Ground Wire from breaker box?

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  #1  
Old 02-02-13, 10:34 AM
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Ground Wire from breaker box?

Not sure if this is the right area for this post, but it is "electrical" related. Basically, I had the house built in 2009, and per code the builder ran a ground wire from my breaker box onto a long metal rod sticking out of a hole in my basement floor. I want to finish the basement, but I'm not sure what the procedure is to getting around it. Can I bury it??
 
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Old 02-02-13, 10:42 AM
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Per code.....a ground rod was installed however it's not usually in the basement.

I wouldn't want to bury the wire to rod connection.

Is the rod close to the wall ?

A picture would probably be a big help.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 11:01 AM
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The likelihood is that you will need to replace that ground rod with one that's outside. How doable is that?
 
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Old 02-02-13, 11:57 AM
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  #5  
Old 02-02-13, 01:46 PM
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Hard to tell for sure, but looks like a piece of rebar, not copper rod. If that's the case it needs replaced anyway. Can you locate a new one outside near the foundation? You'd have to drill through the foundation wall and if below grade, bring the wire up to make the connection to the rod above grade.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 03:01 PM
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I can't tell from the picture.Could that be a Ufer ground?
 
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Old 02-02-13, 03:07 PM
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If it is a piece of rebar then it is probably a Ufer ground and that is superior to a plain ground rod.

The Ufer Ground
 
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Old 02-02-13, 03:14 PM
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So assuming it's rebar, can I bury it?
 
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Old 02-02-13, 05:19 PM
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I believe you can bury it provided you change the clamp. What was used is a water pipe ground clamp and I don't think they are approved for direct burial where an acorn style clamp is.

http://www.tnb.com/ps/fulltilt/index.cgi?part=G4

If by burying it you mean covering it with concrete, I'd like to hear some more opinions.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 06:08 PM
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The rebar does not need to be replaced. It is part of a Ufer ground which replaces a ground rod or other type of electrodes.

The connection needs to remain accessible.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 06:10 PM
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Some water clamps are also listed for use with rebar. I would leave it as is.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 06:50 PM
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The problem with this thing is it is right in front of the stairs as you enter the basement. I want to eventually put down a suspended floor, and carpet the basement. This ugly thing can't stay, no way. If I can semi bury it, and put a plastic cap or something on it, I can live with that. It blows my mind how this eye sore is code, never seen it in any other basement I've been in, and to my knowledge they never had any problems.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 08:19 PM
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Is this the only Grounding Electrode Conductor for your service? If so, you basically have two options:
  1. Drive a new ground rod outside and bond the service entrance to it. If you need to run the bonding conductor from inside to outside, do so above grade and, preferably, above the foundation; or
  2. cut the rod just above the clamp, install your floating floor with space for access to the connection, and install an access plate into the finished floor
.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for the reply Nashkat. Option 2 sounds like a ringer to me. If I was to go that route and put it in an access plate, can I cut into the basement floor enough to make the ground wire right before it enters the hole, flush with the floor? I can see it getting in the way of the suspended floor, or the base of my wall framing. Also, what would be the best way to install the access plate since it sounds like I will be drilling into the floor.

Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 02-02-13, 09:36 PM
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Option 2 sounds like a ringer to me. If I was to go that route and put it in an access plate, can I cut into the basement floor enough to make the ground wire right before it enters the hole, flush with the floor? I can see it getting in the way of the suspended floor, or the base of my wall framing. Also, what would be the best way to install the access plate since it sounds like I will be drilling into the floor.
When you said "a suspended floor," I figured running something as thin as #6 copper under it wouldn't be a problem. How thick will your flooring be, and what are you planning to install under it?

If you bend the rod over and bring the wire up it, will that get you law enough? I'm envisioning a hinged or threaded brass cover with a lip that is set into a recess in the edge of the opening.
 
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Old 02-03-13, 06:32 AM
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Since you have the UFer ground, even if you were to drive rods you would still need to continue with the Ufer. All grounding electrodes need to be bonded togehter.

Is that dirt around the rod in the opening?
 
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Old 02-03-13, 11:01 AM
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I don't think we know for sure if this is a Ufer ground or not. Have you tried pulling on the rod, does it move or will it come out? A little over a year ago I saw a ground wire attached to a ground rod which turned out to be a piece of rebar that was no more than 12" long. It was found when checking the resistance of the grounding conductor going to the ground rod; resistance was over 125 ohms. A new 1/2" X 8' copper clad steel rod and grounding conductor reduced the resistance to 6 ohms.

The problem with this thing is it is right in front of the stairs as you enter the basement.
If this is a legitimate Ufer ground, the placement obviously is terrible. I think I'd be changing my grounding, within code parameters, and getting rid of this ground and forget about having an accessible plate or cover at all.
 
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Old 02-03-13, 12:49 PM
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Joe wrote:
I don't think we know for sure if this is a Ufer ground or not.
Several posts ago I asked if it was a Ufer ground. From there on everybody assumed it was. But as I said when I asked I can't tell from the picture. Probably need to excavate a foot or so of concrete around it to really know. A lot simpler to just drive two ground rods outside and abandon the inside one unless required by local code.
 
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Old 02-03-13, 01:51 PM
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A call to the building department would answer if Ufers were in use at the time or required. There should be an inspection record.

I can't think of another reason to stub up a rebar besides a Ufer.
 
  #20  
Old 02-03-13, 09:22 PM
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Called the company that did the electric work for my house, and about the only thing I could get out of them really was that it was just a ground for the house. She did tell me that the length of the rod depended on how far down my basement went into the ground, typically 8-20' in length. She said nothing about an Ufer ground, or was allowed to give any advice on how to work around it. . .

Just another run around!
 
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Old 02-03-13, 09:36 PM
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At this point I would probably drive two eight foot long ground rods (minimum of six feet apart) outside and connect them together and to the panel with nothing less than #6 solid copper wire. Leave the existing ground but trench out the concrete for the existing conductor and then just fill the hole and trench with concrete. It may not be code but it will be better than many grounding electrode systems.
 
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