I'm arguing with a low-ball lighting installer about the need for poles to be grounded as well as the luminaires on 12' parking lot lights. The installer seems to think that the mechanical link between the pole and the luminaire is sufficient, so only the luminaire needs to be grounded. I call BS and reference 410.15 (specifically, 410.15(B)(5)) and feel that the code specifies that any metalic pole, 8' or higher, needs to be bonded to ground using the grounding bolt welded to the inside of the hand hole, and using the manufacturer-supplied (and UL listed) gounding hardware. The luminaire, of course, must be grounded ALSO.
My logic is that if, for some reason (corrosion, a hit from a moving truck, etc.), the luminaire becomes detached from the pole, or the mechanical link becomes comprimised in any way, the pole then becomes a possible conductor when/if a fault occurs. Add one barefooted kid leaning on the pole, and we have a tragedy that could have been easily avoided.
BTW, this guy came in to one of the communities that I service and underbid my company on the pole replacements by using "immigrants of questionable legality" to perform the work for him. There was never, to my knowlege, a certified or licensed electrician on site during the entire process. And yes, I may be a little biased in my motives on this issue.
Does anybody think that I'm out of line on this, or am I right? Are there any inspectors here that have run across this issue and made the call either way?
Well, the way I see it, even if it was not required to be bonded, The bonding conductor is present and running right past the bonding stud up to the fixture, so why not just take the extra 30 seconds and bond the pole anyway. For the time and material it might take, its peanuts and " cheap insurance" compared to what the price may be if someone were to get hurt or killed because the pole somehow became hot.
#100290 - 11/09/0608:20 AMRe: Light Pole Grounding
gfretwell: I wholeheartedly agree with the extra ground wire length.
I've been the guy to go out a secure the sites after poles have gone down, and more than once I've found the wire over extended to the point of failure, and have found more than one has become a 4" X 4"X 20' steel conductor. I've always been glad that I found it before a someone else.
Around here, it's becoming a real problem. So called "lighting" speciallty contractors are entering into the market and are practicing predatorial bidding to get into a job, then using unqualified labor in order to turn a profit on an impossibly low bid. The result? The customers get what they pay for. And IMHO, it's scary, and it will not end well.