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  1. #1
    Scott Medlin's Avatar
    Scott Medlin Guest

    Default Buried ground wire

    Found this on an inspection today. I pulled on the ground wire to make sure it was properly secured to the ground rod and found there was no ground rod. I pulled up about 5 feet of wire before I gave up and decided to stop trenching the yard. I'm still courious to know how much wire is buried. Anybody seen anything like this? If so, how is it written up? Thanks in advance for the help.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Come on Scott, what did you do to their electrical system, it was fine until YOU showed up!

    Seriously, Just tell them the wire is supposed to be connected to a ground rod and get a real electrician to fix it.

    By the way, if you plan on doing that, keep your life insurance paid up, you might become the ground electrode.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Umm... ground ring?

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  4. #4
    Randy Clayton's Avatar
    Randy Clayton Guest

    Wink Re: Buried ground wire

    Scott,just a note I quit pulling on ground wires years ago;that connection should be abve grade anyway,so if it is not report it as so.


  5. #5
    Scott Medlin's Avatar
    Scott Medlin Guest

    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Hey Jim,

    I'm sure my wife would love that insurance check! I know 20 feet of #4 Cu wire in the foundation footing will serve, but this looked like it was just buried out in the yard. Just curious if anyone else had seen this. Thanks for the help.


  6. #6
    Scott Medlin's Avatar
    Scott Medlin Guest

    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Hey Randy,

    Thanks. O.k., no more pulling ground wires- I promise. I did test it with the hot-stick first, but I see your point. Thanks again.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Scott,

    It is quite possible that where you stopped is where it goes down to a ground rod.

    Gunnar brings up the interesting, and seldom understood, "ground ring".

    Here is the code on it:

    (4) Ground Ring. A ground ring encircling the building or structure, in direct contact with the earth, consisting of at least 6.0 m (20 ft) of bare copper conductor not smaller than 2 AWG.

    What is the minimum length of wire needed for the ground ring?

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

  8. #8
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    What is the minimum length of wire needed for the ground ring?
    Umm ... however much it takes to encircle the building or structure, but not any less than 20 feet.....


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Chew View Post
    Umm ... however much it takes to encircle the building or structure, but not any less than 20 feet.....
    Brandon,

    Correct, but do you know how many inspectors and electricians miss that first part ... "encircling the building or structure" ... most.

    Okay, let's back this up to the "consisting of at least 6.0 m (20 ft) of" part, what size "building or structure" could fit within that 20 feet of ground ring? Assuming that it is laid out in a circle (which gives the most area for the perimeter), that 20 feet would only encircle a round building or structure just over 6 feet in diameter.

    Thus, most will say that it only needs to be 20 feet long.

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

  10. #10
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Yep. I figured that was where you were headed with that question.

    The loop has to go around the entire building. That 20 foot minimum would only work on a tiny building ... about 5' x 5' square or 6' round ... maybe something like a pumphouse.


  11. #11
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Seems to me that a ground rod would be cheaper than 20' of 2 AWG, not to mention the amount that it would take to encircle the structure.

    I guess that there are applications for it though (shallow bedrock, rocky soil, etc.).


  12. #12
    Travis Grubbs's Avatar
    Travis Grubbs Guest

    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Be careful pulling up copper wires. You might get mistaken for being a thief! In my jurisdiction houses under construction are having the copper cut out of them, as well as having the HVAC compressors stolen.

    Travis Grubbs


  13. #13
    Shannon Guinn's Avatar
    Shannon Guinn Guest

    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Or as I tell my ECs " If I can't see the connection then it must not be there". After all who wants to see an inspector digging around in the mud looking for the end of a ground rod? All you contractors just keep quiet!


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Buried ground wire

    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon Guinn View Post
    Or as I tell my ECs " If I can't see the connection then it must not be there".
    Shannon,

    That's what we did in South Florida and I did up here ... "I can't tell you *how* to do it, but *if it were me* ... *I* ... would cut off about a 6" long piece of 4" pvc, dig out around the ground clamp at the ground rod, and drive that piece of pvc in so it is flush with the top of the sod, that way, *I as the inspector* could see the connection when you call in for the inspection.".

    Works too.

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

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