epoxy-coated rebar & ufer

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ericsherman37

Senior Member
Location
Oregon Coast
The contractor I work for is wiring an Aquarium Science building for the local community college. Unfortunately, I wasn't dispatched to that project until AFTER the main floor slab was poured, but I heard about a grounding electrode issue from the job foreman.

So the rebar in the slab is all epoxy-coated. No good for a ufer, obviously, but Oregon code requires a ufer if there's any poured concrete foundation work on site:

Amend 250.52(A)(3) by inserting the following: "In new construction with steel reinforced concrete footings, a concrete-encased grounding electrode connected to the grounding electrode system is required. The installation shall meet the requirements of Section 250.50. When a concrete encased electrode system is used, a minimum size of 1/2-inch reinforcing bar or rod shall be stubbed up at least 12 inches above the floor plate line or floor level, whichever is the highest, near the service entrance panel location."

The engineer, however, forbade the use of ANY regular ol' steel rebar in the foundation. My first thought was, "Well, can't we talk to the AHJ and get an exemption for the Oregon ufer requirement?" My second thought was, "Okay there are plenty of other grounding electrode options; what about a bare copper ground ring or something?"

Apparently neither of these possibilities occurred to our foreman. *face palm*

Now the slab is poured and I think all we have in place is a couple ground rods or something. So without an official AHJ exemption from the ufer requirement, I'm wondering how we ever managed to pass underground cover inspection. That's another story, I guess. But sooner or later the inspector will notice that there's no ufer sticking out anywhere.

I guess I don't really have a question, other than, what would you guys do for grounding electrodes in this setting? I wish I had been on-site sooner, cause it's pretty ridiculous for the crew that was there to let something like that slide. Makes me wonder...
 

Cavie

Senior Member
Location
SW Florida
That's another idea. Don't know if the architect(s) or whoever would like it though. It's our fault anyway, so one way or another we gotta fix it.

Why would the architect care if there was a peice of concrete burried outside of the building?? The fix is code compliant. If he has required covered rebar in the building, you can't use it no matter what the inspector thinks.
 

ericsherman37

Senior Member
Location
Oregon Coast
Why would the architect care if there was a peice of concrete burried outside of the building?? The fix is code compliant. If he has required covered rebar in the building, you can't use it no matter what the inspector thinks.

Hmm. Didn't even think about burying it. I was envisioning just an ugly ol' slab out back.

Guess I didn't really think this one through either.
 

Cow

Senior Member
Location
Eastern Oregon
Occupation
Electrician
I probably would of taken 20'+ of #4 bare and ziptied it to the coated rebar. That should've satisfied the AHJ and the engineer since there's no bare rebar/tie wire in the concrete and you still get a ufer.

But now, I'd probably just drive rods, hit building steel, water pipe, etc.
 

ericsherman37

Senior Member
Location
Oregon Coast
The rebar does not satisfy 250.52(A)(3) so 250.50 does not apply in your example.

You might have skipped the part where I said that Oregon-specific electrical code requires a ufer in any new installation containing reinforced concrete footings, whether the rebar satisfies NEC requirements or not. Translation: epoxy-coated rebar or not, in Oregon, you have to put a regular piece of rebar in concrete somewhere for a ufer.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
You might have skipped the part where I said that Oregon-specific electrical code requires a ufer in any new installation containing reinforced concrete footings, whether the rebar satisfies NEC requirements or not. Translation: epoxy-coated rebar or not, in Oregon, you have to put a regular piece of rebar in concrete somewhere for a ufer.

So this is a local code that has nothing to do with the NEC. According to the NEC no CEE is required.
 

jxofaltrds

Senior Member
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI
You might have skipped the part where I said that Oregon-specific electrical code requires a ufer in any new installation containing reinforced concrete footings, whether the rebar satisfies NEC requirements or not. Translation: epoxy-coated rebar or not, in Oregon, you have to put a regular piece of rebar in concrete somewhere for a ufer.

Nope I read it. "When a concrete encased electrode system is used"

It is not a CEE system.

The electrical code can not prohibit the coated rebar and it does not say that.
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
So, what's steel got to do with it?

Being able to use the steel as the "Ufer" is a nice convenience ... but all you need is 20 ft. of copper wire in the slab. Same thing applies in a residential slab, where there is no rebar (yes, that's allowed :( )

Nor do I see any requirement that the wire be laid out straight. For all I know, you could leave it coiled up and still meet the code.

Bonding to the metal? Just not possible when the metal is insulated by the epoxy coating; you need not bond it.
 

jxofaltrds

Senior Member
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI
So, what's steel got to do with it?

Being able to use the steel as the "Ufer" is a nice convenience ... but all you need is 20 ft. of copper wire in the slab. Same thing applies in a residential slab, where there is no rebar (yes, that's allowed :( )

Nor do I see any requirement that the wire be laid out straight. For all I know, you could leave it coiled up and still meet the code.

Bonding to the metal? Just not possible when the metal is insulated by the epoxy coating; you need not bond it.

250.52(A)(3) horizontally or vertically. A coil would not qualify.
 

eprice

Senior Member
Location
Utah
Nope I read it. "When a concrete encased electrode system is used"

It is not a CEE system.

The electrical code can not prohibit the coated rebar and it does not say that.

Read his quote of the Oregon state amendment again. It does not say "When a concrete encased electrode system is used". It says "In new construction with steel reinforced concrete footings, a concrete-encased grounding electrode connected to the grounding electrode system is required." As you correctly point out, the epoxy coated rebar does not constitute a CEE, but it does constitue steel reinforced concrete footings. Therefore, in order to satisfy the Oregon code, he'll have to provide a CEE in some other way.

Regarding Cavie's suggestion to dig a separate 20' trench and install rebar and steel: I would accept that as a reasonable solution, but some AHJ's could argue the fact that unless you also build a wall on top of it, it really isn't a footing, so it doesn't match the NEC definition of a CEE.
 

jxofaltrds

Senior Member
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI
Are you saying any trench with 20' of rebar is compliant?

I say no.

Read his quote of the Oregon state amendment again. It does not say "When a concrete encased electrode system is used". It says "In new construction with steel reinforced concrete footings, a concrete-encased grounding electrode connected to the grounding electrode system is required." As you correctly point out, the epoxy coated rebar does not constitute a CEE, but it does constitue steel reinforced concrete footings. Therefore, in order to satisfy the Oregon code, he'll have to provide a CEE in some other way.

Regarding Cavie's suggestion to dig a separate 20' trench and install rebar and steel: I would accept that as a reasonable solution, but some AHJ's could argue the fact that unless you also build a wall on top of it, it really isn't a footing, so it doesn't match the NEC definition of a CEE.

Sorry. I re-read the quote and still say it is not required. It says "The
installation shall meet the requirements of Section 250.50."

250.50 says "that are present'. No electrode is present. So no bond required.

I went to http://www.cbs.state.or.us/bcd/committees/08oesc/amended_language.pdf just to make sure of the wording.
 
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