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Old 03-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
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upgrade meter, meter panel and ufer ground supplement


Hi. I have 2 questions I would appreciate help with:

1) I installed a ufer ground when I added the addition's foundation. The inspector only required #8 wire from the rebar to the new panel. Should I install another grounding rod or 2 to ground the new 200amp panel?


2) I'm a homeowner doing all of my own work, including wiring our whole house that we gutted and added an addition. I want to upgrade the 100amp panel to 200amp panel. I'm connecting all of the wires to the breakers in the new 200amp panel, including AFCIs. I bought all of the supplies but I thought I might hire a pro to do the meter box/meter change, meter-to-panel lines and grounding. I've called 3 refered electrical contractors to give me a price to do this work but only 1 contractor returned my call. Althought they said they would stop out to take a look, they never did. My guess is due to Hurricane sandy most are really busy and don't have time for such a small job for a DIYer that has already purchased the materials. for anyone that has done this, is this something I can do on my own or should I continue to try and find a pro?

THANKS!

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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upgrade meter, meter panel and ufer ground supplement


The UFER is all you need for your main panel. This is the "Main Service Panel" right?
They are quite busy in NJ and surrounding territory as you mention. Guys that don't show up when they say they are coming should be crossed off your list.
Where are you in NJ. I know several contractors in your immediate vicinity.

And finally you are correct that you purchasing the materials could be an issue with a contractor. They like to buy their own stuff and mark it up. Not to mention they might like certain brands or items over others.

Make certain the contractor is licensed, insured and bonded.

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
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upgrade meter, meter panel and ufer ground supplement


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
...This is the "Main Service Panel" right?...

...Where are you in NJ. I know several contractors in your immediate vicinity....
Yes, main service panel. I know the ufer is an excellent ground but I noticed the service panel feed ground wire is very large so the ufer's #8 wire seems awfully small.

I'm in Flemington, NJ

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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upgrade meter, meter panel and ufer ground supplement


The #8 is undersized. I am surprised Mike missed it. The 2011 NEC states;

250.66 Size of Alternating-Current Grounding Electrode


Conductor.
The size of the grounding electrode conductor
at the service, at each building or structure where
supplied by a feeder(s) or branch circuit(s), or at a separately
derived system of a grounded or ungrounded ac system
shall not be less than given in Table 250.66, except as
permitted in 250.66(A) through (C).
Informational Note: See 250.24(C) for size of ac system
conductor brought to service equipment.
(A) Connections to Rod, Pipe, or Plate Electrodes.
Where the grounding electrode conductor is connected to
rod, pipe, or plate electrodes as permitted in 250.52(A)(5)
or (A)(7), that portion of the conductor that is the sole connection
to the grounding electrode shall not be required to be
larger than 6 AWG copper wire or 4 AWG aluminum wire.
(B) Connections to Concrete-Encased Electrodes.
Where the grounding electrode conductor is connected to a
concrete-encased electrode as permitted in 250.52(A)(3),
that portion of the conductor that is the sole connection to
the grounding electrode shall not be required to be larger

than 4 AWG copper wire.

Table 250.66 requires a #4 copper for a 200A service.

Is your water service plastic or copper? If it is plastic, ground rods are not required. If it is copper, ground rods are required.

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Old 03-22-2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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Is your water service plastic or copper? If it is plastic, ground rods are not required. If it is copper, ground rods are required.
Please explain this. I am curious as to what your logic is.

If a Ufer is installed, ONLY a water bond is required, unless the water pipe entering the home is metallic, then it must be used as an electrode by attaching with 5' of where it enters.
NO additional ground rods at all are required.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:39 PM   #6
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upgrade meter, meter panel and ufer ground supplement


Thanks for the replies!

My water service entering the basement is metal. After that I chopped it up and did mostly pex, although a very small portion of the existing house's plumbing I kept as copper.

Back to the Ufer: my memory served me wrong again - my ufer wire is #6awg, not #8, but according to the code electures graciously provided it is still undersized.

So, can is it acceptable to connect both the ufer AND a grounding rod to the main service panel or must I only have one of them connected to the main service panel?
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCod153 View Post

Back to the Ufer: my memory served me wrong again - my ufer wire is #6awg, not #8, but according to the code electures graciously provided it is still undersized.
True. You need #4cu for a 200A service to a Ufer.



Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCod153 View Post
So, can is it acceptable to connect both the ufer AND a grounding rod to the main service panel or must I only have one of them connected to the main service panel?
WHY do you want to add a ground rod? There is absolutely no reason for it.
Since it exists you DO have to connect to your water pipe within 5' of where it enters. If as you say, the pipe converts to plastic right after it enters, then the connection to this can be #6cu.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
True. You need #4cu for a 200A service to a Ufer.



WHY do you want to add a ground rod? There is absolutely no reason for it.
Since it exists you DO have to connect to your water pipe within 5' of where it enters. If as you say, the pipe converts to plastic right after it enters, then the connection to this can be #6cu.
The only reason I was thinking I should add a ground rod was because my ufer wire is too small. But, do I understand you that since my water service is metal (to a well) then I can simply use run a #6 ground wire to the metal pipe and use that as the grounding element? So do leave the ufer wire attached too, since it is there already or is it a problem to have 2 separate grounds?
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
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upgrade meter, meter panel and ufer ground supplement


The separate grounding electrodes are required in your case.
Personally I would replace the wire to the Ufer with #4.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
The separate grounding electrodes are required in your case.
Personally I would replace the wire to the Ufer with #4.
Thanks. I don't think replacing the wire would benefit me since I could only replace the part of the wire that is outside of the concrete footing.

I'm not even close to an experienced electrician but I'm curious - why would you prefer to replace the wire vs using a grounding rod? Wouldn't a grounding rod be much less expensive than the #4 wire?
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:46 PM   #11
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Oh, I wasn't aware that the wire went right into the pour. Then no, replacing it will not do much good.

At the same time,neither will adding a ground rod, much at least. Ground rods IMO are pretty much useless in every day situations, and when something like lightning happens, a single ground rod is not going to be of much help.
But the NEC says we must have something, so we install something.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:49 PM   #12
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upgrade meter, meter panel and ufer ground supplement


Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCod153 View Post
Thanks. I don't think replacing the wire would benefit me since I could only replace the part of the wire that is outside of the concrete footing.

I'm not even close to an experienced electrician but I'm curious - why would you prefer to replace the wire vs using a grounding rod? Wouldn't a grounding rod be much less expensive than the #4 wire?
Speedy might be thinking that you have not poured yet....

In my area...a 100A service can get by with a #6 wire...that could be why your inspector approved it....but for 200A...yea, it needs to be #4.

As for what to do now?

If it was me....I'd run the ground rods with the right size wire and tie it and the Ufer together in the load center.

When I did my addition, I ran an Ufer (using #4). I already had a ground rod at the front of the house where my water pipe enters the house....I also sank a ground rod next to my slab in the crawl space (I know I didn't need to). I then tied the tail end of my ufer to it and the ground from the front ground rod to it. I'm well grounded....(even my rebar is tied to the ufer wire). It's more than I need...but in my case....it's what I wanted. Nothing wrong with a good ground...
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
If it was me....I'd run the ground rods with the right size wire and tie it and the Ufer together in the load center.
This is what I will do - thanks!
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCod153 View Post
This is what I will do - thanks!
Wait for Speedy or Electures to chime in.....just in case they have some additional advice....
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Please explain this. I am curious as to what your logic is.

If a Ufer is installed, ONLY a water bond is required, unless the water pipe entering the home is metallic, then it must be used as an electrode by attaching with 5' of where it enters.
NO additional ground rods at all are required.
250.53 Grounding Electrode System Installation.
Informational Note: See 547.9 and 547.10 for special
grounding and bonding requirements for agricultural
buildings.



(D) Metal UndergroundWater Pipe.
If used as a grounding electrode, metal underground water pipe shall meet the requirements of 250.53(D)(1) and (D)(2).


(1) Continuity.
Continuity of the grounding path or the bonding connection to interior piping shall not rely on water meters or filtering devices and similar equipment.


(2) Supplemental Electrode Required.
A metal underground water pipe shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in 250.52(A)(2) through (A)(8). If the supplemental electrode is of the rod, pipe, or plate type, it shall comply with 250.53(A). The supplemental electrode shall be bonded to one of the following:

(1) Grounding electrode conductor
(2) Grounded service-entrance conductor
(3) Nonflexible grounded service raceway
(4) Any grounded service enclosure
(5) As provided by 250.32(B)

Exception: The supplemental electrode shall be permitted
to be bonded to the interior metal water piping at any convenient point as specified in 250.68(C)(1), Exception.




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If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.

Last edited by electures; 03-23-2013 at 02:28 PM.
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