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  1. #1
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    Default 2nd ground rod debate

    If your primary grounding electrode is the metal water pipe and you install a ground rod in addition to the water pipe as required, is it necessary to install a 2nd ground rod if you do not have the equipment to verify 25 ohms or less to earth?

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    If your primary grounding electrode is the metal water pipe and you install a ground rod in addition to the water pipe as required, is it necessary to install a 2nd ground rod if you do not have the equipment to verify 25 ohms or less to earth?

    Hey, Jeff, ... remember this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    I found a new way to ask questions where we all learn something without being accused of being a dick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Doesn't change the fact, though.
    Fool us once, shame on you.

    Fool us twice, shame on us.

    Blatantly brag that you fooled us once ... shame on you (using printable words).

    Your brag means that no one needs to call you one, you were bragging that you were one.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Legit question Jerry. Title says debate. I think you argue with yourself sometimes.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    Legit question Jerry. Title says debate. I think you argue with yourself sometimes.
    Nope, do not argue with myself.

    Your last question, and your bragging about pulling one over on us, told us just what you are, what you said, and what you think of us.

    It may be a legitimate question *THIS TIME*, but how will we ever know? You blew it big time with that bragging that you pulled one over on us.

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Oh yeah, your royal hine-ass of all knowing guruness. I am certainly bragging. Look up the definition some day jack.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    If your primary grounding electrode is the metal water pipe and you install a ground rod in addition to the water pipe as required, is it necessary to install a 2nd ground rod if you do not have the equipment to verify 25 ohms or less to earth?
    Yes

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    Oh yeah, your royal hine-ass of all knowing guruness. I am certainly bragging. Look up the definition some day jack.

    If you were not bragging that you pulled one over on us, please tell us what, in fact, you were doing.

    I would like to learn your new word for it.

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    For all who are following this exchange and wondering what the answer to Jeff's question is ( "is it necessary to install a 2nd ground rod if you do not have the equipment to verify 25 ohms or less to earth?" ), the answer is "No."

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    OK for those who understand a debate, there are two answers to this question, yes and no. I have witnessed some pretty heated debate on this at an IAEI meeting and still find myself scratching my head sometimes because it is truly a debate with 2 good viewpoints.

    My opinions may vary from yours but here are the two sides:

    1) Yes. Forget the NEC, just look at the IRC 2006. A metal waterpipe that meets the requirements can be used as a grounding electrode but must be supplemented by an additional electrode such as a ground rod. A single rod must be supplemented with another rod if 25 ohms or less to earth cannot be achieved or proven. This makes it obvious that a 2nd rod is required.

    2) No. Same above except the last sentence. In this argument, it is being stated that the water pipe is electrode #1 and if the single rod is >6' away, then it is electrode #2. The key word is "single" and since there is one pipe and one rod there is now more than a "single" electrode, therefore a 3rd electrode or rod is not required. In essence, this would just be like installing 2 ground rods where there was not water pipe.

    I can see both sides clearly. There may be no single correct answer as this is at the mercy of the AHJs interpretation of this rule which is poorly written into the prescriptive code.

    Thank you to those who reply to this thread in order to help clarify gray areas like this.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    The "no" only works if you don't apply 250.53(D)(1) "..it shall comply with 250.56.". Which required the rod to meet the requirements of 250.56..

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Oops, forgot to post my opinion.

    It is my opinion that "no", a 2nd ground rod is not required when you cannot/don't prove <25 ohms to earth. I am of opinion #2.

    When I do work as an AHJ, I take that position when the water pipe is properly used as the electrode and the rod is supplemental. As a matter of fact, today I signed off on this exact installation for a service and panel upgrade and sent the cut-in card to the POCO with my approval.

    I have personally however, failed service inspections that I have performed (as an electrician) for not installing a 2nd ground rod when I properly used the water pipe as an electrode. I installed the 2nd rod to make the AHJ happy and quietly went about my business.

    Now that Jerry and I agree on the answer to this question I am wondering how he will turn this into a debate.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Shall we go into whether the grounding electrode system and especially the ground rod add any element of safety to the system??

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Shall we go into whether the grounding electrode system and especially the ground rod add any element of safety to the system??
    Only if Bryan who is MIA gets into that subject.

    Unfortunately due to utility transformers being grounded we must do the same whether or not our soil conditions help the situation or not.

    How often does the GEC actually see any current? Look what happens to a house that loses a neutral. All kinds of funky things start happening when the current tries to make it back to the transformer through all of that impedence in the GEC system.

