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amakarevic 07-19-2010 12:32 PM

grounding rod installation
hello. i am building a detached shed that will have a 50A subpanel, for which i understand i need its own grounding.

the shed will be 11 x 9 ft and will have a concrete walkway going along the side where i plan to have the subpanel install inside, which is also the side from which the power line comes into the shed underground. the walkway will be approximately 1 ft away from the shed, with a narrow strip of soil for plants and such.

i wonder where i should drive the rod ? should it be as close to the concrete foundation footing of the shed, i.e. just a couple of inches away, or should i position it under the concrete walkway (2-3 ft away from the foundation) ? in the case of the latter, it would no longer be accessible for excavation (in some weird case) or rewiring (again, why?), without breaking the concrete but i don't know if that matters.

i also plan to bury the rod before i build the shed. i wonder if it is OK to just bury it and leave the other end of the wire that will go into the shed dangling on the ground until i do build it?

yet another question is the size of the rod. i noticed they have 5/8" x 4' rods, i thought since this is small amperage i may be able to qualify for the smaller one, rather than going 8 feet all the way.


jbfan 07-19-2010 03:35 PM

8" required, and anyplace you want to drive the rod.
Most people drive it as close to the service as they can.

amakarevic 07-19-2010 06:54 PM

thanks. how deep should the top tip of the rod be below grade ? and do i have to solder/braze 14AWG wire to it or is there more user-friendly ways of attaching ?

Stubbie 07-19-2010 07:44 PM

You need a direct bury ground rod clamp. There are several kinds but the most common is called an acorn clamp (see below). These are found at the big box near the ground rods or conduit fittings.

No #14 awg

Use #6 awg solid from the grounding bar in the sub-panel to the ground rod and secure with clamp.

Ground rod should be just below grade. Put it outside the drip line of the sheds roof. Protect the #6 awg where it is above grade with a pvc sleeve anywhere it is likely to recieve damage from a lawn mover etc.. Generally I go 6 inches to 12 inches below grade with the #6 awg and hit the clamp. Graphic below gives you the idea.

There are some tricks to installing them, especially when driving them vertically into the ground. They can also be laid horizontally in a trench or driven at an angle. Vertically is preferred.

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