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Old 06-26-2010, 10:23 AM   #16
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Driving a Ground Rod


A lot of contractors here drive 8' rods and leave it with 3-4" above grade and pass inspection! Personally we only drive 10' rods. We drive them into the ground between 8-1/2 ' and 9' and then offset them slightly so that they are up against the building. I have never had an inspector tell me to drive them below grade nor question my methods. Nowhere in Miami-Dade County have I seen a buried rod! I think it is due to the corrosive nature of South Florida earth and the fact that we are at sea level. Could be the same reason in parts of California?

I have seen some jobs where inspectors have made the contractor protect the rods and connections where they are above grade with a 2" PVC sleeve.

Bottom line is talk to the AHJ if you're not sure! Different areas have different rules, sometimes for good reason and sometimes just because they don't know any better!

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Old 06-26-2010, 10:45 AM   #17
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Personally we only drive 10' rods.
Yeah, but you guys can simply push them into the ground by hand.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:54 AM   #18
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This is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard with regard to electrical work, and does NOT satisfy the NEC.

WHY would they want to create a (albeit minor) code violation and trip/damage hazard at the same time???
Makes no sense to me, but then again, this is California we are talking about.

We are concerned that the ground clamp is visable...we do not want that connection to corrode and fail un beknowest to the eye!
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:58 AM   #19
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Yeah, but you guys can simply push them into the ground by hand.
I wish! Solid coral rock is NOT as soft as you might think!
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:04 PM   #20
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We are concerned that the ground clamp is visable...we do not want that connection to corrode and fail un beknowest to the eye!
Seriously? Are you aware that all ground rod clamps are rated for direct burial? Most are marked as such.
They are designed to NOT fail.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:06 PM   #21
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I wish! Solid coral rock is NOT as soft as you might think!
Really? I though you were mostly sand.

Most of LI NY is pure sand. It is nothing to sink a ground rod. That is one of the very few things I miss about working down there.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:59 PM   #22
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Do local jurisdictions have the ability to vary from the NEC? If so do they then have the right to say that they want a ground rod sticking up out of the ground even if it's a stupid rule?
if they accept the code, they do not have the right to alter the code. They do have the right to interpret any sections that are interpretable. It would appear the section concerning the rod being below grade is quite explicit and as such, not subject to interpretation by the local AHJ.

If one wanted to argue the point with the inspector, the ultimate power for the area (for me it is a state level decision) should support the plain language of the code and remove that directive of the local AHJ. Sometimes is it easier to simply learn a local AHJ's quirks and deal with them than argue, to the state if necessary, and move on with life.

Sometimes it is simply the inspector being wrong and pointing that out to them helps them as well as everybody else involved.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:43 PM   #23
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Driving a Ground Rod


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
250.52 Grounding Electrodes.
(A) Electrodes Permitted for Grounding.

(5) Rod and Pipe Electrodes.
Rod and pipe electrodes shall not be less than 2.44 m (8 ft) in length and shall consist of the following materials.

(a) Grounding electrodes of pipe or conduit shall not be smaller than metric designator 21 (trade size 3/4) and, where of steel, shall have the outer surface galvanized or otherwise metal-coated for corrosion protection.

(b) Grounding electrodes of stainless steel and copper or zinc coated steel shall be at least 15.87 mm (5/8 in.) in diameter, unless listed and not less than 12.70 mm (1/2 in.) in diameter.





250.53 Grounding Electrode System Installation.
(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.
So, to comply with the NEC requirement for 8 feet in the ground but still leave some above ground, the rod would have to be longer than 8 feet. Is that the correct way to interrupt this? The new rod I have is exactly 8 feet long.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:25 PM   #24
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So, to comply with the NEC requirement for 8 feet in the ground but still leave some above ground, the rod would have to be longer than 8 feet. Is that the correct way to interrupt this? The new rod I have is exactly 8 feet long.
Yes, and no.
Bottom line is the NEC still requires the top of the rod to be flush with or below grade unless protected.

I have a feeling you have some overzealous inspectors enforcing their own opinion rather than the actual code.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:32 PM   #25
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A7, to further clarify, you cannot have 8' in contact with the ground and leave a few inches sticking up if the rod is only 8'. to do so would leave you with something like 7'-9" of contact.
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:58 PM   #26
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Thanks Speedy
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:13 PM   #27
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I have a feeling you have some overzealous inspectors enforcing their own opinion rather than the actual code
A lot of NEC code is proven science but a fair amount of it is little more than agreed upon opinion?
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:24 PM   #28
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A lot of NEC code is proven science but a fair amount of it is little more than agreed upon opinion?
but it is agreed upon opinion published in the book of rules that are accepted as being applicable to the installation of the system at hand.

As such, that agreed upon opinion is legally enforceable while the inspectors opinion, without support by the accepted code, isn't.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:37 PM   #29
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but it is agreed upon opinion published in the book of rules that are accepted as being applicable to the installation of the system at hand.

As such, that agreed upon opinion is legally enforceable while the inspectors opinion, without support by the accepted code, isn't.
Very well said.

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