    Maybe instead of ground rods, we need to take the GEC back to the base of the transformer pole or pad to reduce the problems when we lose the grounded conductor. Then again that may cause other problems since loss of the neutral would not be as obvious.

    Who knows????????


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Probably save it for another day

    Looks like things heated up while I was cleaning my rifle

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    1) Yes. Forget the NEC, just look at the IRC 2006. A metal waterpipe that meets the requirements can be used as a grounding electrode but must be supplemented by an additional electrode such as a ground rod. A single rod must be supplemented with another rod if 25 ohms or less to earth cannot be achieved or proven. This makes it obvious that a 2nd rod is required.
    Here is why that is incorrect, and where I knew that was going (without knowing who was going there).

    This is from the IRC. (bold red text is mine for highlighting)
    - E3508.4 Resistance of rod, pipe and plate electrodes. A single electrode consisting of a rod, pipe or plate that does not have a resistance to ground of 25 ohms or less shall be augmented by one additional electrode of any of the types specified in Sections E3508.1.2 through E3508.1.5. Where multiple rod, pipe or plate electrodes are installed to meet the requirements of this section, they shall be not less than 6 feet (1829 mm) apart.

    This is from the NEC.
    - 250.56 Resistance of Rod, Pipe, and Plate Electrodes.
    - - A single electrode consisting of a rod, pipe, or plate that does not have a resistance to ground of 25 ohms or less shall be augmented by one additional electrode of any of the types specified by 250.52(A)(4) through (A)(8). Where multiple rod, pipe, or plate electrodes are installed to meet the requirements of this section, they shall not be less than 1.8 m (6 ft) apart.
    FPN: The paralleling efficiency of rods longer than 2.5 m (8 ft) is improved by spacing greater than 1.8 m (6 ft).
    2) No. Same above except the last sentence. In this argument, it is being stated that the water pipe is electrode #1 and if the single rod is >6' away, then it is electrode #2. The key word is "single" and since there is one pipe and one rod there is now more than a "single" electrode, therefore a 3rd electrode or rod is not required. In essence, this would just be like installing 2 ground rods where there was not water pipe.

    The question started out asking:
    "If your primary grounding electrode is the metal water pipe " followed by "and you install a ground rod in addition to the water pipe"

    To break it down:
    The question is regarding TWO (remember that, it becomes the critical bases of the supposition and the answer) electrodes: 1) a metal water pipe; 2) a ground rod.

    Understood? TWO electrodes.

    Now, let's go back to the code sections (either one, they are basically saying the same thing, but Jeff said forget the NEC, so we will go back to the ICC):
    This is from the IRC. (bold red text is mine for highlighting)
    - E3508.4 Resistance of rod, pipe and plate electrodes. A single electrode consisting of a rod, pipe or plate

    See it? "A SINGLE electrode" followed by "consisting of a ROD, PIPE or PLATE", now by "pipe" that is referring to E3508.3 Rod, pipe and plate electrode requirements, not the water pipe, which is address in
    E3508.1.1 Metal underground water pipe.

    However, setting aside the "pipe" versus "pipe" issue, the critical basis of the supposition (as I pointed out earlier) hinges on
    - 250.56 Resistance of Rod, Pipe, and Plate Electrodes.
    - - A single electrode consisting of a rod, pipe, or plate that does not have a resistance to ground of 25 ohms (SINGLE ELECTRODE)
    and
    "If your primary grounding electrode is the metal water pipe " followed by "and you install a ground rod in addition to the water pipe" (TWO ELECTRODES)

    The 2) discussion in Jeff's post does not even come into play.

    And, yes, that is not just "Jerry's thinking", that is from an IAEI meeting I attended where the issue was discussed at length, eventually getting everyone to see where the resistance is only addressing A SINGLE ELECTRODE, not when there are already TWO electrodes present. Then it went into the discussion regarding "pipe" versus "pipe" and that is also clearly spelled out in the code.

    The 2) part of Jeff's post concerned the distance between the TWO electrodes, "In this argument, it is being stated that the water pipe is electrode #1 and if the single rod is >6' away, then it is electrode #2. ", however, the distance only applies to that same not applicable section regarding E3508.4 Resistance of rod, pipe and plate electrodes.
    - E3508.4 Resistance of rod, pipe and plate electrodes. A single electrode consisting of a rod, pipe or plate that does not have a resistance to ground of 25 ohms or less shall be augmented by one additional electrode of any of the types specified in Sections E3508.1.2 through E3508.1.5. Where multiple rod, pipe or plate electrodes are installed to meet the requirements of this section, they shall be not less than 6 feet (1829 mm) apart.

    Not applicable to the question at all.

