Rain improves ground (and thus sound)?


#1

Where I live it’s a desert. It’s only 5 miles from the ocean but it’s dry the vast majority of the year.

When it rains, both my 2 channel and HT sound better, sometimes significantly better.

I have dual 10awg dedicated circuits, one for the P10 and the other for all smps gadgets. Code around here requires two grounding rods 6’ apart, tied together.

https://testguy.net/content/238-Ground-Resistance-Testing-Answering-Frequently-Asked-Questions#q4

Do you experience better sound when the ground around your ground rods is saturated?


#2

I enjoyed reading the articles for my audio education. I point out a basic, neither recommended checking the quality of connections from rods to service box. For existing home, loose or broken. improperly installed connections could be problem. Germane to your question, neither addressed specific effects on high end audio systems.

As a former apprentice lineman in college days 50 years ago, admittedly not much of a qualification, I would suspect the ground rod standards are for safety and protection of the house. Protection of contents would be secondary.

i hope these comments are of some help.

Chas


#3

Is your soil more resistive or more conductive normally? Do you notice any change when it rains lowering resistance?

I think they should be read for ones electrical education, and then be applied to ones audio system. Of course, for protection from shorts or God forbid lightning, the resistance need not be as low as we would like for audio systems. Understanding grounding and how to improve it can only help improve our sound. I believe code only requires <25ohms, I think we would like to have far less resistance to ground, like <0.1ohms.

My entire electrical system is only 2 years old. In that time, I’ve deoxidized and protected all grounding connections. As I’ve kept them in good condition, I didn’t experience a change/improvement but likely have enjoyed it all along. I have large gauge ded circuits and a P10. I’m getting into those last few % of improvements territory.

I do have just over 100 gallons of rain water storage literally 2’ from my ground rods location. I can easily setup a system to ‘water’ them keeping the moisture content significantly higher without so much as to increase corrosion much, hopefully.

I’ve read that soil amendments are only marginally effective and if more noble than the copper plate it will eat the copper away rather quickly exposing the steel rod which will go even quicker.

This looks promising. http://www.sankosha-usa.com/sanearth.asp

From this article by Fluke:
The NEC has stated to “Make sure that system
impedance to ground is less than 25 ohms
specified in NEC 250.56.

In facilities with sensitive
equipment it should be 5.0 ohms or less.”

The Telecommunications industry has
often used 5.0 ohms or less as their value for
grounding and bonding.


#4

Some years ago when remodelling our main living room where the audio-visual kit is located I took the opportunity to put the power supply for the latter on a separate ring main. I had a dedicated earth installed for this ring main, connected to a 1m long earth rod positioned in our garden. Over the following years I noticed that the system sound better when there was rain after a period of drought. (The UK has a lot of rain but in recent years we have had periods of several weeks with no rain.) We live on the top of a small hill (`100m high) and we have thin top soil (<30cm) sat on solid chalk, so my guess was that over the dry periods this dried out to a greater depth than 1m and caused higher resistance to earth. My solution was to have the 1m rod replaced by a 3m rod - this seems to have removed most if not all of the rain effect. Hopefully climate change will not aggravate matters!


#5

Brett…I too have noticed what you speak of about the rain affecting the sound. But also…if that ain’t weird enough…when the high humidity dew point levels in my area get to maybe the 68 to 70 degree range… it also has an effect on the sound. I’m thinking the saturation of moisture in the atmosphere may also be having an effect on the electrical lines and transformers in my area…relative to the high humidity levels. :confused:


#6

There is also a triangular 3 ground rod version that we use here to keep our CNC machines from having stray voltage transferred into high value parts while they are being machined. Each machine is connected to the ground grid. I don’t know how to do the calculations for the triangle size but a knowledgeable electrician should (Mine did the calcs and the work). In my case the rods are copper coated or solid copper (memory?), roughly 10 feet long in a roughly 10 foot equilateral triangle. Everything is ~3 feet below grade so the end of the rods is ~13 feet below grade. All 3 rods connected together with a #4 bare copper wire that is hooked in daisy chain fashion to 2 or 3 machines at a time. We are in sandy ground that normally has enough moisture except late in the summer when it is very dry. This arrangement might help in your situation. Also if you have a metal well pipe it makes a very good ground.


#7

Thank you for the tip about well pipe. I just looked at where the copper water pipe enters our basement and found a large ground wire attached to the pipe as it enters the basement wall. Because our house sits on a granite/rock hill, I wonder about my ground rod(s).

I have never experienced noise or hum in my PSA Stellar M700 combo but I still installed a dedicated 20 amp circuit with 8 gauge wire, of course no hum or noise afterwards. Yet, I want to find out about my ground rod and well pipe connections. I am going to call my electrician to discuss.

All comments gratefully accepted …


#8

Air humidity and temperature effects the speed of sound. No idea if or how this would be audiable though. :grinning: