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  1. #1
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    Default Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Just need to know if this is OK ?
    The house was built in 2006, panel was a 200 amp main service panel (neutrals and grounds were bonded together) The copper ground wire (GEC) above the panel had been cut short, it was NOT connected to the bus bar. There was a rod in ground outside at the meter base. Shouldn't the bonding screw to panel enclosure be present ? Shouldn't that ground wire (GEC) be connected.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Just need to know if this is OK ?
    The house was built in 2006, panel was a 200 amp main service panel (neutrals and grounds were bonded together) The copper ground wire (GEC) above the panel had been cut short, it was NOT connected to the bus bar. There was a rod in ground outside at the meter base. Shouldn't the bonding screw to panel enclosure be present ? Shouldn't that ground wire (GEC) be connected.
    I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to say…

    In the service panel the grounding buss bar is not bonded to the panel? It should be along with the neutrals.

    The grounding conductor should be connected to a driven ground rod/2 rods.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to say…

    In the service panel the grounding buss bar is not bonded to the panel? It should be along with the neutrals.

    The grounding conductor should be connected to a driven ground rod/2 rods.
    You've got it, no bonding screw and the only rod in ground was at the meter base


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Just need to know if this is OK ?
    The house was built in 2006, panel was a 200 amp main service panel (neutrals and grounds were bonded together) The copper ground wire (GEC) above the panel had been cut short, it was NOT connected to the bus bar. There was a rod in ground outside at the meter base. Shouldn't the bonding screw to panel enclosure be present ? Shouldn't that ground wire (GEC) be connected.
    The neutral/grounding terminal bars should be bonded to the enclosure in the main panel. The GEC is terminated in the meter base, which is fine. Many POCO's require it to terminate there. The copper ground that is not connected may be the bonding conductor for a metal water piping system; if so, it should be connected to the terminal.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Twitty View Post
    The neutral/grounding terminal bars should be bonded to the enclosure in the main panel. The GEC is terminated in the meter base, which is fine. Many POCO's require it to terminate there. The copper ground that is not connected may be the bonding conductor for a metal water piping system; if so, it should be connected to the terminal.
    No metal pipes, only PVC


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    No metal pipes, only PVC
    In that case, sounds like all that is needed is the bonding screw/strap/jumper.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Sounds like one more ground rod is needed, the bonding screw/jumper to the enclosure is needed, and the GEC needs to be properly terminated (I believe the OP said it was loose and not terminated/connected at the service equipment panel).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8

    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Sounds like one more ground rod is needed, the bonding screw/jumper to the enclosure is needed, and the GEC needs to be properly terminated (I believe the OP said it was loose and not terminated/connected at the service equipment panel).
    Everything what Jerry says and more. There are too many wiring errors in this dwelling makeup that indicates to me that this service was installed by an inside wireman (a commercial guy doing side work) and not a residential wireman. The 2005 NEC, if adopted by the local AHJ, would require a UFER ground system (footer rebar) but if the contractor slipped up ahead of the electrical contractor, then two 1/2in x 8ft Cu clad UL qualified rods x 6' min apart would be required preferably near the Main Service Disconnect panel, especially if the meter box has a lock non-access capability for a bonded meter socket GEC.

    The 200A meter to main disconnect requires 2/0 Cu or 4/0 Al ungrounded split phase conductors with one #3 Cu or #2 Al minimum Neutral GroundED conductor (depending on NEC article 220.61(B) DF (Demand Factor) Neutral bus calculations. The feeder to the panelboard must be a 4 wire with an isolated Neutral ground terminal bar for the NM Cabling equipment GroundED conductors. Evidently the Service Disconnect panel (Parallel disconnect ?) is not shown and must have a green bonding screw terminating the Neutral/Ground bus to the enclosure.

    Getting a qualified residential electrician to fix all the little things not mentioned above is highly recommended for safety sake.
    Good luck and Best Wiring....Ben Jacks, Book Publisher and ex-electrician of both high-end and multi-family dwellings.

    Last edited by Ben Jacks; 05-06-2015 at 09:19 PM. Reason: bonding correction

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jacks View Post
    Everything what Jerry says and more. There are too many wiring errors in this dwelling makeup that indicates to me that this service was installed by an inside wireman (a commercial guy doing side work) and not a residential wireman. The 2005 NEC, if adopted by the local AHJ, would require a UFER ground system (footer rebar) but if the contractor slipped up ahead of the electrical contractor, then two 1/2in x 8ft Cu clad UL qualified rods x 6' min apart would be required preferably near the Main Service Disconnect panel, especially if the meter box has a lock non-access capability for a bonded meter socket GEC.

