QOD -1/9/2007 - Electrical

Easy one for today guys…ENJOY !

P.S… When I am refering to “ALLOWED” we are talking about the one that is ALLOWED to go to the Ground Rods as reference…not the fact it can be LARGER than the allowed…lets not make this complicated with a bunch of WHAT IF things…simple electrical question…we know the GEC could be larger…but what is the ALLOWED size it can be.

lol…let be remove the previous debate thing…I really DO want you guys thinking outside the normal BOX.

seventeen lookers and five answers . Wonder why .
Roy Cooke

Paul scared them with this note. ha. ha.

Anyone sho debates otherwise is only doing it to be a smart A$$…lol


Right or wrong, I’m not going to debate it, hell I am just a dumb carpenter. ha. ha.

I believe that would be the minimum allowed size Mr. sho debate.

Is this gec to a ground rod that is considered a supplemental grounding electrode?

Also, copper right?


lol…Yes…also should ALWAYS assume copper and never assume aluminum when doing questions in this type of nature…lol…not the DEBATE I was looking for…I will explain at the end…lol…

OH I welcome debate…but on this question their is one listed answer and their is ONE issue that could be debated…so I was actually doing reverse psychology…lol

Thomas…Yes…supplimental or primary…does not really matter if it is a supplimental or not…we are speaking of the ground rods as the sole electrodes in this example…but then again when we are really dealing with the ground rod in normal installations we are dealing with either the primary electrode or supplimental…not talking about supplimentary…:slight_smile:

lol…don’t let the debate thing scare away comments…just teasing ya guys…man dont you all KNOW me by now…geesshhh

If I remember correctly #8 is the largest solid copper conductor, and I know I always installed #8 as the grounding conductor. So, I is gona guess #8

The question is sorely flawed.

It does not state the conductor material type, although you cleared that up by stating later that it is copper.

The question states what is the ALLOWED, but does not clarify what ALLOWED means. Do you mean what is the minimum allowed copper GEC to a ground rod? Without clarification, there are two answers.

No matter the size of the service, the grounding electrode conductor to a rod electrode is not required to be bigger than a #6 copper. If that conductor is exposed to physical damage, the smallest conductor that can be run where exposed to physical damage is a #4 copper.

If this GEC is for an article 800 installation, there are even more answers.

Solid copper is, indeed, available in many gauges, including #4 and #6. These are sold on 25lb. rolls normally, and not a certain “footage” length roll.

Oh for the LOVE of GOD…give it a BREAK Mac…that is the intent of the QUESTION to encure debate and question.

The question did EXACTLY what it was supposted to do…chances of the GEC running to a ground rod that has a connection that should be buried in all normal situations could NOT be aluminum…we wont get into protection if not buried…then again aluminum should not come within HOW many inches of the ground…I’ll let YOU answer that one…and if it did…would it not be a IMPALEMENT issue or safety hazard.

IN an attempt to discredit the question you did not READ the question…

Here is the QUESTION…:
What is the ALLOWED size GEC to a Ground Rod Electrodes?

Now…I guess we will NOT wait until the end of the day to clarrify this one…this is for one a Home Inspector website…not a lets confuse the inspector website…so in the question above…

The ALLOWED size to the Ground Rod as stated in the NEC is # 6 AWG and it does not have to be larger…however the point of the debate was to have someone like an HI say…can’t # 4 AWG be used…yep…sure it can…but you are ALLOWED to only run # 6 AWG per the NEC’s allowance.

These questions are to make you THINK…not to be an end all…and they will not be ALL enclusive…you only have so much space it will ALLOW you to enter a question…so it has to be brief…and simple…and make you think…

It can’t be a situation where it contains EVERY senerio…just not possible.

Damn I just don’t know WHY I keep trying to do this…I want answers not debate on why I might be WRONG…I am NOT wrong…I can sit and talk about the varibles for HOURS…we only have short time to go over this…so it has to be brief.

Todd…that WAS something I was looking for…Great Point…and the intent of the question as well…if the service is lets say 125A or smaller it indeed can be # 8 AWG…as long as it is protected against damage in conduit.

Please before a debate is logged to try and impress and find me wrong…wait to see what the intent of the QUESTION is.

P.S. Home Inspectors do not inspect for Article 800 or items within that article and associated sections, Not relavant to this question.

I will NOW skip the educational portion of this question…because I am not in the mood now…Have a nice day !

I spose I could run #6 alu. Or is that wrong???

I would ask how often this is used in a residential application that may pertain to a Home Inspector?

I love reading this BB. Someones asks what time it is and 12 people will try to tell them how to make a watch. Its like watching a herd of BSers. The first liar ain’t got a chance.

No $hit…so I pass the torch…take it away…whom ever…I am OFF to another engagement…

I have no idea. My head is full of useless trivia. I’d tear 'em up on Jeopardy. :mrgreen: Consider it free information.

I am serious Mark. I think you know the answer, so help me out . How often is anything larger the #8 solid used in a residential setting?

Very often, in my area. The grounding electrode conductors are almost always #6 solid bare copper, and the water pipe GEC for a 200 amp service is almost always #4 solid bare copper. This varies geographically, with folks in other areas having never seen large solid conductors. I thought you were just teasing me… sorry.

Here’s a link to a GEC tap of #6 copper: http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n277/mdshunk/HPIM0640.jpg

And here’s a link to a GEC to a rod from an 800 amp service I did a couple of months ago:


Isn’t there a thingy about a #6 GEC would be adequate in size for any strange spike in either voltage/amperage, that would sustain the shock and the 5/8" x 8 foot ground rod would burn out first.
Thought I heard of something like that over the years.
Might what to explain how this all works, (we are learning in the process)

Thanks for your time. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Even if you have a million amp service (they don’t exist, by the way :mrgreen: ), the biggest copper conductor that you’re ever required to run to a ground rod is #6. The theory behind that is that the most current that a ground rod can ever dissipate into the earth can be easily handled by a #6. You could run a 4/0 conductor to the rod if you wanted to, but it would be a waste of material. The ground rod can only dissipate so much, and #6 will do the trick. Some installers choose to upsize a gauge or two if protection from physical damage is a concern.

On a related note, ground rods are only required to be in contact with the earth for 8’. There are 10’ and longer ground rods available on the open market. There are sectional ground rods that can be driven in 10’ sections, coupled together, for a total makeup of unlimited length. You can permissiably run an aluminium grounding electrode conductor to rods that stick up out of the ground sufficiently that will allow the proper earth to aluminium conductor seperation while still having 8’ of ground rod in contact with the soil. These connections stick up out of the ground, and are normally covered with a plastic missle shaped structure for protection (looks a lot like a CATV splicing pedestal). This might be more information than you really need, but here you have it if it’s interesting to you.

I’m confused…

As for physical damage, 2002 NEC says protect #4 from severe physical damage (if memory serves me, since it’s so ancient :wink: ), 2005 states just protected from physical damage.

I’m confused. :frowning: What was the implied answer? I think I don’t understand the question. Is this based on 2005 NEC 250.66A?