Ground rod - angle of installation

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
Wait! Just reread the post. Edit time ran out.

you are right (as usual) 👍
A horizontal trench would be 0deg (parallel) to the ground plane. 90deg from ground plane is "vertical".

For many things, the three planes (XY, XZ, YZ, aka "cartesian") are used as the referece. The ground plane is typically XY.
 

Chamuit

Senior Member
Location
Texas
I used to run into caliche veins in Phoenix. We would lay the rods down in a ditch 30" deep as required use a hickey to turn the ends up. Had to leave the trench open for inspections. If someone has a handbook, I believe there is a picture of acceptable methods in a diagram.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
A horizontal trench would be 0deg (parallel) to the ground plane. 90deg from ground plane is "vertical".

For many things, the three planes (XY, XZ, YZ, aka "cartesian") are used as the referece. The ground plane is typically XY.
I know...
Misread the post.
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
I know...
Misread the post.
My bad, it may have sounded directed at you..... it wasn't.
I was pointing out the NEC verbiage in that version was wonky. It says "no more than 45deg from vertical". I not sure why they throw in another reference plane of XZ or YZ. Just easier to say "no less than 45deg" knowing the ground plane is at 0deg and that's the plane the rod is driven into, etc.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
... knowing the ground plane is at 0deg.
How do you know that?
Suppose the ground plane was a hillside, the NEC clearly requires the rod to be installed vertically or within 45 degrees, regardless the slope of the 'ground'
 

Another C10

Electrical Contractor 1987 - present
Location
Southern Cal
Occupation
Electrician NEC 2020
That's easy to say until you fail for something as trivial as this. I'm a lot like you Larry in that I take a tremendous amount of pride in my work. I'm sure you've done 100's of upgrades like I have. I look over the entire job with a fine tooth comb, even at the end of the day when I'm sweaty and exhausted to make sure everything is as perfect as can be. Failing a job for this reason is pure BS - IMHO.
try not to take it too personal, I'm similar in that respect ..if an inspector fails me on a panel upgrade because of some ridiculous little technicality it ticks me off, but more so when I have to dig into the code book to find that one little note saying I was good. I've done that many times, digging the code to find that one exception, usually note 4 of a list of 5 exceptions.

Just remember its their world when they show up, the less you say the better and if they question you challenge with a mild tone.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
How do you know that?
Suppose the ground plane was a hillside, the NEC clearly requires the rod to be installed vertically or within 45 degrees, regardless the slope of the 'ground'
What about where the NEC also states that the rod can be buried in a ditch? Must the ditch be dug at a 45° or sharper angle?
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
OK. So, I spoke with the EI yesterday and after some persuading and a verification that I pounded these in by hand at that they hit compacted earth he agreed that I do not have to re-install the rods or supplement them. Now I find out that there were two other items that he wanted corrected. The first was the entry of the electrode grounding wires into the breaker panel. I used those two small KO holes at the top of the panel (and not a Kenny clamp) for entry. I remember this like it was yesterday in a CEU class that as long as you have properly secured the ground wires before entry to the panel you could use these small KO holes. He was not in agreement so this is not a big change and not worth arguing about. He suggested that I use either an Arlington black button or a metal roamex clamp. I didn't think these were an approved method for these wires but again - not worth arguing about (BTW, the other reason I use the small KO's is so that you don't use up a regular KO that you might need for existing wires).

The second is that he wants me to be present with a torque wrench and wants to see that I have tightened the service lugs in the main breaker panel to the suggested torque. He is not concerned about the lugs in the meter enclosure. Anyone else run into these requirements ?
 
OK. So, I spoke with the EI yesterday and after some persuading and a verification that I pounded these in by hand at that they hit compacted earth he agreed that I do not have to re-install the rods or supplement them. Now I find out that there were two other items that he wanted corrected. The first was the entry of the electrode grounding wires into the breaker panel. I used those two small KO holes at the top of the panel (and not a Kenny clamp) for entry. I remember this like it was yesterday in a CEU class that as long as you have properly secured the ground wires before entry to the panel you could use these small KO holes. He was not in agreement so this is not a big change and not worth arguing about. He suggested that I use either an Arlington black button or a metal roamex clamp. I didn't think these were an approved method for these wires but again - not worth arguing about (BTW, the other reason I use the small KO's is so that you don't use up a regular KO that you might need for existing wires).

The second is that he wants me to be present with a torque wrench and wants to see that I have tightened the service lugs in the main breaker panel to the suggested torque. He is not concerned about the lugs in the meter enclosure. Anyone else run into these requirements ?
Ya know, that is one thing that drives me crazy is when they pull the "second round" of corrections trick. Here is a thing or two you need to correct, I come back and check and give you some more things to correct. Such a waste of everyone's time.

