Re-Bar Ground Rod

For the second time in one week, I found standard re-bar placed for the main panel ground. Of course, the rods were very rusted, which I believe causes a potential bonding issue. To the best of my knowledge, all ground rods must a non-corrosive material, such as copper. In both cases. the rods were set in a concrete slab, one in a garage and the other in a basement. Looking for opinions, as I did call these out for correction.

John Evans
AIM Home Inspection, Inc.:slight_smile:

trip/impalement hazard. Any thing else?


Hmmm…are you sure they are not UFER connections?..kinda looks like 4 AWG Solid going to it…while I dont like the ACORN at the connections…many have no problem with it…so since we see a Concrete Floor, Re-bar and 4 AWG…could it not be a UFER connection…

Wrong clamp for ufer, right.


generally…but seen used all the time…you know the ole saying…" Clamp does not define the connection…if clamped by someone not knowing what a proper clamp is "

Either way…sticking out like it is would indeed be dangerous…lord knows kids playing around it could be impaled…heck adults even…

**You found a: Concrete-Encased Electrode… **consisting of at least 6.0 m (20 ft) of one or more bare or zinc galvanized or other electrically conductive
coated steel reinforcing bars or rods of not less than 13 mm (1⁄2 in.) in diameter, … this is an acceptable method.

lol…better late than never JOE…LOL…Glad to see ya

As stated in my first post…it is a CEE…but it appears many are still not sure what they are. I did a seminar yesterday and asked the guys…do they know what a UFER is and only (2) electricians in the class said they did…I found that shocking actually…

Do you find the same joe at your seminars…you speak about CEE or “UFER” and the majority act like they have no clue what it is…very strange as I have known about them since I started in the field…


Same here!

The “one or more” part was made clear to clarify up one of Mike’s Proposals for the 1981/84 revision, when he sent in 125 proposals. This one asked to make it clear that the rebar had to be in one continuous length, and CMP-5 said they never expected them to be a full 20 ft. the 4 AWG is required to be the full 20 feet as so stated.

UFER was his name and was well known … PS: Expert needed to add information here …

no additional info needed…lol…We have SPOKEN !

This is what I was referring too in my like:

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I am never finished talking,

True, it probably depends on where they went to school, some in vocational where the teacher was an electrician, or others in the field, and some with no training at all.

The subject of the UFER is covered in many IAEI articles now and as far back as the 50’s, I have the original magazine articles written by Herbert Ufer and Eustace Soares.

See Page 370

loll…I hear ya…sad thing is these seminars are CE Required ones and I would expect them to know what a UFER is…but alas when they leave my class they know what one is…and how to install it properly…lol

Thanks for the input. Yes, it is very much a potential safety hazard. We do not have any way to determine if this rod is part of a UFER system. I thought the UFER copper conductor is required to be a minimum of 20’ embedded into the footing. If this is a UFER connection, why was the rebar placed? Doesn’t the UFER wire run directly from the footing, through the slab and connect to the panel. Since the panel is mounted on an outside basement wall, why not set a standard ground rod in the earth outside and run the ground wire through the wall to the panel? A rusting rebar rod will not allow a proper connection. And, this rebar could be any length, no way to know for sure. Please correct me if I am mistaken about the UFER requirements.

John Evans
AIM Home Inspection, Inc.

You pretty much are. A Ufer does NOT have to be #4cu wire.

A Ufer is MUCH easier for us than even a ground rod since there is NO installation needed. It’s already there. It is not uncommon to have the fooing guys leave a piece of rebar exposed to provide us with a point to attach the clamp for the Ufer electrode.
Besides, once you establish a Ufer NO other electrodes are required. There is NO requirement for a supplemental electrode when a Ufer is used.
This is of course barring any water pipe electrodes “that are present”.

No, there is no way to confirm that the rebar is the proper layout and length. This would have been determined at the footing inspection. If the rebar in the average footing passed the pre-pour inspection then there is more than enough for a Ufer electrode.

250.52 Grounding Electrodes
(A) Electrodes Permitted for Grounding
(3) Concrete-Encased Electrode
An electrode encased by at least 50 mm (2 in.) of concrete, located within and near the bottom of a concrete foundation or footing that is in direct contact with the earth, consisting of at least 6.0 m (20 ft) of one or more bare or zinc galvanized or other electrically conductive coated steel reinforcing bars or rods of not less than 13 mm ( 1/ 2 in.) in diameter, or consisting of at least 6.0 m (20 ft) of bare copper conductor not smaller than 4 AWG. Reinforcing bars shall be permitted to be bonded together by the usual steel tie wires or other effective means.

Does the rust on the bar inhibit a proper connection at the clamp? The contractor on this particular home apparently took the “easy” route for acheiving a ground, but look at the location of the bar relevant to the wall. Not a very safe installation, even if a solid ground exists. Plus, considering the distance from the footing in this case, does the bar actually connect to the rebar within the footing?

Actually I did forget to mention that the placement of this supposed Ufer is quite POOR, to say the least.

The footing is not the required place for the Ufer to originate. It’s just always the first available, and as in the case in your pic, rebar in the floor is not always convenient with regard to location.
Also, many times no rebar is used in floors, just mesh.

Using a Ufer is not necessarily the “easy way out”. If a job is under the 2005 NEC and rebar exists it MUST be used. Since no supplemental electrode is required, and a Ufer itself is a far superior ground, why sink an rod?