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Replacing ground rod due to equipment relocation. Removal of old grounding rods?

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    #46
    As an electrical inspector for many years, (now retired) I have been known to pull many a ground rod when I suspect that a rod was cut etc. Since the implementation of the primary and supplemental ground rods became code, I have observed numerous occasions where the EC would cut an 8' rod in half to avoid having to purchase and install two full-sized rods. We even had an inspector walk up on a electrical contractor's employee carrying two 4 foot rods. When questioned, the licensed electrician spoke up indicating we should not be talking to his employee and that the two 4 foot rods were "starters." When questioned about the fact that if they were "starters" wouldn't one rod and where the two 8 foot rods required were, the answer was he was going to purchase them later that day. When you call for an inspection, it needs to be code-compliant at the time of inspection with few exceptions. Needless to say, the inspection failed and required a re-inspect with the customary fee. As an inspector, I have encountered numerous ground rod installations where the installation was suspect. Electricians inexplicably would leave the cut section on site, fail to peen over the cut rod to cover the saw marks and/or leave the shavings adjacent to the modified rod. Amazing what people will do to cover up non-compliant installs. I usually kicked the rod with my boots to determine if it felt like a full sized rod. There is a definitive different feeling when kicking a cut-off rod vs. a full-sized one. As it pertains to the ground rods being abandoned, I believe it is the responsibility of an inspector to utilize a modicum of common sense in these situations. If no conductor was connected to these abandoned rods, they should be disregarded.

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      #47
      Pulling Driven Ground Rods

      Originally posted by LarryFine View Post
      Pulling a rod is very difficult, if not impossible.
      I won't deny that it is difficult but I had to remove the 3 section 9 foot long ones that the generator trailers were equipped with when I worked power production in the Air Force. Initially I used 2 of the cable lances and an old wire grip with a block and tackle to do it. (A cable lance is a temporary wire support pole.) In order to avoid loosing 1 or 2 of the 3 screw coupled sections we used a swivel fitting and turned the top section tighter with each pull. Then someone pointed out that we had a breakdown unit, read mechanics truck, with a very heavy duty short crane on it with us so we made nice with the mechanics operating that unit. During umpired field readiness exercises I had to use the provided slide hammer in reverse so that we wouldn't be graded down for misuse of the cable lances or using the block and tackle which was equipment that was not on our Basic Equipment List (BEL). There is a reason that the Navy lads call a Block and Tackle a "Handy Billy" and that no one would ever criticize them for having one along. We got ours by horse trading with a Navy Construction Battalion (CB) unit.

      In civilian electrical work I have used the two sections of a 28 foot ladder, separated and lashed together with the vans tow strap, to form an A frame from which I hung a come-along and an old wire grip to pull them out. It works just as well as the wire lances did. If you need to do this with separated ladder section make sure the 2 loops at the tow strap ends will have wrapped around the top of the ladder beam ends before crossing over the rung and hanging down were you will put the come-along hook. I've also used a fence post puller with good effect.

      None of that is meant to contradict what LarryFine said. It is never a fun time had by all.
      Tom Horne

      "This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use." Thomas Alva Edison

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        #48
        Originally posted by CRS NYS View Post
        As an electrical inspector for many years, (now retired) I have been known to pull many a ground rod when I suspect that a rod was cut etc. ....
        Agreed that you dealt with some shady (and stupid!) stuff. But what did you do when you pulled a rod that was correct? Put it back in for them?

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          #49
          Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
          Agreed that you dealt with some shady (and stupid!) stuff. But what did you do when you pulled a rod that was correct? Put it back in for them?
          +1

          If an inspector undoes anything and then finds nothing was wrong, he had better plan to repair/replace what he undone on any project of mine.
          I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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            #50
            Originally posted by LarryFine View Post
            Pulling a rod is very difficult, if not impossible.
            I've pulled several I never intended to pull with the backhoe.

            Couple times used a "hi-lift" jack to pull a rod when other machinery wasn't available. Other jack styles would work but have short travel range and need to be "reset" more frequently during the process.
            I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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