Installation of Grounding Electrode System
Changes in Store
for Electrical Code in Northwest Missouri Town?
Information on Code Changes & Standards
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The designations "National Electrical Code” and “NEC” refer to the
National Electrical Code®, which is a registered
trademark of the
National Fire Protection Association.
Top 50 NEC Rules
Installation of Grounding Electrode System
By Mike Holt
Where practicable, ground rods must be embedded below
permanent moisture level and must be free from nonconductive coatings
such as paint or enamel [250.12]. Ground rod electrodes must be
installed so that not less than 8 feet of length is in contact with the
soil. Where rock bottom is encountered, the ground rod must be driven
an angle not to exceed 45 degrees from vertical. If rock bottom is
encountered at an angle up to 45 degrees from vertical, the ground rod
can be buried in a minimum 30-inch-deep trench.
The upper end of the ground rod must be flush with or underground
unless the grounding electrode conductor attachment is protected
physical damage as specified in 250.10. See 250.52(A)(5) and 250.53(A)
for additional details. When the grounding electrode attachment fitting
is located underground, it must be listed for direct soil burial
[250.68(a) Ex. 1, and 250.70].
Where more than one grounding electrode system exists at a building
or structure, they must be separated by at least 6 feet.
Where within 18 inches of earth, the conductor used to bond
electrodes together to form the grounding electrode system must be
copper [250.64(A)], securely fastened to the surface on which it's
carried, and be protected if exposed to physical damage [250.64(B)].
bonding jumper to each electrode must be sized in accordance with
In addition, the grounding electrode bonding jumpers must terminate
to the grounding electrode by exothermic welding, listed lugs, listed
pressure connectors, listed clamps, or other listed means [250.8]. When
the termination is encased in concrete or buried, the termination
fittings must be listed and identified for this purpose [250.70].
The bonding connection to the interior metal water piping system, as
required by 250.104(A), must not be dependent on water meters,
devices, or similar equipment likely to be disconnected for repairs or
replacement. When necessary, a bonding jumper must be installed around
insulated joints and equipment likely to be disconnected for repairs or
replacement to assist in clearing and removing dangerous voltage on
metal parts because of a ground fault. See 250.68(B) and 250.104 for
The underground metal water pipe grounding electrode, if present
[250.52(A)(1)], must be supplemented by one of the following
Where none of the above electrodes are available, one of the following
electrodes must be used:
- Metal frame of the building or structure [250.52(A)(2)]
- Concrete-encased steel [250.52(A)(3)]
- Ground ring [250.52(A)(4)
The underground water pipe supplemental electrode must terminate to one
of the following:
- Ground rod in accordance with 250.56 [250.52(A)(5)
- Grounding plate [250.52(A)(6)]
- Metal underground systems [250.52(A)(7)]
Where the supplemental electrode is a ground rod, that portion that is
the sole connection to a ground rod isn't required to be larger than 6
AWG copper. The bonding jumper for the underground metal water pipe
supplemental electrode is sized in accordance with 250.66, including
Table 250.66, where applicable.
- Grounding electrode conductor
- Grounded neutral service conductor
- Metal service raceway
- Service equipment enclosure
If working with a ground ring, it must encircle the building or
structure, consist of at least 20 feet of bare copper conductor not
smaller than 2 AWG, and be buried at a depth not less than 30 inches.
See 250.52(A)(4) for additional details.
If working with a plate electrode, it must not have less than 2
square feet of surface exposed to exterior soils and installed so that
it's at least 30 inches below the surface of the earth [250.52(A)(6)].
Editor's note: This information was extracted from Mike
the National Electrical Code.
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What's Wrong Here?
By Joe Tedesco
Think you know how this installation violates the
NEC? Visit EC&M's Web
site to see the answer.
Hint: Seems a little tight here, doesn't it?
By Mike Holt
Q. Can Table 310.15(B)(6) be used to size
conductors to a duplex, where there is no firewall separating the
Web site to see the answer.
By Steven Owen
Q. Where more than one equipment grounding or
bonding conductor of a branch circuit enters a box, all such conductors
shall be in good electrical contact with each other, and the
shall be such that the disconnection or removal of a receptacle,
luminaire (fixture), or other device fed from the box will not
with or interrupt the grounding continuity. Where is this section found
in the 2005 NEC?
Web site for the answer and explanation.
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Code News Update
Changes in Store for Electrical
in Northwest Missouri Town?
Based on a report in the Dec. 6th edition of the St.
Joseph News-Press, the city's Electrical Standards and Appeals
city building development staff have been working for years to come up
with changes to its electrical code.
According to the article, "Master electricians must pass a third-party
test to earn their licenses. One of the changes would require master
electrician applicants to appear before the board for a second, brief
test to evaluate their experience."
But the article goes on to point out that the board only meets
quarterly, which potentially sets up a three-month waiting period for
qualified electricians to get a license. Opponents of this change say
will create a barrier for out-of-town competition. Supporters of this
change say there are plenty of local electric companies to meet the
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