Precision Digital – The Current Quandary: Ground Loops & Non-isolated Commons

25 September 2015


Any installer of industrial process control equipment will tell you that ground loops are one of the most frustrating signal connection errors to diagnose and repair. The steps required in order to troubleshoot them are often equated to something as mysterious as magical incantations. Issues caused by shared, non-isolated commons are viewed with a similar outlook. Difficulties with shared signal returns are often even confused with ground loops. Ground loops and shared commons can both cause unpredictable signals and render your current loop unusable. The best and most practical way to repair these signal issues is to prevent them from occurring in the first place by planning proper device wiring and following specific best practices. However, if you suspect that you are having signal issues related to ground loops or shared commons in an existing network, no need to pull out the spell Ground Loops & Non-Isolated Commons book and magic wand, there are some predictable symptoms which you can look for in order to diagnose the problem.

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