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Old 08-29-2014, 01:25 AM   #1
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


My house has a ground wire from the meter pan to two ground rods on the service entrance side of the house. These ground rods were installed after the original build because the original ground rod was on the opposite side of the house from the meter pan. The original ground wire ran from the meter up across the attic and down to the original ground rod which also had a Ufer ground rod attached to it from the foundation.

At some point, the original (stranded) ground wire from the meter pan to the original ground rod on the opposite side of the house was partially severed, so I had an electrician install two new ground rods near the meter pan and ground the meter pan to those new ground rods. They cut the original ground wire leading to the original ground rod on the opposite side of the house since it was partially severed before it reached the original ground rod.

Later, I read in NEC Section 250.50 that "All grounding electrodes as described in 250.52(A)(1) through (A)(7) that are present at each building or structure served shall be bonded together to form the grounding electrode system." So I took this to mean that the original ground rod and Ufer ground needed to be bonded to the new ground rods since they were still present and accessible. Since the Ufer ground wire was still connected to the original ground rod, I ran a new ground wire from the original ground rod across the attic (essentially replacing the original ground wire that was run there) to the service entrance side of the house and down to the new ground rods (diagram attached). This essentially bonded together all grounding electrodes that were present.

I also have a whole house surge protector installed at the service panel. But unfortunately, the service panel's only ground connection is to the meter which is about 75 ft away. This means the surge suppressor is not going to be particularly effective as it should have a 10 ft or less path to earth.

Since my service panel is technically a subpanel (due to a disconnect outside before the meter) and the ground/neutral are not bonded in the service panel, I am wondering if I can connect a ground wire in the panel to the ground bus and run it to the original ground rod (which is probably less than 10 ft from the service panel), or will this create an objectionable current on the ground wire or a ground loop?
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:14 AM   #2
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


Since you have a ufer grounding electrode, supplementary ground rods are not required.

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Old 08-29-2014, 08:42 AM   #3
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


For better protection leave the SPD at the panel and install an additional SPD at the Main Service circuit breaker.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:50 AM   #4
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


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For better protection leave the SPD at the panel and install an additional SPD at the Main Service circuit breaker.
Per code, it would be hard to install a SPD at he main service breaker unless it was contained in the actual meter which some utility companies offer.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:25 AM   #5
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


I would like to avoid renting a SPD from the power company that goes at the meter. I was just wondering if it was permissible to add a ground from the service panel (where my current SPD is located) to the ground rod nearest to it since all the ground rods (even the one the meter is grounded to) are interconnected, thus giving me a shorter connection from the SPD to earth ground, which is better than the 75 ft path it travels now from the SPD to earth.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:30 AM   #6
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by swbrains
I would like to avoid renting a SPD from the power company that goes at the meter. I was just wondering if it was permissible to add a ground from the service panel (where my current SPD is located) to the ground rod nearest to it since all the ground rods (even the one the meter is grounded to) are interconnected, thus giving me a shorter connection from the SPD to earth ground, which is better than the 75 ft path it travels now from the SPD to earth.

Auxiliary ground rods are allowed, But they generally cause way more harm than good.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:51 AM   #7
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


I was originally inclined to just leave the two new ground rods nearest the meter pan and leave the Ufer and original ground rod disconnected, but felt compelled to connect them as per the NEC code quoted above, since the original ground rod and Ufer were available and accessible. At that point, I then thought about the SPD at the panel and how it should be much more effective if it could be connected to the nearest (original) ground rod rather than the one back at the meter.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:05 AM   #8
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by swbrains
I was originally inclined to just leave the two new ground rods nearest the meter pan and leave the Ufer and original ground rod disconnected, but felt compelled to connect them as per the NEC code quoted above, since the original ground rod and Ufer were available and accessible. At that point, I then thought about the SPD at the panel and how it should be much more effective if it could be connected to the nearest (original) ground rod rather than the one back at the meter.

The Ufer is 100x better than the ground rods, but you have to understand why we even install grounding electrodes to begin with.... Your logic on SPD and what you think you will get out of it seem to be the issue.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:49 AM   #9
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


Oddly, it was the electricians I hired to repair the partially severed original ground wire that recommended two new ground rods and cutting the wire to the other side of the house, which included the original ground rod and Ufer.

While I don't doubt the Ufer is most effective, my logic regarding the SPD wasn't that it alone provided some type of ultimate protection, but rather that if one was installed, an SPD with a 10 ft max path to earth ground (as recommended in the device's documentation) would be significantly more effective than one with a 75 ft path to earth ground. My original question was simply if it was possible to ground the SPD that's already installed to the ground rod that *is* within 10 ft of it rather than the one that is 75 ft away, or if that would cause any problems.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:18 PM   #10
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


IMO it's easy to over think whole house surge protection. Also beware the warranty claims ... probably any damage will not be attributed to the fault of the SPD. It will have worked as advertised .. the surge was just too great and exceeded the devices specifications ....

If you install it according to the manufacturers installation instructions your good to go .. If it says 10 feet then do it that way or your warranty for what it's worth will be void....
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:46 PM   #11
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


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Auxiliary ground rods are allowed, But they generally cause way more harm than good.
How do they generally cause harm?
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:53 PM   #12
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


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If you install it according to the manufacturers installation instructions your good to go .. If it says 10 feet then do it that way or your warranty for what it's worth will be void....
Thanks! This leads me back to my original question. Is there a fault with adding an additional ground wire from the service panel to the nearby ground rod which is not the one the meter pan is grounded directly to (although both rods are bonded via a ground wire running across the house attic as shown in my diagram)?
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:58 AM   #13
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


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How do they generally cause harm?
Think about a lightning strike, as it dissipates across the earth, every ground rod is going to give this ripple of high voltage another path to enter, and exit.... so say we have a generator 100' away from the main structure and someone drove a ground rod at this generator, since the ground rod is bonded to the equipment ground, a lightning strike will flow across the ground rod, back onto the generator equipment grounding conductor, back to the main structure and leave through that grounding electrode system....

Check out the 13:15 minute mark on this video.... I recommend watching the entire video though.


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Old 08-30-2014, 10:43 AM   #14
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


Well, based on the video information, I'm screwed. The NEC requires me to have the original building GEC and Ufer connected because they are present, but I also have to connect to the ground rods the electricians installed at the meter pan. So by code, based on the construction of my home and the work performed by licensed electricians I hired, I now have more grounding points than I should which is actually making my home and its contents more likely to be damaged by electrical surges (in whatever form they come in). Awesome.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:46 AM   #15
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Ground wire from panel to ground rod


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Well, based on the video information, I'm screwed. The NEC requires me to have the original building GEC and Ufer connected because they are present, but I also have to connect to the ground rods the electricians installed at the meter pan. So by code, based on the construction of my home and the work performed by licensed electricians I hired, I now have more grounding points than I should which is actually making my home and its contents more likely to be damaged by electrical surges (in whatever form they come in). Awesome.

I wouldn't lose any sleep over this, but I would eliminate the far ground rod because it isn't necessary...

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