Trouble sinking ground rod

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  #1  
Old 12-06-13, 09:59 AM
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Trouble sinking ground rod

I was trying to pound a 8' rod right next to the foundation of my garage. I cant get it to go past 4'. I know thats not sufficient as per NEC, so I dug it up.... is that likely not going to offer any lightning protection at that depth?

I was afraid I was hitting a utility when i couldnt drive it further.....although its likely a rock. I know it was not the electric going to the garage I was hitting. The only thing underground I know of is the gas which comes in on the otherside of the house (not garage) about 150 ft away and that comes from the street directly into the house.

How likely is there a utility buried about a foot away from the garage foundation? Theres no gas lines in the garage.

Probably an impossible question to answer....
 
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Old 12-06-13, 10:12 AM
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Call the utility locator service out (it's free) just to be sure then try another spot. Plan "B" drive at 45. Plan "C" dig a trench and bury horizontally. Plan "D", probably not practical in your case, Ufer.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 10:19 AM
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After you get the buried utilities located and pick a new spot, lay a 3/8" washer on your mark, place the tip of the ground rod in the hole in the washer, and drive it.

I don't know why this helps, but I've seen it countless times. Not always a cure, but usually.

Ray's suggestions are good if you still can't drive it straight down. If you have to slant it, bend it so the tip is coming straight up out of the ground.

I know thats not sufficient as per NEC...
The NEC requires a low-impedance path to ground. How you achieve that is up to you and your local jurisdiction.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 10:31 AM
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I was trying to pound a 8' rod right next to the foundation of my garage
Are you sure you're not hitting a footing? Foundations are usually built larger at the bottom (2' wide) and then decrease down to the standard 8" block for the foundation wall. Because this is a garage, it may not be built like that, but you may be able to drive it down if you come 16" or 18" off the foundation wall.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 11:06 AM
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How concerned should I be that I hit/damaged a utility? See the map below.

The gas comes to house likely from the street. Phone/Cable/AC is overhead. I dug around the conduit to the garage and was about a foot from it where I was digging/driving the rod, so it wasnt that I was hitting.

Hows this for extreme paranoia?....How likely is it that some old gas line line from the 40's is a foot away from the garage foundation and now I severed it?

That would mean this gas line would still be under pressure despite not related to the gas co. modern line coming in from the street. Also that means the garage foundation was pored directly next to this gas line some 40 years ago....

Im not sure I want to call the 811 guys for my paranoia, but when I attempt to drive it again I may....
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Are you sure you're not hitting a footing? Foundations are usually built larger at the bottom (2' wide) and then decrease down to the standard 8" block for the foundation wall. Because this is a garage, it may not be built like that, but you may be able to drive it down if you come 16" or 18" off the foundation wall.
Maybe that was it. I was maybe a foot away from the siding/foundation. However, this foundation is poured if that makes any difference.

I was going to go from the back of the garage many feet away from where the subpanel is.... but then i saw the price of the #6 wire!!!
 
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Old 12-06-13, 12:40 PM
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How concerned should I be that I hit/damaged a utility? See the map below.
Unless you have a gusher (water) or can hear and smell natural gas, I doubt you have a problem. Call the locates in and wait till they mark the public utilities before attempting to drive the rod again. I also think you hit a footing.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 01:47 PM
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Call the locates in and wait till they mark the public utilities before attempting to drive the rod again.
I ended up calling them.

In regards to the locators, Im guessing the only flag the metered high voltage/low voltage/metered gas right? Im thinking they connect there device to the tracer wire at the riser on the gas meter or to the grounded AC meter box.

So if there was some old line that isnt connected to my meters, they wouldnt find it. That might sound crazy/paranoid right?

I also think you hit a footing.
Looking at some diagrams of foundation footings online, it sure looks possible. The ones I saw extend about 2', I was within that range but I was only about 4 feet down.... this is a garage though, no basement or crawl space of course, so perhaps???
 
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Old 12-06-13, 02:42 PM
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The main reason I think it's a footing is because it's about 4' down, which could be right around the frost-line in your area. If it was a basement, it would be below the slab, but in this case, the footing would be just below the frost line.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 05:17 PM
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In regards to the locators, Im guessing the only flag the metered high voltage/low voltage/metered gas right? Im thinking they connect there device to the tracer wire at the riser on the gas meter or to the grounded AC meter box.
It depends, all areas and all states could be slightly different. In my state the utilities generally don't do their own locates, but contract to a contractor who only does locating. There could be several different companies come out over a 3 business day period. When relying on locates it's also important to know that all utility companies don't necessarily belong to the "One Call" system, you might have to call them directly.

I believe that generally your thoughts are correct, they usually have a connection to the buried line, tracer wire or pipe to locate it and abandoned pipes don't get marked.
 
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