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Ground Fault Locator

Model: PITE3836

The PITE3836 Ground Fault Locator is an essential instrument to identify faulty grounding where electrical cables have breakage and loss to the ground. The unit identifies the inadvertent ground by injecting a low frequency signal on the faulted polarity. By following the signal using the current clamps and the portable receiver, the physical location of the ground fault can be found. Measurement of online DC systems is possible as the output current of the PITE3836 is very low but the output voltage can be up to 1000V. 

Compliance with NERC PRC-002-6 requires that the battery and DC power system be inspected for inadvertent grounds every four months. If a ground fault exists the PITE3836 is the tool by which that fault can be located without the need to de- energize the live circuit

  • Patented technology, pinpoint current leakage fault with grounding resistance lower than 1MΩ

  • Innovative dual-clamp for signal receiver, each clamp has two sizes of opening jaw for different conductors

  • One pair of clamp working together, effective cancel capacitive interference when DC system is online

  • Precise current direction (positive or reversed) indicating for leaking current help fast locate the faulty grounding

  • 10Hz output frequency on signal receiver effectively avoids interference from DC system itself

  • Signal receiver can set reference in different points for signal comparison, very fast for fault orientation

  • Digital signal processing technology for detecting grounding resistance and capacitive resistance

  • With built-in band pass filter to bypass different interference signals in the ambient environment

  • No disconnection of the electrical installation, ground fault location is carried out during operation

  • Frequency spectrum analysis can test ambient frequencies, which helps analyze the surrounding environment

  • Signal generator with adjustable output voltage (24V~1000V) for different DC systems

  • Multi-ways to indicate ground fault: sensitive current direction, phase angle, comparison of signal strength

Output Voltage:

24, 48, 110, 220, 500, 1000 VDC

Output Frequency:

10 Hz

Output Current Limitation:

5 mA or Unlimited (Max 25mA)

Fault Location Sensitivity:

≤ 1 MΩ

Current Detect Sensitivity:

AC/DC Circuit: ≥ 0.5 mA

Quick Search Clamp:

55 mm (diameter), 60 mm (jaw opening)

Current Sensor:

φ8 and φ20

Jaw Opening:

60 mm (2.36 in)


Backlit Color LCD

Operating Environment:

Temperature: -5 – 40 °C (23 – 104 °F)

Power Requirements:

8.4 VDC Li-ion Battery


360 x 260 x 135 mm (14.2 x 10.2 x 5.3 in)


7 kg (15.4 lbs)

PITE3836 uses comprehensive ways to pinpoint the faults with the following working rules:

  1. Signal generator has two testing leads connected with DC system. And it injects a low-frequency current signal with direction to the DC system. This signal will flow from testing lead to circuit, outflow from the faulty grounding point and finally flow back to the signal generator. This makes a return circuit that will be useful for signal tracing in the next step.

  2. Signal receiver will trace this current signal with the help of current direction judgment. Direction of current signal always goes to the faulty point. With one clamp on two busbars or two clamps respectively on two busbars, it could work effectively with strong anti-interference when system is online.

  3. Strength and phase angle of current signal will have big changes before and after the grounding fault. They also help pinpoint the fault.

Why should you measure battery ground faults?
Battery ground faults are often times difficult to locate and create costly and catastrophic consequences if they remain undetected. The entire battery system will be compromised and subject itself to overheating, thermal runaway, and reduced battery capacity while creating a hazardous work environment.

Can the PITE3836 test AC Systems?
No, the PITE3836 Ground Fault Locator will only test DC systems.

How does the PITE3836 detect a fault?
The ground fault detector works by injecting an AC signal into the bus system with respect to ground using the signal generator. The signal path is then traced using current clamps connected to the signal receiver. The direction of current flow is indicated on the receiver display, enabling the clamps to be moved to another branch or section of wiring. The measurement is repeated, the clamps moved again until the faulty part of the circuit is located.

What are some typical kinds of faults the PITE3836 can test for?
A typical supply to be tested will consist of a main bus connection with many branches to different loads or systems. Typical faults you may encounter are:

  • Fault from the positive bus to ground.

  • Fault from part of a load to ground.

  • Fault between bus bars (partial short circuit).

  • Fault from a branch to ground.

  • Fault from bus to a separate circuit (‘Wire Mix’ connection).

  • Leakage capacitance (This is not a fault, but leakage capacitance may be distributed around the system and will influence measurement).


In all cases, the actual impedance (resistance) of the fault may be very high, very low due to a short circuit, or anywhere in between.

How is the PITE3836 powered?
Both the signal generator and signal receiver use rechargeable batteries that can be charged using power supplies (110/220 VAC, 50/60 Hz) which are included in the PITE3836 package. The state of charge for each unit is indicated by the icon in the top right hand corner of the unit’s display. Both units may be charged while switched off. When the units are fully charged an indicator on the power supply changes from red to green.

How long do the rechargeable batteries last on a full charge?
The batteries will last for approximately 4 hours in normal use.

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