energy problems while expanding opportunities for a dynamic industry.” (Contained in foreword of EPRI documents)
Equipotential:1. Having equal potential. 2. Physics. Having the same electric potential at every point. 1 Equipotential Bonding (Swimming pools): Equipotential bonding shall be required to be installed to reduce voltage
gradients in pool areas consisting of a 300 mm (12 inch) by 300 mm (12 inch) grid 8 AWG bare solid copper conductors.
“(A) Performance. The equipotential bonding required by this section shall be installed to eliminate voltage gradients in the pool area as prescribed.” National Electrical Code (NEC) 2005, Section 680.26
Equipotential lines – Cable, dielectric field: The locus of points having the same potential at a given time. (PE) 81-1983  “In all dielectric cables, irrespective of their voltage ratings, there is a dielectric field present when the conductor is energized. This dielectric field is typically represented by electrostatic flux lines and equipotential lines between the conductor and electric ground”. Equipotential plane: Equipotential means having the same electrical potential throughout: plane means a flat or level surface; together they form a level surface having the same electrical potential throughout.Equipotential plane as onstructed: An area where wire mesh or other conductive elements are embedded in or placed under concrete, bonded to all metal structures and fixed nonelectrical equipment that may become energized, and connected to the electrical grounding system to prevent a difference in voltage from developing within the plane. NEC 2005, Section 547.2. Zipse’ Law:“In order to have and maintain a safe electrical installation: All continuous flowing current shall be contained within an insulated conductor or if a bare conductor, the conductor shall be installed on insulators, insulated from earth, except at one place within the system and only one place can the neutral be connected to earth.”
Zipse’ Law is the standard for electrical installations in industrial, commercial and residential facilities including utility ompanies’ office buildings. Electrical utility distribution and transmission system should also comply with Zipse’ Law.
The Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee (PCIC)
of the Industry Applications Society (IAS) of IEEE provides a
forum for the exchange of electrical applications technology.
Safety has always been a primary concern of the PCIC
conference. With the formation of the Electrical Safety
Session and the Electrical Safety Workshop in 1991 there has
been an expansion and concentration of information and
knowledge influencing electrical safety.
Misunderstanding of grounding principles influences
electrical safety. The PCIC paper presented in 2001 titled,
“Earthing – Grounding Methods: A Primer”  revealed the
misunderstandings, the errors and the remedy to rectify the
errors. This paper is a continuation of that theme. However,
the stakes have been raised. The results of the following
misunderstandings can be death. Death can result from
improper grounding and/or lack of understanding of the