I think those two things are dumb. If that AHJ wants these type of things verified, they need to make a law saying the inspector has to be there during final torquing.
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
The second is that he wants me to be present with a torque wrench and wants to see that I have tightened the service lugs in the main breaker panel to the suggested torque. He is not concerned about the lugs in the meter enclosure. Anyone else run into these requirements ?
Yikes. It's the job of the "inspector" to inspect. Some things do require the contractor to be there, as example, gas line pressure test, my AHJ requires the contractor or homeowner to be there with an air compressor, the gas line must have a psi gauge on it, gauge must be at zero with a verification by pressing open a schrader valve, then the line pumped up, wait a period of time, then inspector will release pressure back to zero to verify the gauge is not faulty.

But show them the torque is good? That's kinda odd, how would they verify the torque tool is accurate/good? It's the job of the "inspector" to inspect, so s/he should come with their own calibrated torque tool to check things.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
What about where the NEC also states that the rod can be buried in a ditch? Must the ditch be dug at a 45° or sharper angle?
My point was, there was a reason that the NEC includes the word vertical. I don't believe the NEC provides guidance on the relationship of the ditch with the slope of the surface.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
My bad, it may have sounded directed at you..... it wasn't.
I was pointing out the NEC verbiage in that version was wonky. It says "no more than 45deg from vertical". I not sure why they throw in another reference plane of XZ or YZ. Just easier to say "no less than 45deg" knowing the ground plane is at 0deg and that's the plane the rod is driven into, etc.
Well since the main general rule is to drive it vertically why wouldn't that be the reference point for determining any optional angle?

Otherwise if horizontal were the reference then they would have to state no less than 45 deg instead of no more than.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
OK. So, I spoke with the EI yesterday and after some persuading and a verification that I pounded these in by hand at that they hit compacted earth he agreed that I do not have to re-install the rods or supplement them. Now I find out that there were two other items that he wanted corrected. The first was the entry of the electrode grounding wires into the breaker panel. I used those two small KO holes at the top of the panel (and not a Kenny clamp) for entry. I remember this like it was yesterday in a CEU class that as long as you have properly secured the ground wires before entry to the panel you could use these small KO holes. He was not in agreement so this is not a big change and not worth arguing about. He suggested that I use either an Arlington black button or a metal roamex clamp. I didn't think these were an approved method for these wires but again - not worth arguing about (BTW, the other reason I use the small KO's is so that you don't use up a regular KO that you might need for existing wires).

The second is that he wants me to be present with a torque wrench and wants to see that I have tightened the service lugs in the main breaker panel to the suggested torque. He is not concerned about the lugs in the meter enclosure. Anyone else run into these requirements ?
Kenny clamps are not required, and as far as I know NM cable connectors are not listed for single grounding electrode conductors. The small holes are provided by the panel manufacturer and are there for the installation of the GEC. The torque requirement is ambiguous as to how it's enforced so there's not much argument there.

I would fight tooth and nail on the GEC installation since you have done it correctly.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
The second is that he wants me to be present with a torque wrench and wants to see that I have tightened the service lugs in the main breaker panel to the suggested torque. He is not concerned about the lugs in the meter enclosure. Anyone else run into these requirements ?
I had a 2000 amp transferswitch changeout in Virginia years ago, where the inspector wanted my torque wrench “to just check to make sure we didn’t miss any of them” (over 60 connections including the Polaris lugs) Nice guy though, he checked every single one of them at 3:00 am in the morning! Must have been doing it to justify the OT rate the city was charging! LOL!
 
I had a 2000 amp transferswitch changeout in Virginia years ago, where the inspector wanted my torque wrench “to just check to make sure we didn’t miss any of them” (over 60 connections including the Polaris lugs) Nice guy though, he checked every single one of them at 3:00 am in the morning! Must have been doing it to justify the OT rate the city was charging! LOL!
Some inspectors are indeed thorough. When I was an apprentice, this one inspector would, without fail, put his plug tester in every single receptacle.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I had a 2000 amp transferswitch changeout in Virginia years ago, where the inspector wanted my torque wrench “to just check to make sure we didn’t miss any of them” (over 60 connections including the Polaris lugs) Nice guy though, he checked every single one of them at 3:00 am in the morning! Must have been doing it to justify the OT rate the city was charging! LOL!
So how did he check them? When you have a bolt tightened it takes more torque than it was originally tightened to To break it loose. Once it turns its overtorqued and you should start all over.

It’s really not important, but TECHNICALLY he was doing it wrong...
 
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