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Old 04-23-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
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Above Code Obsession


I completed my whole house rewire last Fall (took 2 years and severely tested my wife's patience). I read 5 wiring books in the early stages but read Rex Cauldwell's Wiring a House with his above code suggestions near the end of the project and now im obsessing about some of the stuff I didnt do. What do you guys think of some of the suggestions, specifically,

1. Driving 8 ground rods and the wire must be continuous (I drove 4 but the #6 copper wire from the panel to rod 1 is 1 wire and the #6 wire from rod 1 through rod 4 is another wire but both are properly clampled to rod 1 with an acord clamp). Funny, even with 4 rods there is almost no current through the rods versus 2-3 amps through the traditional cold water pipe ground

2. 1 circuit for each duplex receptacle in bathrooms. Since I have a quad in each of the batchrooms, that would be 4 circuits instead of 1 (code allows an unlimited number of bathroom receptacles on one circuit which does seem odd)

3. Nothing shared with kitchen counter receptacles (ie kitchen wall and dining room on their own)

4. Dedicated circuits for everything - I added dedicted circuit for fridge, microwave and dishwasher/disposer, but did not separate the dishwasher disposer onto 2 circuits. There used to be what I called "Circuit X" which did kitchen counter, microwave, dishwasher, disposer, fridge, 2 kitchen counter outlets, dining room and 1 outside outlet. Wife frequently blew that one. Circuit X was divided into at least 5 circuits during the rewire

5. No switch loops - did 5 of these to save on carpentry/avoid certain box fill problems. Now 2011 code says no switch loops without a neutral. Oops?

Just wondering what you guys think.

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Old 04-23-2012, 02:09 PM   #2
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Above Code Obsession


remember, code just defines minimums. no problem going above and beyond! like you mention, code doesn't really limit the number of general use receptacles on a single circuit. that's just one example. to your list though:

  1. not sure i fully understand the installation
  2. only one circuit required, more is fine
  3. need at least two circuits to the kitchen for countertops. these circuits can serve receptacles in other room in certain instances but no problem if they don't.
  4. no problem with dedicated appliance circuits and no problem with disposal/dishwasher on same circuit
  5. if you are under 2011 code, you would need the grounded conductor (neutral) at the switch. earlier code cycle, not required.

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Old 04-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #3
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Above Code Obsession


Never heard of driving eight ground rods. Two is more than enough. I think the wire needs to be continuous or thermally fused/welded so the connection can never come apart.
There should no current on the ground wire or water pipe in a properly functioning system. If there is current the problem could be at a neighbour if your water mains are metal.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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Above Code Obsession


1. Waste of time....2 is plenty.....you gain more by connecting to the plumbing....assuming it's metal.

2. I believe the intent of the 1 breaker for the bathroom is to insure you have the rated power for the hair dryer. Don't need more breakers....very unlikely your going to be running 2 hair dryers at the same time.

3. That is how mine is done.

4. Fridge should be on it's own breaker...that way you don't accidently trip the breaker and spoiling the food. Microwave pulls enough juice that it could use it's own breaker. No reason the dishwasher and disposal can't share a breaker. I personally like a lot of breakers. Makes it easier to isolate ckts and problems.

5. Yep....got to have that neut...I'm getting ready to wire up my lights....on some I'm going to use 14/3 in case I want to install a ceiling fan.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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Above Code Obsession


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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post

2. I believe the intent of the 1 breaker for the bathroom is to insure you have the rated power for the hair dryer. Don't need more breakers....very unlikely your going to be running 2 hair dryers at the same time.
.
What about the flat/curling iron and the heating pots for the waxing?
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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Above Code Obsession


To clarify the ground rod thing it is installed like this (pardon the crude drawing)


Panel
--------#6 copper----Rod 1
Rod 1------#6 copper---Rod2----Rod3----Rod4

Rod 1 has 2 acron clamps and 2 wires - 1 to the panel and one to the continuous wire to #2, #3 and #4 - guess they should be welded together?

With respect to the current on the ground wires to the rods and plumbing I believe it is all mine.

