Lack of grounds

I did an inspection today of a commercial building. The inspection consisted of only the electrical and the foundation. While in the panels I noticed that there were many breakers, but only a few ground wires. I never located any other kind of mass ground rod or anything that gave me any indication items were grounded some where else. It seemed really really odd to me. Any input?

Were all the circuits run in conduit that could be used as the grounding conductor?

I see that it is 3 phase and I am not familiar enough with 208 three phase Y or Delta three phase to answer your question, if that were the case…sorry.

On commercial or industrial, etc. jobs, you may consider bringing along a specialist for the items that you see, on the walk through with your client, that you may need help with.

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There were ground wires on the conduits. So that makes sense. Next time i think I’ll pass on the commercial inspection.

Some metallic raceways are permitted to be used as equipment grounding conductors (EGC’s). Looks like you have metal raceways that are the EGC’s. Perfectly normal without an additional wire type EGC. Commercial inspections can be tricky because often the systems are far more complex than a typical residential panel.


Cory, as Robert said commercial electrical inspections are different and more complex than your typical residential inspection. More important is that they can be very dangerous and possibly deadly if you are not properly trained.
If you want to continue with commercial electrical inspections, besides getting more training, find a good commercial electrician that you can sub out the electrical to. Shadow him and you can learn a lot.
Best of Luck

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Thanks Joseph, I plan to do some more training this winter as I didn’t know what I didn’t know until now. No more commercial until I know more. However I still wrote a large report of issues that even a lowly home inspector such as myself can see.

Cory, if you are not already a member, I suggest joining InterNachi. InterNachi offers many courses and many other benefits that are all included with your membership.

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