Soares Book on Grounding, Seventh Edition|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)
Mark Lamendola, widely known author in the electrical industry
Soares has long been the grounding standard for "field people" in the electrical industry, while IEEE-142 has long been the grounding standard for electrical engineers. When you consider that Soares is a product of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, this "division of labor" makes sense.
Both standards rely on standard electrical theory, and both make fine references. I happen to have both, as I feel anyone working in electrical design, power quality, electrical construction, or related fields should.
The Seventh Edition, which I am reviewing here, was published in 1999 and has been superseded twice as of this writing (2007). If you pick up a used copy of Soares for training purposes and general background, you will still find it very useful. If you are working a project, however, be sure to pick up the latest edition.
Chapter One provides an excellent overview of grounding concepts. Most of the people working in the electrical industry violate these concepts in practice because they don't understand them. The material in Chapter One is not outdated and about 99% of it never will be.
Chapters Two through Four delve into specific aspects of grounding. Chapter Five starts talking about bonding. It's interesting to note that Part V of Article 250 of the National Electrical Code is all about bonding. This topic is where people really get confused, and they ground where they should bond. That particular mistake costs industry billions of dollars each year and produces a fair number of fatalities.
Like the NEC, Soares often misuses the word "grounding" where it means "bonding." The reader must determine the meaning from the context. Basically, you always bond equipment rather than ground it. Grounding is an earth connection, and it serves no purpose at equipment because electricity is always trying to get back to its source and earth is not a bonding jumper.
Soares has 17 chapters that explain grounding and bonding, and each has a quiz at the end (answers are in the back of the book). An 18th chapter consists of 15 informative tables. The Appendix contains an interesting piece titled, "The History and Mystery of Grounding."