Grounding Rods

(Kevin Clancy) #1

This is the 2nd inspection in a row I have found no grounding rods at the meter, or anywhere. Am I crazy or doesnt there have to be 2 grounding rods 8 feet long in the ground at the meter. The meter was bonded appropriately, but no grounding rods. Any clues what is going on???

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(David Wigger, CMI) #2

What Is A ‘Ufer’ Ground? | Electrical Contractor Magazine

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(Joe Funderburk, CMI) #3

It is something I NEVER see. Good reference article. Thanks.

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(David Wigger, CMI) #4

:smiley:
There is always a blank wall plate for access/proof of ground in close proximity to the panel on the opposite side of the wall as the meter in my neck of the woods.

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(Ian W. Mayer, CMI) #5

Depends.

It may have an ufer.
It may be grounded to a plumbing pipe and not a rod.
Many older homes simply don’t have them.

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(Chuck Evans, CMI TREC 7657) #6

They don’t always require 2 ground electrodes if the soil resistance is low enough, though I don’t know of anyone who measures the soil resistance so you usually see two ground electrodes.

You didn’t mention the age of the house, which is an important consideration.

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(Manny Marinos, CMI) #7

Around here most older homes only have a ground wire at the main water supply pipe.

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(Kevin M. Leonard, CMI) #8

Due to the amount of plastics used in plumbing systems these days, the water main can no longer be used as the sole/primary electrode.

I always call this out whenever there is not either an ufer or a grounding rod grounding the system.

Code Check Electrical: An Illustrated Guide to Wiring a Safe House - Redwood Kardon, Douglas Hansen - Google Books

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(Manny Marinos, CMI) #9

I understand your point but what are you calling out? Improper plumbing bond or improperly grounded electrical system? Two entirely different things. If the main water line is bonded within 5’ of where it comes through foundation then I can safely assume it is properly grounded as plastic water mains are rarely if ever used on Long Island and if it was plastic I would see the plastic.

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(Don C. Hawley) #10

I agree with Manny and Kenny we have older homes using the water pipe as a ground (still allowed by the NEC) and older homes were the galvanized/copper water line has been replaced with plastic, some times out side the foundation. Usually but not always the service has been upgraded and we can verify the presence of a ground rod. When we cannot verify the ground source we recommend a qualified electrician verify the presence of a proper ground. Homes old enough to still use the water pipe as ground usually have enough other electrical problems that this is just one more thing to repair.

Don Hawley CPI
Hawley Home Inspections LLC

Home Inspection Services, Termite, Radon & Sewer Scope
DonHawley575@gmail.com
Licensed Home Inspector
Licensed Radon Professional
Certified Sewer Inspector
IAC2 Certified Mold Inspector

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(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #11

I don’t because they are usually buried…

“The service main has an earth ground. The termination of the main ground wire for the electrical service was not accessible.”
Or…
“The service main has an earth and plumbing ground. The termination of the main ground wire for the electrical service was not accessible.”

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(Kevin M. Leonard, CMI) #12

I’m calling out improper electrical system ground.

See “Grounding Electrodes” section in your code check book.

As I understand it, the reason for this is because of what can’t be seen. The only way to know if there isn’t a plastic main on the other side of the foundation is to dig a trench so it would be visible, 10 feet out, to verify that it is indeed metallic, that’s what’s required for a water main ground, 10 feet.

Although most mains around here are copper, I see plastic water lines at least every other week, mostly black poly but other plastics as well.

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(Ian W. Mayer, CMI) #13

That depends on the area.

Some neighborhoods plastic is common, some neighborhoods I almost never see plastic.

I replaced my water main a few years back, and it’s copper.

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(Kevin M. Leonard, CMI) #14

Home Service Grounding Electrodes - InterNACHI

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