Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
I am an Electrical Contractor in La Crescenta, California. I have two jurisdictions to contend with, City of Glendale, and the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. City of Glendale does not enforce the two ground rod rule, but Los Angeles County does. The problem is that La Crescenta is very rocky, it's called an Alluvial Fan. The mountains above over the many centuries have deposited many large boulders, and rocks in the area. Driving a ground rod is almost impossible, two ground rods is impossible. Instead of La Crescenta it is sometimes call "Rock Crescenta" ! This ground rod rule seems over reaching. What are you suggestions ?
 

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

Thank You For Your Reply:

We do mostly Air Conditioning & Heating work, but our maintenance contract customers sometimes need electrical work as well. Recently we had one customer wanting an Electrical Panel Upgrade, in the area of the City of Glendale. We drove two ground rods as requred, but the inspector said they don't enforce that requirement anymore. So, another customer in the unincorprated area of (Los Angels Coundy Department of Public Works) La Crestcenta, wanted us to replace an existing 100 Amp Underground panel with a new one. We drove one ground rod, and, called for inspection. And a correction notice was filed, and we needed to drive two ground rods. We got it reversed ! We should of installed one ground rod for the City of Glendale, and two ground rods for the County of Los Angeles.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Placerville, CA, USA
Occupation
Retired PV System Designer
If you can manage it, a CEE will meet most requirements and also give better performance. Hard to do in an upgrade, I know. :)

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
a rule is a rule.

mostly you are not required to drive rods at all if you have other qualifying grounding electrodes.

for new structures you are mostly required to have a CEE.

for existing structures there should be an existing GES so you would not need to do anything.
 

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

Thank You All ! ...

This "Ground Rod" thing is so funny .... As a contractor for over 30 years ... Grounding, then more grounding , then more grounding ... It sounds more as an a "Religion" ... I have one ground rod ... No I have two ground rods ... No I have three ground rods .. The soil conditions throught the United States veries month to month ... O.K I will now drive two ground rods everywhere ! ... What a joke ! ... Lighting strikes in Florida almost every day ... Lighting strikes in California almost never ...
 

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

Have you read part III of article 250?

Roger
Thank You For Your Response ...

Yes, I took your advice, and read that section again. Found out that the second ground rod I had to drive can be connected with a tap conductor, and does not need to be continuous, that helps !

I do have another related story on grounding:

A few years after starting my contracting business, I had a run in with a City of Glendale Electrical Inspector, who was the only one who carried coveralls in the truck of his car. This project was also a service uprade. The five foot rule just came out in the electrical code. It was common for the water service to be connected infront of the house, and the electrical service to be connected at back of the house. The inspector crawled under the house and discovered that I didn't follow the five foot rule. I filed for an Administrive Ruling, and wun ! The City of Glendale does not enforce the five foot rule for service upgrades, on existing homes anymore.

You got to check with each jurisdiction before you start a project. This one time I didn't.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
As far as hitting rocks and being nearly impossible to drive rods, you have some options from 250.53(G):

(G) Rod and Pipe Electrodes. The electrode shall be installed such that at least 2.44 m (8 ft) of length is in contact with the soil. It shall be driven to a depth of not less than 2.44 m (8 ft) except that, where rock bottom is encountered, the electrode shall be driven at an oblique angle not to exceed 45 degrees from the vertical or, where rock bottom is encountered at an angle up to 45 degrees, the electrode shall be permitted to be buried in a trench that is at least 750 mm (30 in.) deep. The upper end of the electrode shall be flush with or below ground level unless the aboveground end and the grounding electrode conductor attachment are protected against physical damage as specified in 250.10.
 

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

a rule is a rule.

mostly you are not required to drive rods at all if you have other qualifying grounding electrodes.

for new structures you are mostly required to have a CEE.

for existing structures there should be an existing GES so you would not need to do anything.
Thank You For Your Reply ! ...

This house, in the unincorprated area of Los Angeles County, was constructed around 1975 ... The only ground was the water pipe ground, no suppliental ground ....
 

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

I do understand the code formation in California ... Every jurisdiction in California must support and adopt the current state adoptive codes ... But they can adopt more stringent requirements ... So is the City of Glendale not supporting that requirement ? ... They should be enforceing the two ground rule, as the County of Los Angeles does ...
 

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

We as contractors, need contenuity in the enforcement of the Electrical Codes ... Mike Holt should take this issue up ... With the internet age, this should be the standard ... Why should we be required to contact every jurisdictional agency to find out what codes they enfore ? ...
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I do understand the code formation in California ... Every jurisdiction in California must support and adopt the current state adoptive codes ... But they can adopt more stringent requirements ... So is the City of Glendale not supporting that requirement ? ... They should be enforceing the two ground rule, as the County of Los Angeles does ...
The rules may be there in print, but inspectors are the front line of the enforcement, and they are just as human as the installers and can and do make mistakes, or at least have their own interpretation of what is written.

We as contractors, need contenuity in the enforcement of the Electrical Codes ... Mike Holt should take this issue up ... With the internet age, this should be the standard ... Why should we be required to contact every jurisdictional agency to find out what codes they enfore ? ...
You realize how difficult of a task that would be with thousands of jurisdictions, and not all of them on the same code? Mike is pretty much dedicated to teaching what is printed in the NEC, probably puts significant resources into the latest edition, at a time like right now where a new edition is just first being adopted but not by everyone maybe focuses on two the most two recent editions, then throw in the fact that many jurisdictions have their own local amendments thrown on top of the NEC, and there is no way he can get into enforcement type issues on a national basis. Some jurisdictions may not even use the NEC - but whatever they use may be based on or reference the NEC.
 

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

Thank You For Your Response:

That's the crux of the problem, the enforcement of the codes are the responsability of the individual bulding inspectors. I think there should be a better system of appealing one inspectors opinion of the code. Like in large building projects where they higher a consulting firm to abortrate conflicts between the General Contractor and the Speciality Contractors. I actually did appeal one inspectors opinion on the code, with the City of Glendale, when I first started contracting many years ago. It was a long and teadious process, but I won my arguement. And actually changed the enforcement of the code, for everyone.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Thank You For Your Response:

That's the crux of the problem, the enforcement of the codes are the responsability of the individual bulding inspectors. I think there should be a better system of appealing one inspectors opinion of the code. Like in large building projects where they higher a consulting firm to abortrate conflicts between the General Contractor and the Speciality Contractors. I actually did appeal one inspectors opinion on the code, with the City of Glendale, when I first started contracting many years ago. It was a long and teadious process, but I won my arguement. And actually changed the enforcement of the code, for everyone.
Well there are places where appealing an inspectors opinion is easier to do than it is at other places. Here the larger cities have their own jurisdictions and I don't get involved in any of them, but the statewide AHJ is not that bad to work with. If you have a problem with an inspector, first of all you usually can resolve it with him yourself, but if you can not work things out you can go to the chief inspector or the executive director, but they do keep close communication with one another and go to same training and meetings and generally are all on same page anyway. There have not been too many incidents where true professionals can't work it out with the local inspector, and if the local inspector runs into something he is not all that familiar with he is usually consulting his superiors himself instead of just shooting from the hip.
 

mtnelect

HVAC Contractor
Location
Southern California
Occupation
Contractor
Ground Rods - Differant Juridictions

Thank You For Your Resonse:

I have called for reinspection ... The inspector required that we drive a second ground rod - done ... The inspector required that we bond the water service - done ... The inspector required that we list the circuits - done ... Let you all know the outcome ...
 
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