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#81691 - 09/11/02 04:22 AM Structural Steel
jes Offline

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 103
Loc: CT
250.104(C): Has anyone applied this to metal stud/joist/rafter'stick built' structures where there is no classic steel frame to the building? Could be residential or commercial. What about metal stud walls in any kind of building (say with one side having no dry wall applied)? How do you make the bond connection??

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#81692 - 09/11/02 02:55 PM Re: Structural Steel
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6792
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
You hit a good point.
You are refering to a metal stud wall that is unfinished on 1 side; correct?

We do a lot of commercial work, and have never had this question.
Usually, both sides of the walls are sheetrocked, to meet the building and fire codes.
IMHO, an AHJ "may" interpert 250-104 (c) to include "sheetmetal/metal" studs, and be within the "wording" of the Article. I think I'll pass your question on to Joe Tedesco, if he didn't see it already.
Anyone else have any interpertations???


#81693 - 09/11/02 04:35 PM Re: Structural Steel
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
2002 NEC 250.104(C) Structural Steel.

Exposed structural steel that is interconnected to form a steel building frame and is not intentionally grounded and may become energized shall be bonded to the service equipment enclosure, the grounded conductor at the service, the grounding electrode conductor where of sufficient size, or the one or more grounding electrodes used.

The bonding jumper(s) shall be sized in accordance with Table 250.66 and installed in accordance with 250.64(A), (B), and (E).

The points of attachment of the bonding jumper(s) shall be accessible.

Also, NFPA 780 Lightning Protection gives some meaning to the term "Structural Steel".

I could not find any specific definition in the NFC.

Anyway here is something I would use for now:

"From NFPA 780 - Structural steel frame construction utilizes a skeletal framing system consisting of large-load-carrying girders, beams, and columns for structural support.

These components represent a substantial weight factor for individual and assembly components.

Floor systems consist of cast-in-place concrete slabs of varying thicknesses poured onto metal pans or structural metal floor decks and also might include precast and posttensioned concrete plank systems.

These concrete/metal pan floor assemblies are supported by the structural steel framing system."

Note: Metal studs are not considered "structural steel", however they are subject to becoming energized, that's why we have to use a listed grommet in the "razor edge holes" of them when using romex.

Here in Massachusetts some time ago, long before I found my why to "NFPA in Quincy", there was an electrocution because of a metal stud that was energized.

I believe electricians had to bond all metal studs with an EGC per 250.122 for some time, and then the Mass Elec Code rule? was changed to call for a "metal box" to be used as the first point of supply where the "home run of romex" would be connected.

I personally would encourage use of metal 4 inch square boxes, because the EGC will provide the necessary bonding.

That would make me feel a little better.

Why don't someone send in a proposal on that issue to NFPA for the 2005 NEC?

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 09-11-2002).]
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#81694 - 09/11/02 06:25 PM Re: Structural Steel
dana1028 Offline

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 163
Loc: San Carlos, CA
I'm just asking Joe if I'm interpretting his comment correctly.

1. Metal studs ARE NOT structural steel.(I mean I don't think you can stretch NFPA 780 to include a metal stud)
Thus there is no specific code requirement to bond them - ...even IF they could become energized (!)

I'm looking around this section of the code and can't find anything specific [would welcome 'a point in the right direction to find a specific code requirement if there is one]....and I think that's why you are suggesting someone send in a proposal 'on that issue'.
i.e. 'IF these metal studs are subject to becoming energized, THEN they are required to be bonded (and this 'could' accomplished by using metal boxes).

If I am understanding you correctly I agree whole-hardedly (boy it would be embarrassing to be agreeing whole-hardedly and that's not what Joe meant!).

That's the standard we use, and we require a separate equipment grounding conductor be run in all conduit and cable (now that's a proposal I'd like to see made).

#81695 - 09/11/02 07:40 PM Re: Structural Steel
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
I used 780 to call attention to the language related to structural steel. I don't think that it relates to metal studs.

If the metal box was secured to a metal stud (and I was thinking about Romex in my last post) the EGC would be terminated onto the box and it would ground the studs.

Like you, I always recommend use of a separate EGC and agree.

I guess the proposal should be related to the use of "nonmetallic wiring systems and romex."

PS: I edited the reply above, I probably should slow down a little!

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 09-11-2002).]
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant


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