Ground rod - angle of installation

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
All new construction in my area is served by non-metallic water lines. Rod(s) is (are) the only ground connection.
Do your builders put reinforcement in footings that creates a qualifying CEE? If so you must use that, plus a CEE doesn't require supplementary electrodes.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Do your builders put reinforcement in footings that creates a qualifying CEE? If so you must use that, plus a CEE doesn't require supplementary electrodes.
Yes they do but this was an older home. When a CEE is present I don't drive rods.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
This inspector may be hanging his hat on the NJ Amendments to the NEC. Why the State chose to change the definition of the term AHJ is beyond me but he still should be following the NEC as written. N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.7 allows for alternative materials, equipment, or methods of construction that the subcode official may allow and approve if he feels that they're equivalent to what's required by the code. I've heard inspectors who are also licensed subcode officials say "I'm the AHJ so I can pick and chose what I want to enforce". Technically the NJ building code does not give them that latitude.
Thanks for posting that NJ Code section. The State or the NEC may choose to change specific language or nomenclature in the Code but the meanings or intentions are basically the same.

One thing that some EI's like to hang their hats on is
110.12 Mechanical Execution of Work. Electrical equipment
shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner.
That section alone covers a lot of ground and seemingly gives the EI (or Electrical Subcode Official) a latitude of authority to fail a job IMHO !

I'm not tooting my own horn here but the service upgrade I performed at this house was exceptional in every way. The SE cable was installed using a level and was as straight and plumb as possible, there was a new weather-head, the triplex was crimped using insulated barrel crimps, the ground rod wires were sleeved in a piece of PVC before entering the Arlington grounding bridge and then into the house, the panel was perfectly mounted (plumb-square and level) on a black meter board, all branch circuit wiring was properly fastened to the meter board before entering the panel using approved connectors and I can go on and on. The house itself was far from being neat and clean. The area in the basement was dingy with tools and laundry spread all over the place. I basically put lipstick on a pig before I kissed it. IMHO, the EI came along and spit on the job and gave the impression that I installed the new service to the level of what the house was.

I know I sound irate here but the EI (in all fairness) turned out to be a nice guy and understanding of my positions on the installation. I just get annoyed when someone is allowed the level of authority to fail a job "just because" he is the AHJ (or Subcode Official) :cool:
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Concrete foundations poured with no access to steel. So sparkies can’t connect. If the inspector shows up, he doesn’t care.
When did CEEs become required? We are on 2008.
CEE's were always required, but back in 2005 or 2008 IIRC they discovered because of how it was worded (said if available, or when available or something like that) they were finding they were seldom used because by the time the EC showed up to work the footings were already done and access to connect to the CEE wasn't all that "available". So they changed the wording to remove that if or when available to what it is now and basically requires you to connect to it if present, but did add exceptions for existing construction so that you don't have to cut into a footing just to connect to the CEE that may or may not be present.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
There is fiberglass "rebar" out there. Have seen limited use of it though, mostly in slabs so far.

Don't know how well it performs structurally compared to steel.
Fiberglass reinforcements have been around quite a while, usually for slabs though, not footers. Have seen the fiberglass strands surface after the pour. I almost did that with my shop back in the 90’s, but my concrete guy talked about the strands coming through the slab, so I just stayed with wire.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
CEE's were always required, but back in 2005 or 2008 IIRC they discovered because of how it was worded (said if available, or when available or something like that) they were finding they were seldom used because by the time the EC showed up to work the footings were already done and access to connect to the CEE wasn't all that "available". So they changed the wording to remove that if or when available to what it is now and basically requires you to connect to it if present, but did add exceptions for existing construction so that you don't have to cut into a footing just to connect to the CEE that may or may not be present.
Don't forget, a lot of footings are getting installed with vapor barriers and waterproof coatings that effectively isolate them from contact with the earth. Per the informational note in 250.52(A)(3)(2), this would not be considered "in direct contact with the earth" and wouldn't qualify as a potential location for a CCE.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Fiberglass reinforcements have been around quite a while, usually for slabs though, not footers. Have seen the fiberglass strands surface after the pour. I almost did that with my shop back in the 90’s, but my concrete guy talked about the strands coming through the slab, so I just stayed with wire.
I think you might be talking about fiberglass strands mixed in the concrete, I have seen that and have seen strands that surface. There is fiberglass rods out there as well. I only came across one person using them so far, was not a footing installation though.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Don't forget, a lot of footings are getting installed with vapor barriers and waterproof coatings that effectively isolate them from contact with the earth. Per the informational note in 250.52(A)(3)(2), this would not be considered "in direct contact with the earth" and wouldn't qualify as a potential location for a CCE.
Have not seen this on footings, but definitely doesn't qualify as an electrode if that is what has been done.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Permanent moisture is the key, concrete wicks up moisture, so it conducts better, same way with ground rods, achieving a depth with permanent moisture is the goal, probably why the degree limit and amount of surface area is required. Due to greater surface area, concrete is not required to be as deep, but the moisture barrier if installed prevents it from being effective.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Have not seen this on footings, but definitely doesn't qualify as an electrode if that is what has been done.
Is most residential construction in Nebraska slab-on-grade? Here in the Northeast, basements are very common. You will commonly see the foundation perimeter sealed from the bottom of the footing to 12" above grade.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
Don't forget, a lot of footings are getting installed with vapor barriers and waterproof coatings that effectively isolate them from contact with the earth. Per the informational note in 250.52(A)(3)(2), this would not be considered "in direct contact with the earth" and wouldn't qualify as a potential location for a CCE.
Here is another instance where one part of building code potentially creates conflict with another seperate code. Ie. Energy code (insulation) vs nec. I say potentially because I'm not familiar with the electrical insulating properties of thermal and water penetration application to the concrete foundation.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Is most residential construction in Nebraska slab-on-grade? Here in the Northeast, basements are very common. You will commonly see the foundation perimeter sealed from the bottom of the footing to 12" above grade.
Majority seem to have basements, but the footing is one pour directly into the dirt, usually nearly level to only a few inches above dirt. Then foundation walls are later poured on those footings (used to be lot of block walls layed on them but past 20-25 years usually is a poured wall). That wall gets exterior water seal before backfilling, but the CEE is in the first footing. Some the foundation walls use ICF forms that remain on afterwards, those of course can't qualify as a CEE either, but are usually sitting on a footing that does qualify.

Slab on grade (whether a dwelling or not) may at times have footing and slab all in one pour
 
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