Additional Ground Rod

Marshmo

Member
Location
OK, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Single family residence with a ufer ground. Inspector says "he also likes to see a ground rod." This isn't something I plan to fight. Just wondering, why? Is it a "because it's additional, it's good" type deal?
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
The ground rod creates an electron black hole to magically make the installation safer.
Ask for code reference
Not required. Think of this way, a 8 ft rod might be 500 ohms resistance, here in West WA typically its 3,000 ohms
now a ufer ground, tied to the rebar, in contact with the soil for the perimeter of the building, concrete is hydroscopic (absorbs moisture), will have a very low resistance.
Mr Ufer invented the CCE in dry Arizona during WWII were it was used in ammuninutions storage bunkers, it worked then and works now
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
Occupation
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
Ok, more seriously, maybe that's his not-so-articulate way of saying that he doesn't fully trust that the ufer is real and properly installed. You be the judge. Depending on the jurisdiction, he may or may not have a reasonable case.

For example, in San Francisco, where very little of the housing stock was originally built after 1960, they refuse to believe there's a ufer unless you show them a recent, signed-off jobcard or permit that explicitly references the ufer. By contrast, in Foster City California, which was built almost entirely on landfill in the 1970s, they prohibit ground rods because a) they consider that the salty soil will corrode them so fast as to make them pointless, and b) they are about 99% sure every house has the ufer it was required to have when it was built.
 

Marshmo

Member
Location
OK, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I can see your scenario. This is on the plains of Oklahoma. Problem is, I'm not very articulate on my feet.

Thanks fellas.
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
I can see your scenario. This is on the plains of Oklahoma. Problem is, I'm not very articulate on my feet.

Thanks fellas.
If the CE electrode was properly installed and inspected the NEC does not require the ground rod. I would not humor him and install one just on principle. We have a big problem in this country (and getting worse by the day) with incompetent inspectors (and trades people in general) and I'm not inclined to bolster their incompetence by adhering to things they just make up.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
If the CE electrode was properly installed and inspected the NEC does not require the ground rod. I would not humor him and install one just on principle. We have a big problem in this country (and getting worse by the day) with incompetent inspectors (and trades people in general) and I'm not inclined to bolster their incompetence by adhering to things they just make up.
I agree, not required therefore won't be installed by me.
 

Greentagger

Senior Member
Location
Texas
Occupation
Master Electrician, Electrical Inspector
Agreed not required by NEC but our POCO requires a rod even with a CEE.
 

Marshmo

Member
Location
OK, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
So what? You'd say not required, not doing it. What next, take it to state?

This is a small town with an inspector that does all trades as a "hired gun".

Honestly curious.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
I
So what? You'd say not required, not doing it. What next, take it to state?

This is a small town with an inspector that does all trades as a "hired gun".

Honestly curious.
I had an inspector that actually carried a gun, he said the city required him to because he was an “enforcement officer”.
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
Occupation
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
So what? You'd say not required, not doing it. What next, take it to state?

This is a small town with an inspector that does all trades as a "hired gun".

Honestly curious.
Who hires him? And will you have to deal with him over and over? Do you live in this small town?

It's your call obviously. If it was going to affect every job I did I might take a three-pronged approach:
- give him what he wants now
- ask him in writing (email?) to give you the code section, in writing
- if he's full of it, take it to his superiors, especially if you vote in their elections
 

Marshmo

Member
Location
OK, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I

I had an inspector that actually carried a gun, he said the city required him to because he was an “enforcement officer”.
That's someone that needs weeded out.

I couldn't imagine the feeling of power vs the satisfaction of spreading knowledge from enforcing code.
 

Marshmo

Member
Location
OK, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Will deal
Who hires him? And will you have to deal with him over and over? Do you live in this small town?

It's your call obviously. If it was going to affect every job I did I might take a three-pronged approach:
- give him what he wants now
- ask him in writing (email?) to give you the code section, in writing
- if he's full of it, take it to his superiors, especially if you vote in their elections
Will meet again. Small town in my radius of business. Used to be chief of police inspecting that depended on contractor to do a good job.

Town has grown enough to warrant a "real" inspector.

This is first meet with this guy. That's why I'm not too crazy about being "right".
 

nickelec

Senior Member
Location
US
I'm having the same issues as well I did a job where we needed to upgrade a panel to install a branch ckts for an electric dryer. The set up is as follows it's a two unit building so two meters two panels each panel is a main breaker this being two service switches. Water main ground is terminated in one panel not the other here in NYC are the violations I received.

I also agree ground rod not required.
Also my arfuyin regard to grouping is I did not touch branch ckts wiring. Same for common Trip. Inspectors are ridiculous here

I also used an existing penitration that's about 8' round in the basement celling that he says I need to "fire stop" . For this I would need hire. Sheetrock crew
Also an I required to provide a directory if I'm jsut upgrading panel?

Wondering everyone's thoughts. How far can inspectors go


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nickelec

Senior Member
Location
US
Are ground rods required, I was always under the impression they were supplemental

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junkhound

Senior Member
Location
Renton, WA
Occupation
EE, power electronics specialty
8 ft rod might be 500 ohms resistance, here in West WA typically its 3,000 ohms
now a ufer ground, tied to the rebar, in contact with the soil for the perimeter of the building, concrete is hydroscopic (absorbs moisture), will have a very low resistance.
2 months ago drove a ground rod here in western WA on a hilltop so well above water table to add power to a shipping container 'outbuillding' and the resistance measured out at 3,600 ohms.
My own house has concrete encased electrode (all rebar tack welded in addition to wire wraps) and resistance is 0.6 ohms (probably 300 ft or rebar, much below ground water level) Factor of 6000X resistance, lot of good adding a ground rod, eh.
A later house I built has only single 20 ft rebar as ufer, as BI did not allow even the tack welds, Footing below water table, resistance measusred out at 70 ohms.
 
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