If I turn off everything, both are zero
Under normal circumstances, rods re 0.04 and plumbing 1.5 or so
Under max conditions (loaded up the circuits on one of the phases with toaster, hairdyer, etc to maximize neutral load) rods go up to 0.5 plumbing 8 or so

I dont know if that means my utility neutral sucks or not. its 100A service with 2AWG aluminum wires. At one point squrrels attacked the nuutral (I guess its common and useful for shrpening teeth) so the utility has 3 splices in the neutral between my house and the pole. Transformer and wires look old.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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The GEC from the panel to the grounding electrodes may need to be continuous at least to rods one and two. At least I was told by my inspector to do this.
If you're above code, I'm surprised you didn't run a #4 for the GEC

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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Above Code Obsession


I wish I had. I have #4 to the indoor plumbing. At some point I will probably break down and replace the #6 with #4 but it will be a difficult, messy job.

Nothing like a newly rewired house though. Went from 40 ungrounded receptacles to over 70 (grounded), better lighting, etc.

House was built in 1959 so everything was ungrounded Romex and much of the insulation was "frayed"

scariest dicoveries:
1. Open splices in the attic done by the previous owner
2. Lamp cord used in a switch loop
3. 4 hidden junction boxes supported only by air and wires in/out
4. 50Amp oven circuit spliced in the middle in a hidden junction box.. They used 8-2 and used the bare ground wire for ground neutral combo. Was happy to ditch that for 6-3 copper continuous run.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Above Code Obsession


Nothing wrong with they way you did it but I'm not sure about GR and wire.
I just finished off a 100' of #4 at my house,overkill,maybe but I sleep better at night knowing it's done that way.
the freaking water meter was on the other side of the house.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:52 PM   #10
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Above Code Obsession


I was lucky the water meter was only 30' away. The original plumbing ground was right next to the panel but I ran the #4 to just above the meter and connected below the meter as well to provide both a meter jump and to meet the "all connections must be within 5 feet of entering the building". Water pipe is copper at least 30 feet to the street where it meets a cast iron main. Very nice ground.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:59 PM   #11
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Above Code Obsession


Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
The GEC from the panel to the grounding electrodes may need to be continuous at least to rods one and two. At least I was told by my inspector to do this.
Code requires the GEC to be continuous to the first rod. The wire between the first and second rods is a bonding jumper and does NOT need to be unbroken. It's usually just eaier to keep it one piece.



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I wish I had. I have #4 to the indoor plumbing. At some point I will probably break down and replace the #6 with #4 but it will be a difficult, messy job.
Holy crap WHY?????

Overkill is one thing. Much of what I am reading is is just plain silly.

What in the world do you think FOUR ground rods and #4 would do for you??? Seriously....
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:00 PM   #12
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Above Code Obsession


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinp22 View Post
I was lucky the water meter was only 30' away. The original plumbing ground was right next to the panel but I ran the #4 to just above the meter and connected below the meter as well to provide both a meter jump and to meet the "all connections must be within 5 feet of entering the building". Water pipe is copper at least 30 feet to the street where it meets a cast iron main. Very nice ground.
You did it right,so many times I see people put In-line filters or water softeners without jumpers,the one I hate most are water heaters W/O jumpers.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:12 PM   #13
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Above Code Obsession


Sppedey Petey,

Thanks for the reality check. I am mad I didnt get a longer wire and have that "splice" (for lack of a better word) on the first ground rod.

I think I took Rex Cauldwell's book a little too seriously. He thinks plumbing grounds suck and you must try to get as close to 0 ohms as possible on ground rods to protect against surges, etc. I did put a whole house surge suppressor in the panel (Cutler Hammer CH series).

We get a lot of lightning here in Missouri but my house is "on the bottom of the hill"

I think the thread was properly names - above code "obsession"
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:29 PM   #14
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The overkill doesn't bother me. What bothers me is your acceptance that current on the GEC is normal.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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Above Code Obsession


I fully agree that there should not be current on brabch circuit egcs


But since the utility neutral ground rod wire and plumbing ground wire are all bonded at the panel wouldn't some of the overall neutral current flow to the rods and plumbing or would all be expected to flow to the utility neutral

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