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hayashi 11-26-2011 10:51 PM

Multiple Grounding Rods
 
I have a hillside property with an ungrounded switched light in the yard. I have tapped the light and installed a box with a GFCI outlet so that I can control other things with the switch. Problem now is that this is an ungrounded outlet.

Should / can I pound in another (in addition to the one at the panel) grounding rod near the outlet and ground it or will this pose a dangerous situation?

Not that I want to pound a rod through bedrock but I want to do what's safe.

Thanks - Eric

jklingel 11-27-2011 01:59 AM

I'm not an electrical engineer or "wire guy", but I don't see the problem w/ 8 grounding rods if you wanted them. Elect will take the path of least resistance and will ground where it feels like, as far as I know. Is there any way to rent a large Hilti-type drill and bore at least 3' or so before you start pounding on the rod? Drill the hole just a tad smaller in diam than the rod, to ensure good connection.

ddawg16 11-27-2011 11:26 AM

I take it that you don't have a ground wire running over there?

If you have the GFIC...then yes, you need to install a ground rod for it to work properly.

jbfan 11-27-2011 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jklingel (Post 779739)
I'm not an electrical engineer or "wire guy", but I don't see the problem w/ 8 grounding rods if you wanted them. Elect will take the path of least resistance and will ground where it feels like, as far as I know. Is there any way to rent a large Hilti-type drill and bore at least 3' or so before you start pounding on the rod? Drill the hole just a tad smaller in diam than the rod, to ensure good connection.

Not even close!!!

He just an't install a ground rod out near the receptacle, because it will not do any good.

If he wants to ground this receptacle, he needs to refeed the wire from the house to include a grounding conductor.

jbfan 11-27-2011 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ddawg16 (Post 779913)
I take it that you don't have a ground wire running over there?

If you have the GFIC...then yes, you need to install a ground rod for it to work properly.

Where did you come up with this misinformation?

A gfci will work without a ground wire!

Installing a ground rod near a receptacle will not do anything to ground this receptacle!


Mods, this thread needs to be moved to the electrical section!

jklingel 11-27-2011 01:18 PM

jb: first off, relax, then maybe you can explain why a second ground rod is useless. we'd all like to learn. we who are not electrical contractors don't see why a receptacle has to ground all the way back to the original grounding rod, since the second one goes to the same place. what's the diff? thanks for the info, w/out all the "!!!!"

ddawg16 11-27-2011 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 779926)
Where did you come up with this misinformation?

A gfci will work without a ground wire!

Installing a ground rod near a receptacle will not do anything to ground this receptacle!


Mods, this thread needs to be moved to the electrical section!

Your right....had a brain fart.....

I'm so used to needing ground rods at remote panels....

But I fail to understand why installing a ground rod and connecting said ground wire on recept will not ground the recept?

jbfan 11-27-2011 05:11 PM

I guess I did go a little overboard.

Grounds and neutral wires are bonded at the first means of disconnect only.

This allows a fault path to ground to trip the breaker.
A ground rod not connected to the neutral bond does not give fault current a place to go.

Ground rods are mainly for lighting protection.

I have asked this to be moved to the electrical section so more people can expand on the explanation.

joed 11-27-2011 05:33 PM

The GFCI is all you need. A GFCI is a code compliant way to install a three prong receptacle on an ungrounded circuit.

As has been already stated a GFCI does not require a ground to function properly.

brric 11-27-2011 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jklingel (Post 779739)
I'm not an electrical engineer or "wire guy", but I don't see the problem w/ 8 grounding rods if you wanted them. Elect will take the path of least resistance and will ground where it feels like, as far as I know. Is there any way to rent a large Hilti-type drill and bore at least 3' or so before you start pounding on the rod? Drill the hole just a tad smaller in diam than the rod, to ensure good connection.

Electricity will take ALL paths.

jklingel 11-27-2011 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 780159)
I guess I did go a little overboard.

Grounds and neutral wires are bonded at the first means of disconnect only.

This allows a fault path to ground to trip the breaker.
A ground rod not connected to the neutral bond does not give fault current a place to go.

Ground rods are mainly for lighting protection.

I have asked this to be moved to the electrical section so more people can expand on the explanation.

jb: NOW we're gettin' somewhere. Could you elaborate a tad on this? "first means of disconnect only" is the distribution panel? "fault path" is the path for juice that was supposed to go through a light, but is now flowing through Joe Wizbang because he took the bulb out and stuck his finger in the socket, drawing too many amps? Thanks, if you have time to elaborate.

jklingel 11-27-2011 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brric (Post 780197)
Electricity will take ALL paths.

But inversely proportionally to the different resistances, right?

hayashi 11-28-2011 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 780175)
The GFCI is all you need. A GFCI is a code compliant way to install a three prong receptacle on an ungrounded circuit.

As has been already stated a GFCI does not require a ground to function properly.

Thanks for all of the replies :)

jbfan, appreciate your passion!

My local electrician confirmed jbfan's advice that I should not install another ground rod. He said the GFI was safe and legal as long as I mark the receptacle with the words “No Equipment Ground" and plug up the ground hole to prevent misuse since its ungrounded. I connected my handy little three prong GFCI tester and the little button does not throw the circuit. The test switch does work as designed however.

joed 11-28-2011 05:34 PM

You are not required to plug up the ground hole in the GFCI. A GFCI is a valid replacement to allow the use of three prong plugs on ungrounded circuits.

hayashi 11-29-2011 03:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 780862)
You are not required to plug up the ground hole in the GFCI. A GFCI is a valid replacement to allow the use of three prong plugs on ungrounded circuits.

I am no electrician but since my kids might use this outlet I decided to find and read the code. I read it on the internet so it must be true, right? ;)

[406.3(D)(3)]

A. Where no equipment bonding means exists in the outlet box, nongrounding-type receptacles can be replaced with :

Another nongrounding-type receptacle.
A GFCI grounding-type receptacle marked "No Equipment Ground."
A grounding-type receptacle, if GFCI protected and marked "GFCI Protected" and "No Equipment Ground."
Note: GFCI protection functions properly on a 2-wire circuit without an equipment grounding (bonding) conductor, because the equipment grounding (bonding) conductor serves no role in the operation of the GFCI-protection device.

So I won't be plugging the hole but I will be labeling it.


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