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Old 10-17-2008, 10:02 PM   #1
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


Our new inground gunite pool is within 3 feet of metal fence posts that are now enveloped in concrete with a vinyl sleeve over them. At the time of construction the pool builder attached ground wires from the rebar in the pool to the bare posts. He said anytime a pool is within 5 feet of metal poles ground wires must be attached. We used the metal fence posts that have their metal bases encased in 3 feet of concrete to attach our vinyl fence. The metal poles had 6 foot pressure treated 2' x 4''s attached to them, a 4' x 4', six foot vinyl sleeve was then slid over each pole and each sleeve was filled to the top with concrete totally encasing the wood and the metal poles. In order to make this work the ground wires were detached from the metal poles. Both an electrician and a general contractor stated the ground wires at these locations were no longer needed because the metal poles were covered up with concrete and the vinyl sleeve. However the City Inspector thought the ground wires should be re-attached. Here are my questions:
  • Who is correct?
  • If it is the inspector, since the poles are no longer accessible can I use ground rods and can they be shorter than 8 feet long?
* There are ground wires at the pool pump motor and at a water line.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 10-17-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


Inspector is always right, even if he is wrong.

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Old 10-17-2008, 10:33 PM   #3
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


First things first, these are bond wires not ground wires.

Their purpose is to bond all metal parts together to bring them all to the same potential and eliminate the chances of electrocution.

The inspector is correct that these wires need to be re-connected (they never should have been removed) to bond the metal posts to the rebar, metal railings, chain link fence, pump housing, and water ( yes, the 2008 code actually states that the water has to be bonded by having a metal plate, which is bonded, in direct contact with the water), and any/every other potentially current carrying piece of metal in the area.

Ground rods are for not going to accomplish this and therefore will not resolve your problem.
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:43 PM   #4
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


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Originally Posted by EBFD6 View Post
First things first, these are bond wires not ground wires.

Their purpose is to bond all metal parts together to bring them all to the same potential and eliminate the chances of electrocution.

The inspector is correct that these wires need to be re-connected (they never should have been removed) to bond the metal posts to the rebar, metal railings, chain link fence, pump housing, and water ( yes, the 2008 code actually states that the water has to be bonded by having a metal plate, which is bonded, in direct contact with the water), and any/every other potentially current carrying piece of metal in the area.

Ground rods are for not going to accomplish this and therefore will not resolve your problem.
Well stated. Ground rods are for clearing faults to the earth. Bonding grids...What you're dealing with...Are for equipotential bonding, reducing or eliminating the shock hazard from gradient differences in stray voltage between metal parts. They're not related systems, and your posts need to be bonded.
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:05 AM   #5
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


I agree, EBFD6 VERY good post.

I have to say thekctermite, you state, "Ground rods are for clearing faults to the earth."
A ground rod's purpose is not to clear any faults.
I know you probably mean something different, but to a DIYer this looks like you are saying a ground rod will clear a short circuit to ground, or earth. This is never the case.



cartalker, you should really have the electrician back out to check this. No offense intended, but your whole concept of grounding and bonding is completely incorrect.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:44 AM   #6
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


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Inspector is always right, even if he is wrong.
I dont think so...
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:46 AM   #7
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


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Ground rods are for clearing faults to the earth.

Actually they are for limiting the voltage imposed by lightning, line surges, or unintentional contact with higher-voltage lines.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the responses but my predicament is this; the round metal poles are now encased in concrete with a vinyl sleeve over them and all of it is now a 6 foot long 4" X 4" rectangle. I can't knock the concrete off the bottom of the poles as it will undermine the rigidity of the poles and even if I could the vinyl fence sleeve is also bonded to the concrete. How do I re-connect?




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Old 10-18-2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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To ground or not to ground, that is the question


Considering the situation you can ask your inspector for a variance.

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