    Thus, it is the cut and dry "No." answer.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    Now that Jerry and I agree on the answer to this question
    I do agree with your answer. It's cool to agree on things.

    Just not for your reason.

    I am wondering how he will turn this into a debate.
    I was typing as you and Roland were playing the 'blame Jerry game'. No problem, I can carry the weight, or, should I say, lack there of.

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    The inspectors at our IAEI chapter decided that 2 rods are still required. I am the odd man out. They enforce it that way, I don't.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Jeff--I didn't enforce the second ground rod for any installation. I used a clamp-on ground rod resistance meter to verify the rod and system were 25 ohms or less and left it at that. The soil resistance is meaningless--depends on moisture content and then you might as well kiss the connection to earth goodbye when the ground freezes.. It really is all about the "system" and having it bonded together.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Roland, what is the cost of those meters these days?


    Now I see how Jerry turns an agreement into a debate. Finding difference in reasoning behind an answer.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    It has been five or more years and it was about $1300.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    Now I see how Jerry turns an agreement into a debate. Finding difference in reasoning behind an answer.

    Actually, I turned a debate into an agreement, and identified that the agreement was based on different reasons for the same answer.

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Then how come you don't come up with the same answer??

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    Then how come you don't come up with the same answer??

    Huh???

    We DID have the same answer: No.

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    That means you AGREE with Jeff and I.. Finally some progress..

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    How deep would that 1st ground rod be???


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    That means you AGREE with Jeff and I.. Finally some progress..

    "Finally some progress.."

    Totally agree on that, finally you and Jeff are making progress ...

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Robertson View Post
    How deep would that 1st ground rod be???

    Brian,

    Clarifying that you are intending to mean "ground ROD" ... then that depth would be 8 feet minimum vertically in earth. There are some exceptions should that not be possible, such as with extremely rocky soil where the ground rod simply cannot be driven vertically down into the rock.

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    UPDATE:

    I essentially lost the battle on this one after clarification on one of the code change panel's chairman.

    The intent of the 2nd rod was due to the fact that many metallic water pipe systems in residential are being replaced with plastic and we are helping to set them up for those changes in the future..........so I am told.

    The basis for the 2nd rod requirement when you already have a metal water pipe as a grounding electrode along with a supplemental ground rod is based on the fact that you cannot prove (or don't have the equipment) 25 ohms or less to earth.

    I am told that the 25 ohm rule will be deleted from the code and any ground rod will require a 2nd automatically. This is apparently coming in the next code cycle (high probability).

    The current argument from those involved in the code process who understand the intent, and reason for the changes is as follows:

    250.53(D)(2) states that a metal underground water pipe shall be supplemented by an additional electrode. When the additional electrode is a ground rod (pipe or plate) then it SHALL comply with 250.56.

    250.56 requires 25ohms or less or the addition of another electrode.

    The basis for my opinion that a 2nd rod was not required was based on the fact that the rod was in addition to the water pipe and therefore there are 2 electrodes and 250.56 is for "single" electrodes.

    I was told that was not the intent and this will be taken away anyway and 2 electrodes will be required regardless of ohms.

    Of course, I am not talking about ground rings or CEEs.

    Looks like I will be changing my position and require that 2nd rod when a water pipe is used.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    The inspectors at our IAEI chapter decided that 2 rods are still required. I am the odd man out. They enforce it that way, I don't.
    Answered1

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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    Looks like I will be changing my position and require that 2nd rod when a water pipe is used.

    Jeff,

    Your use of the word "require" indicates that you are referring to "new construction" code inspections, I thought the use of the metal underground water pipe as *the* grounding electrode went out with the dinosaurs.

    Are they still using the metal underground water pipe as the primary grounding electrode in your area?

    Why are they not using concrete encased electrodes? No steel in the footings?

    The supplemental ground rod for a metal underground water pipe is not even required when any of the other grounding electrodes listed in 250.52(A)(2) through (A)(8) are also used (because they meet the "supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in 250.52(A)(2) through (A)(8)." stated in 250.53(D)(2).

    I.e., you have a concrete encased electrode (required where steel is in the footing) and you have a metal underground water pipe present (who uses metal today?), then the concrete encased electrode becomes the supplemental electrode required for the water pipe.

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Jerry, not talking about new construction, just service upgrades and replacements.

    If someone has a 100A service and upgrades to 200a then this is the issue.


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    Default Re: 2nd ground rod debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Remas View Post
    Jerry, not talking about new construction, just service upgrades and replacements.

    If someone has a 100A service and upgrades to 200a then this is the issue.

    Ahhhh ... now I see ... says the blind man.

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