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WillK 06-04-2011 04:33 PM

Ground rod wire in conduit?
At this point, I think what I really need to do is draw a diagram of my project (main panel, service entrance, meter socket, service drop, garage subpanel feeder) and break down the elements and list the applicable sections of code so I can be sure that I'm in compliance when the next inspection occurs Monday or quote code if the inspector tries to require something arbitrary.

One of his requests in the last inspection (once I got him to ACTUALLY LOOK at the ground rods because he wrote up that I did not have ground rods installed on the 3rd inspection, even though they have been there since the 1st inspection) was that I have the ground wire in conduit to protect from physical damage.

I don't dispute his request, even if it isn't in code, because I know I'll be using a weed whacker on the area.. But can anyone help me out with a code reference? If this references 250.120(C) it seems like it wouldn't apply because my ground wires are 4 AWG for the main panel and 6 AWG for the garage subpanel and 250.120(C) specifies that the protection requirement applies to EGC smaller than 6 AWG which I'm not.

Another question:
Is the conduit to protect the ground wire, all you have to do is just use a straight piece of conduit and that's it or are there any fittings necessary to be involved in this?

WillK 06-04-2011 04:44 PM

Think I found it, 250.64(B)

Dunno why it talks about 4 AWG and larger, then 6 AWG, then smaller than 6 AWG, but has the same requirement for all of them.

a7ecorsair 06-04-2011 08:50 PM

You should post us a picture of your ground rod and conduit protection for the wire.

williswires 06-04-2011 10:40 PM


Originally Posted by WillK (Post 661111)
or quote code if the inspector tries to require something arbitrary.

It's HIS job to cite the code reference that he says is being violated.

WillK 06-04-2011 11:30 PM


Originally Posted by williswires (Post 661306)
It's HIS job to cite the code reference that he says is being violated.

That'd be a first. I'm sure if pressed he'd cite the fact that he has discretion to use his judgement anyway.

Last time he was out, I had called him to come out Friday after he had been out on Thursday and said I had a lot of work. And I was up until 2:30 AM working through as much as I could, I had done everything he identified in the garage so I figured if I could at least get him to pass the garage I'd be able to cloe the wall in the garage over the weekend, move my workbenches and start using the workshop as my base of operations instead of the laundry room, which would make the wife very happy.

Anyway, he didn't pass it because I didn't staple NM cable in 3 places. These 3 places were all locations where the cable exits a blue plastic box with the tab clamp and then 4" later goes through a stud hole. I know DAMN well that code does not require this to be stapled. In fact, I'd have to staple sideways and I know that's a violation of code.

Beyond that, he had pulled out one ground to make sure the wirenut on the pigtail was secure, he pulled it apart and failed me for that. I put it back together right away and checked it was tight. He didn't check any others, I checked all beforehand and they were tight, and afterwards they were tight.

As a side note, I've run into 2 grounds made up that I had to redo after getting a passing rough inspection from this same guy. Also, on my previous passing rough inspection, he didn't require stapling as he is requiring this time through.

Then there's the ground conductor with the garage feeder because part of the conduit run is PVC. See one of my other threads.

The main panel wasn't ready. I was working on it when he arrived 2 hours before his normal start time in the afternoon.

Anyway, the discussion between us got kicked off by him saying he'd spoken with his supervisor and next time I'm going to start getting charged re-inspect fees. So I pointed out that if he had inspected and pointed out all of his issues the first time then I wouldn't be having to rework the same thing multiple times and there probably wouldn't need to be a 3rd or 4th rough inspection. He responded with he fact he doesn't know I'm going to do reworks wrong and he's getting close to telling me I can't do the work and need to get an electrician. I responded with the fact that the rework of rework isn't because I'm doing rework wrong, it's because he doesn't even look at everything and he has requirements I couldn't possibly know of until he makes them up. He said he goes by NEC, so I pointed out that the first time he had failed me based on the mast needing bracing because he goes by the weatherhead height which isn't the way the requirement is from anybody, not NEC or the POCO. He pointed out he goes by Michigan electric code, which I pointed out yes I know, and that's currently 2008 NEC with a few addendums.

Anyway, I'm looking at it as I'm guilty until proven innocent. I think I have plenty of a case to go to the building department head and get the next inspection without a reinspect fee, but I'm also pretty sure I better be ready to not only have everything he asked for complete, but also to be able to defend anything he can come up with based on something he didn't bother to look at before and tell him why what I did meets code.

WillK 06-04-2011 11:39 PM

6 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by a7ecorsair (Post 661253)
You should post us a picture of your ground rod and conduit protection for the wire.

Just finished (well, 35 minutes ago) so here it is:

WillK 06-04-2011 11:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Last pic:

mpoulton 06-05-2011 12:06 AM


Originally Posted by WillK (Post 661321)
That'd be a first. I'm sure if pressed he'd cite the fact that he has discretion to use his judgement anyway.

As a commercial construction superintendent and project engineer, I repeatedly called inspectors' bluffs by asking them to provide code citations. The good ones did so without my even asking - and we (and our subs) learned to do better work because of them. The bad ones didn't really know the code well, and would either back down or be overruled and chewed out by their superiors when we insisted on knowing exactly what code provision we were accused of violating. Only very rarely did we have a legitimate disagreement over the meaning of an identified code provision.

The inspector's discretion is to make exceptions to the code requirements by declining to enforce specific provisions in specific cases. The inspector does not have the discretion to impose more restrictive requirements than those specified by the code.

bobelectric 06-05-2011 04:53 AM

Hurry up and Mulch. Emt won't do it Pvc. By looking at the LB you established your grade and should trench the ground wires and bang the rods further in.

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