National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

?
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Question:

Re: CQD answer published Friday, August 25, 2017 -Ground Rod Electrode Installation

Regarding the difficulty in installing ground rods in rocky conditions:

1. we use a demolition hammer to drive our rods;

2. if vertical is impossible we attempt a 45 degree;

3. and lastly if all of those do not work, we drive it as far as possible and dig a 6" trench for the remaining rod. We use a torch to heat of the rod and then bend it into the shallow trench. No the entire rod is in the ground. The code doesn't say that it can't be bent or that it has to be straight. I Hope this helps all the guys and gals with this same problem.

Jeff Glanstein

A

Answer:

Hey Jeff thanks for your comment. The NEC doesn't specify what is to be used to drive ground rods and using a power tool as you suggest is a common method. The wording in 250.53(G) does not specifically prohibit bending ground rods but it does require the rod to be driven to a depth of 8 ft - unless rock bottom is encountered. If driving a rod at the 45 degree from vertical cannot be done, due to rock bottom, then the rod can be buried in a trench that is at least 2 1/2 feet deep. A 6 inch trench seems questionable and although UL 467 Grounding and Bonding Equipment has a bend test it does not have a "torch heating" test so damage to coatings could occur. As previously mentioned if none of those options work it will be up to the AHJ to decide what can be done.

ABOUT CQD: NECA’s Code Question of the Day (CQD) is a leading National Electrical Code® forum for NECA and the industry. The CQD generates a lively dialogue and relative practical and Code-based responses to an ever-increasing and interactive audience.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All answers are based on the latest edition of the National Electrical Code®, unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition. This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC®. Any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, or any technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services.

ABOUT CHARLIE: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Charlie was also a member of NECA’s Academy of Electrical Contracting. Charlie’s experienced team of industry experts keep the CQD dialogue and discussions active and informative in the spirit of the man himself, as he wanted.

NECA STANDARDS: NECA publishes the National Electrical Installation Standards™ (NEIS™), a series of ANSI-approved performance and quality standards for electrical construction. Visit NECA-NEIS.org for more information. NEISÔ can be purchased in three formats: as paper books, on CD, or as electronic downloads.

NECA SAFETY PRODUCTS: NECA publishes valuable electrical safety books and CDs for the industry. Visit necanet.org/store to view or purchase NECA safety products.

 CONTACT US: To submit a Code question, subscribe, or unsubscribe from this list, please e-mail: codequestion@necanet.org.