    The 200A meter to main disconnect requires 2/0 Cu or 4/0 Al ungrounded split phase conductors with one #3 Cu or #2 Al minimum Neutral GroundED conductor (depending on NEC article 220.61(B) DF (Demand Factor) Neutral bus calculations. The feeder to the panelboard must be a 4 wire with an isolated Neutral ground terminal bar for the NM Cabling equipment GroundED conductors. Evidently the Service Disconnect panel (Parallel disconnect ?) is not shown and must have a green bonding screw terminating the Neutral/Ground bus to the enclosure.

    Getting a qualified residential electrician to fix all the little things not mentioned above is highly recommended for safety sake.
    Good luck and Best Wiring....Ben Jacks, Book Publisher and ex-electrician of both high-end and multi-family dwellings.

    The panel in the photo is the main panel/disconnect. No 4-wire feeder required and bonding of neutral/grounding conductors is required. No additional rod required unless resistance to ground is more than 25 ohms. (250.56)


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Twitty View Post
    No additional rod required unless resistance to ground is more than 25 ohms. (250.56)
    Sort of correct ... but not really - you have stated it backwards.

    One ground rod is permitted if there is 25 ohms or less to earth (measured properly), otherwise an additional ground rod is required (i.e., 2 ground rods are required unless the resistance is tested and documented to be 25 ohms to ground or less.).

    Being as few contractors have an inclination to spend the time necessary to perform a proper ground resistance test ... and even fewer contractors have the proper equipment for a proper ground resistance test ... all contractors I know simply drive the second ground rod.

    Keep in mind that it is RARE ... EXTREMELY RARE ... that ground rods are properly installed anyway, so testing them is basically guaranteed to give more than 25 ohms to ground (unless you are in a swamp and the water level is at the surface of the ground ... but that kinda creates problems for the stability of the structure).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Sort of correct ... but not really - you have stated it backwards.

    One ground rod is permitted if there is 25 ohms or less to earth (measured properly), otherwise an additional ground rod is required (i.e., 2 ground rods are required unless the resistance is tested and documented to be 25 ohms to ground or less.).

    Being as few contractors have an inclination to spend the time necessary to perform a proper ground resistance test ... and even fewer contractors have the proper equipment for a proper ground resistance test ... all contractors I know simply drive the second ground rod.

    Keep in mind that it is RARE ... EXTREMELY RARE ... that ground rods are properly installed anyway, so testing them is basically guaranteed to give more than 25 ohms to ground (unless you are in a swamp and the water level is at the surface of the ground ... but that kinda creates problems for the stability of the structure).
    I said one rod unless resistance is more than 25 ohms, then additional rod would be needed. Most jurisdictions around me do not require resistance test. They should because it is rocky. One rod at meter base and bond to foundation rebar is pretty much the standard.

    Last edited by Mike Twitty; 05-07-2015 at 03:21 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Twitty View Post
    Most jurisdictions around me do not require resistance test.
    If only one ground rod is driven, then it is a simple procedure to the AHJ to establish to say that the contractor either puts in the required second rod or establish that the one rod has 25 ohms or less to ground ... however ... (see last reply below)

    They should because it is rocky.
    Rocky areas have their own set of circumstances which need to be followed, but ... (see last reply below)

    One rod at meter base and bond to foundation rebar is pretty much the standard.
    When the Ufer ground (concrete encased electrode) is used ... no additional ground rods are required by the code - shhhh ... don't tell the contractors ... let them keep installing an additional driven rod, it may not do much or any good, but it doesn't hurt either. Doesn't even require one additional driven rod, much less two ground rods.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Twitty View Post
    I said one rod unless resistance is more than 25 ohms, then additional rod would be needed.
    I know, but that's not what it says:
    - It used to say, from the 2008:
    - - 250.56 A single electrode consisting of a rod, pipe, or plate that does not have a resistance of 25 ohms or less shall be augmented by ...
    - - - The only way to know if the single electrode does not have a resistance of 25 ohms or less is to test it and document it - otherwise ... install the "shall be augmented by" electrode. MANY - many AHJ read that wrong and only required one rod and no documentation to show that it had a resistance of 25 ohms or less, so ...
    - It now says, from the 2014:
    - - 250.53(A)(2) A single rod, pipe, or plate electrode shall be supplemented by an additional ...
    - - - Exception: If a single rod, pipe, or plate electrode has a resistance of 25 ohms or less, the supplemental electrode shall not be required.
    - - - The code reorganized the sections and wording to explain it to those AHJ who refused to read it the way it was intended. Two electrodes are "required", however, if one tests and documents that a single electrode is 25 ohms to ground or less, then the second electrode is not required.
    - - - That is what it always said, the newer wording simply and clearly lays it out that way.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Words are important, it is how we convey things to others.

