what do I do now...grounding rod

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Old 11-03-07, 12:50 PM
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what do I do now...grounding rod

I still need to drive my grounding rod down about 12-18" and it isn't moving anywhere. I am using a sledge hammer and the top is bending every time I hit it. After I straighten it, not matter how hard I hit it isn't moving.

What are my options in a situation like this? This is a rod for my electrical panel, I am putting it outside.

Thanks.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 12:56 PM
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I'm not 100% sure but I don't hink the code requires the rod to be straight. Might be OK to bend it over. Talk to your inpector.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 02:00 PM
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Joe is it a ten foot rod or eight foot rod? If it is a 10 footer then just cut it off.

Either way two ground rods are required if you don't a have test made on them to show 25 ohms or less.

If your not having them tested then just cut it off and connect your gec to it then drive another ground rod 6 feet or farther away and install another clamp on the first one...run a #6 between them both. You are now good to go.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 03:13 PM
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Well, for a ground rod to be an acceptable installation, it must be at least 8 feet in length and it all has to be in the ground.

If your rod is over 8 feet, then as joed stated, cut it off. If it is an 8 footer, either pull it and move it or install 2 more rods. You can either utilize this one as well or simply abandon it.

a rod can be driven at an angle if you for some reason have an inpenetrable layer 6 1/2 to 7 feet below grade.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 05:08 PM
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I wasn't suggesting cutting it of. I was suggesting bending it over. I don't think the code requires it to be straight.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 05:27 PM
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I don't think simply bending it over is going to be an answer by itself. Code restricts you to a 45 degree angle. Now maybe you could dig down far enough such that you could bend it to no more than 45 degrees. Or maybe, if you dig down 30 inches, you could bend it over to 90 degrees, using a different NEC rule. I would certainly want to discuss these alternatives with the inspector before proceeding.

I don't see anything in the code requiring the rod to be straight, so the inspector might allow one of the above alternatives.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 06:17 PM
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If you are able to pull it out and cut it, make sure that you don't cut off the top with the UL and manufacturer's info stamped on it.
The inspector may not believe you have the rod driven to the proper depth.
Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn't get stuck driving a rod and the inspectors know that it has been cut off because this info is missing.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 09:22 PM
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You could try moving it just a bit and renting a 3/4" rotary-impact drill to install it. With the drill it will be a lot easier if you end up having to try several times. The rental company may have a special adapter for ground rods or you can just chuck it straight in.
 
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Old 11-03-07, 09:53 PM
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Section 250.53(G) requires a ground rod be driven to a depth of not less than 8 ft except, where rock bottom is encountered, the electrode shall be driven at an angle not exceeding 45 degrees. Or, where rock bottom is encountered at an angle up to 45 degrees, the electrode shall be permitted to be buried in a trench not less than 30 in deep.

It is specific in describing how rods are permitted to be installed. Driving the rod as far as you can and bending it over is not a permitted method.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 08:45 AM
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It is a 10 foot rod.

it sounds like, if I can't bend it over, I will need to drive a new one. There is no way this one is coming out of the ground, and for $11 I am not going to even try.

I will call the inspector next week if I have time.

thanks everyone
 
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Old 11-04-07, 08:56 AM
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if it's a 10 foot rod and you have it 8 1/2 to 9 feet in the ground, I would not hesitate to simply cut it off and hang onto the part you cut off if the inspector asks any questions.

as to a ul listing on the rod; personally I have never noticed there being one there. I have mangled the ends of rods so badly that if it were there, it would not be there after I was done so I would not worry too much about that.

You should drive a second rod regardless due to the NEC states that one rod is good unless it is >25 ohms resistance, then a 2nd rod can be driven with no test required.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 09:16 AM
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Or just ask the inspector if he wants a second rod.
In almost 20 years I have never been, nor have I ever heard of anyone being, asked to prove the 25 ohms. For what little ground rods actually do I see this as a worthless standard. Especially since even if you sink a second rod, and still do not have nearly the 25 ohms, you are done. Nothing further is required.
What is the difference between one rod that does not make 25 ohms, or two rods that do not meet 25 ohms???
 
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Old 11-04-07, 09:48 AM
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In support of peteys post, I recently had a talk with the inspector of a city I do a lot of work in. He told me he would be surprised to see a reading greater than 10 ohms anyhwere in the city. After many many tests to prove the point he simply accepts the fact that one rod is adequate. I often install 2 rods just to avoid any questions of problems. It is a cheap remedy for a possible problem and I don;t have to worry about the question from any inspector then.

That inspector even slightly chastised me for even installing any rods in the building I am currently working on since the foundation is a Ufer ground and is far more conductive than a couple of ground rods. I told him I had to install them as the engineer spec'd them.

The funnier part is there are 16 light poles with 15 foot rods all connected to the same ground system. I think the rods at the building were a bit unneccessary too but if the contract says 3 ground rods in a triangular pattern 6 feet apart, they get 3 ground rods in a triangular pattern 6 feet apart.

Oh, and to being asked to test for resistance; I have had to do it but it was not from the inspector, again, it was the engineer that required it.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 09:51 AM
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Well, I'm gonna have to side with JoeVB about not getting the rod out and trying it in a different place. How many rods have you guys driven that deep and been able to get them back out? Not in our typical soil conditions around my area. Guess you could do it the way we pull fence t-posts, that being back a tractor up to it and jerk it with the three point.... I also agree with Speedy on the 25 ohms proof. I mentioned it to be accurate in my statement. Now would somebody tell me which would be better an 8 foot rod driven vertically 7 foot deep and cut off at grade or an 8 foot rod rod laying in a 30" trench?? This is not meant to say that it is acceptable to cut one off.. it is just that I would think deeper is better even if less surface area is in contact with the earth.
Now having said that would any of you be surprised if I told you our soil conditions will allow ahj's/inspectors to permit two 6 foot rods for detached buildings like small garages and storage buildings?
 
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Old 11-04-07, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Now having said that would any of you be surprised if I told you our soil conditions will allow ahj's/inspectors to permit two 6 foot rods for detached buildings like small garages and storage buildings?
It is not to code and it is as simple as that. If they allow it, well then they allow it but it is still not up to code.
 
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