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Old 09-24-2009, 07:44 AM   #1
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Concrete Encased Electrode


Is a concrete encased electrode tied to the rebar in the footings of your home the only way to ground the electric in a house per NEC 2008? Are there other options?

Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:49 AM   #2
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I should elaborate a bit more. In March of 2009, Iowa launched the new electrical board and new construction is now subject to inspection and to meet NEC 2008.
I started building my house in Sept. of 2008, and we're doing it ourselves, out in the country where the county did not have any codes adopted at the time we pulled our building permits. So my footings and basement were built by the end of october, my basement slab was poured in December, and the house was framed in December, without that concrete encased electrode installed.

We're trying to hire an electrician now, and the first one we have talked to claims that I have to rip out my concrete floor and break my footing to weld a bar to the footing rebar to meet that concrete encased electrode requirement.

Another friend who does electrical, but is not licensed said that the NEC code has an exception that existing buildings where the concrete has to be disturbed to reach the rebar are exempt, and that I should be able to use something else as my ground for my house. Is this true?

Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:57 AM   #3
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At least one jurisdiction here interprets the code requirement that says if the rebar exists it must be used. Someone asked about what if the EC got on the job after the footing were poured. The inspector said get out a jacket hammer.

Check with your building officials. Lots of time your code cycle requirements depend on when the permit was pulled.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Another friend who does electrical, but is not licensed said that the NEC code has an exception that existing buildings where the concrete has to be disturbed to reach the rebar are exempt, and that I should be able to use something else as my ground for my house. Is this true?
This is true.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I got a hold of the local inspector and he said since they did not start enforcement of the code until March of 2009, my house would be considered an existing structure even though it is new construction. So I do not have to have the concrete encased electrode and we can go with grounding rods.

So good news for me.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:41 AM   #6
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Very good news. Stopped sweating yet?
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:23 PM   #7
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Stopped sweating? I wish.
I'm afraid this is probably only the beginning.
I had posted a question about URD cable before, and the State supervisor said I need to add a disconnect at the house since the disconnect at the pole is too far away. But now another electrician we just talked to says, not so, I only need a junction box at the house since the line coming from the meter is protected, and that he is always challenging the state inspector on some code things, so he will take it up with the inspector.

At least so far my concrete slab will stay intact.

Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boontucky View Post
Stopped sweating? I wish.
I'm afraid this is probably only the beginning.
I had posted a question about URD cable before, and the State supervisor said I need to add a disconnect at the house since the disconnect at the pole is too far away. But now another electrician we just talked to says, not so, I only need a junction box at the house since the line coming from the meter is protected, and that he is always challenging the state inspector on some code things, so he will take it up with the inspector.

At least so far my concrete slab will stay intact.

Thanks.
If you have a disconnect on the pole along with the meter, you will need a disconnect at the house and the house panel will need to be wired as a subpanel (4 wire feeder). It would be considered a separate structure.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:24 PM   #9
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Thanks HouseHelper. That had been the conclusion months ago with the state inspector.
I'm just getting confused by all this different interpretations of code. The co-op even says I should not need a disconnect at house, and they are now checking with the state inspector.
We're considering moving the panel from the pole to the house to simplify things since we do have a second panel meter that needs to be installed to run electric heat, and might just be cheaper that way.
We'll see.

Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:49 PM   #10
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Grounding


So, after talking with the co-op and a couple of electricians, it will be cheaper to leave the 2 meter panels (with a 200 amp breaker in them, one for house, one for heat) at the pole, run 4-0 USE cable to 2 outside disconnects at the side of the house, and from there go the 12 ft into the house to reach the 2 200 amp panels.
Electrician will install grounding rods, since inspector said we don't have to bust into our footings to create a concrete encased electrode.

One electrician said he would install the grounding wire and run it all the way to the inside panels. The other said didn't need to in the house and stop at the disconnect at the wall, because the grounding goes to the main disconnect on the outside of the wall.

I've yet to contact the inspector to clarify since I don't want him to show up for rough-in inspection and tell me it's wrong depending on who we chose. So which is it? Run the ground wire all the way to the main panels or stop at the disconnect at the wall?

Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:05 PM   #11
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If you are talking about the wire that goes to the ground rods, it only goes to the disconnects and not the interior panels.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:15 PM   #12
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The ground wire from the rods goes the main disconnects.
The main disconnects require a 4 wire feed to the panels in the house. So you still need a ground wire going into the house.

Last edited by joed; 09-29-2009 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:48 PM   #13
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It's the wire that goes to the rods.
So Code05 and Joed are saying the same thing as the electricians I am quoting. One says the ground wires stop at the exterior disconnect panels on the house, the other says I still need a ground wire run into the house panels.

That inspector will know my phone number on a first name basis at this rate. Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boontucky View Post
It's the wire that goes to the rods.
So Code05 and Joed are saying the same thing as the electricians I am quoting. One says the ground wires stop at the exterior disconnect panels on the house, the other says I still need a ground wire run into the house panels.

That inspector will know my phone number on a first name basis at this rate. Thanks.
No, joed and I are not saying the same thing as your electricians. Let me explain. you are running 4 wire 4/0 wire to a disconnect on your house. Two hots, a neutal, and a ground. You will then run 4 wire to the panels in your house. At the disconnect you will put two ground rods in and run a wire to the ground rods. This wire is called a GEC, Grounding Electrode Conductor. The ground wire you run into the house, part of a 4 wire SER cable,is called The EGC, Equipment Grounding Conductor. They serve two different functions. The word "ground wire" can get confusing to non electricians.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:31 AM   #15
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Excellent Code05. Thank you for the explanation.
I got confused because one electrician said "we'll pull the ground wire all the way to the panels in the house."
When the next guy came for a quote, he said the ground wire from the rods stops at the disconnect on the wall.
I had read somewhere that the wire from the ground rods is supposed to go to the main disconnect, which to me that was the ones on the exterior wall.
That's why I was concerned about what that first electrician said. So now I can question him if that's what he meant (what you said.)

Thanks again for being kind enough to explain.

Boontucky
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