    Last night, our granddaughter was in the 3rd grade play (each grade puts on a play at the end of each year for the parents, kind of a this-is-what-we-did-and-what-we-learned thing in humorous skits), and those end of year plays are a big thing for people to come see (Saturday Night Live has nothing on these third graders ) - here is one part of one skit and pertains to our discussion and wording:

    How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
    - Take a loaf of bread, spread on a thick layer of peanut butter, then put the jelly on it.

    Sounds simple enough, right?

    Here is what they did:
    - Got a loaf of bread (that was step one), one of the kids reached into the peanut butter jar with her hand and spread a thick layer of peanut butter on the other kid's face, covering one side of his face with peanut butter (that was step two, didn't say what to use or where to spread the peanut butter), then they took the jar of jelly and set it on the loaf of bread, crushing it (that was step three, didn't say how or where to put the jelly, just "on it").
    - What they learned is that they need to include more detail in what they say and write ... don't we all?

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 05-07-2015 at 05:54 PM. Reason: added the Saturday Night Live comment
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Sort of correct ... but not really - you have stated it backwards.

    One ground rod is permitted if there is 25 ohms or less to earth (measured properly), otherwise an additional ground rod is required (i.e., 2 ground rods are required unless the resistance is tested and documented to be 25 ohms to ground or less.).
    Jerry,
    Help me out here, what can one do at an instalation to assure that the 25 ohm is met as part of the install method? I am not an electrical engineer, but always considered this specification to be rather strange. To me it wold seem that a specific soil moisture content might have to be present in order to have a good reading, and
    if the moisture changed we would not have low resistance any longer. In other words I think it would have to be checked in the dry season, not during monsoons.
    Each of my houses only had one ground rod (older homes). I added another without consideration or thought. Should I be worried that there is something else about the install that would cause a problem anyway?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Missing Bonding screw and rod in ground at meter base only

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Jeanis View Post
    Help me out here, what can one do at an instalation to assure that the 25 ohm is met as part of the install method? I am not an electrical engineer, but always considered this specification to be rather strange.
    The specification for 25 ohms to ground or less is the maximum resistance to ground considered as being acceptable, and, if the resistance is greater than 25 ohms to ground, then the second rod is required to try to achieve that 25 ohms or less.

    The code acknowledges that continuing to add additional rods does not have an appreciable effect on the resistance - if two ground rods do not equate to 25 ohms or less ... then the grounding electrode system (in that particular soil and location) is 'as good as it is going to get' and installing 100 driven rods a minimum of 6 feet apart is not going to help much.

    I can give you an example I had one day - I arrived at an inspection for an installation of some electrical equipment on top of the dike around Lake Okeechobee (look at a satellite view of Florida, see the big blue hole about 2/3 to 3/4 the way down ... that's Lake Okeechobee), I noticed that the ground rods looked a bit too close together (looked less than 6 feet apart), I measured the distance and they were only about 5 feet apart.

    I pointed this out to the contractor and he said 'No problem, I'll move one of the rods.' ... I am sure you know how hard it is to drive a ground rod in most areas, and that it is even harder to pull a rod out, so what usually happens is they drive one in below ground so it is "gone", then drive a second rod farther away - sure beats trying to pull that rod out, right?

    He reached down with his ChannelLock (or whatever brand they were) pliers, grabbed the top of the rod, pulled the rod out part way, grabbed the rod with his hand, and pulled it the rest of the way out ... then asked me where I wanted him to stick the rod back in ...

    ... obviously ... it was not going to matter where, or even if, he stuck that rod back in as it was not going to do any good, but ... I wanted to see him stick the rod back in - so I said 'Here is a good place.' ... and he shoved the ground rod down into the soil by hand, with about 6" of rod sticking up, he grabbed the top with his pliers again and shoved it the rest of the way down into the ground!

    I had never seen that before, and likely never will again.

    To me it wold seem that a specific soil moisture content might have to be present in order to have a good reading, and if the moisture changed we would not have low resistance any longer. In other words I think it would have to be checked in the dry season, not during monsoons.
    You are one the right track - the code requires a ground rod to be driven below permanent moisture level, and unless you are in a swampy area where the water level is basically at ground level ... no ground rod is driven below permanent moisture level.

    But being below permanent moisture level is key to getting as low resistance to ground as possible.

    Each of my houses only had one ground rod (older homes). I added another without consideration or thought. Should I be worried that there is something else about the install that would cause a problem anyway?
    Only that the ground rods be driven below permanent moisture level ... how far down do you suppose that was on those houses?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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