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Joined: Jul 2004
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G
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That just shows the difference on PoCos. FPL likes the ground electrode in the meter can.
I agree PVC has become the EGC protection of choice lately but the old City hub with EMT makes a better installation. Most of the fault current will go down the EMT anyway.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
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HotLine, you're jogging my memory ...

I vaguely recall recently seeing a rule somewhere - could it have been in the NEC itself? - that frowned upon the various devices that we've seen used by the phone and cable guys to attach their grounds to the ground can. I almost recall the rule mentioning something about not interfering with opening the can, etc.

The T&B gizmo, with the multiple terminals, might be exempt from such a rule; it is listed as an IBT.

Joined: Jul 2004
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G
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For a while in the 2000s the standard was just stubbing out a #4 through the wall here but after the code change they started using a terminal block. It may be screwed to the meter can or it may just be attached to the wall. Prior to that, everyone who was actually being responsible, attached to the ground rod. Satellite companies are the worst and most STILL drive that 3' rod for their dish, calling it done.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
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I wouldn't have focused on these details, save for one set of circumstances ...

Back in the 60's we were happy with any sort of wire going to a ground rod. Them a series of pictures in the IAEI News led to ever-increasing wire sizes.

The problem? Damage from lawn mowers and weed-whackers. Until, ultimately, many places started requiring the EGC be #4 solid wire.

Then, all of a sudden, it was noticed in many places that the wires were missing. It was speculated that, at some unknown time, some unknown person had salvaged the copper. Sound familiar? So, the solution was to now require the wire to be run in conduit.

Well, inflation is hard on all. The copper thief lobby, feeling the pinch of higher living expenses in this down economy, was successful in requiring that we now have TWO ground rods- meaning more copper wire to steal. This helps offset the loss of opportunity as folks switch to concealed UFER electrodes.

(Believe the last paragraph, and I'll tell you another one! laugh )

In a related development, the code whizards suddenly discovered that folks have telephones in their homes, and that the phone system needs a ground attachment. It is only pure irony that this discovery was made at a time when folks are 'cutting the cord' with the traditional phone system, opting for cell phones alone. Well, there's still cable and dish TV - oops, there's Netflix and Redbox. OK, there's internet service - oops, some places are installing community-wide wireless access.

So, now we are required to furnish some means to ground these auxilliary wires. Most of the available gizmos attach to the #4 EGC .... that's inaccessible, since it's in pipe. If the wire is accessable to the phone guy, it's available to the thief.

I'd say 'just stub out a short piece of wire for the LV guys,' except I am not really looking forward to buying a 'Kenny clamp.' http://kennyclamp.com/ .

Have we gone full circle .... or painted ourselves into a corner? laugh

Joined: Jul 2004
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G
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It has always been necessary to ground phone systems, just because of lightning. When people get killed on the phone, I suspect the grounding was not done correctly. The same is true about people getting killed in the shower or any of the other lightning stories you hear.

When we started hanging electronics on these services, cross connecting phone, cable TV and power, it became necessary to concentrate on inter system grounding but that should have happened 2 decades ago. Computer people certainly knew about it by the early 80s.

You can't let thieves rule your life. Mount things to make them hard to steal and get on with your life. I still like the "turned up rebar" ufer as a good compromise between safety and theft prevention. The copper doesn't get installed until the house is ready to be closed up.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,495
T
Member
Could you use other materials?
In Europe, grounding systems are often galvanised or stainless steel up to a terminal box above ground, usually set into an exterior wall of the house. Connections from the rod are commonly 8 or 10mm diameter steel wire, rods are often steel too. Copper rods exist, but seem to be much less common.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
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Texas, we are pretty much required to use a copper wire.

The rod itself is almost always steel- though the copper cladding makes it look like it's made of cooper.

What is copper cladding? Simple: a copper tube is heated up to expand it, a steel rod is inserted, and the copper shrinks to the rod as it cools. This is much more copper than you would get by simply plating the rods. How are the ends sealed? I don't know.

We have galvanized steel rods, stainless steel rods ... indeed, most any material can be used for a rod. The copper clad steel rod is by far the most common.

Joined: Jul 2004
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G
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The code says you need copper within 18" of the ground and the GEC is generally supposed to be unspliced with very few exceptions.
That means the wire to a rod will be copper.
The easiest solution is to use a PVC raceway and terminate the whole thing below grade. Not many thieves are going to willing to dig and rip out a raceway for a half buck's worth of copper. If your area is really that hard core, run it in RMC to a city hub below grade. In that situation the copper is really redundant anyway. The fault current will go down the pipe.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
Member
Reno,


I saw another crooked green sticker. smile


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