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Grounding the Electrical

Reference: AAVIM
Electrical Wiring
Created May 2007

Purpose of the Grounding

Fundamental to the safety of those

installing, using, and servicing the

electrical system
Assures the system will work
properly while preventing damage to
the system

NEC Requirements
All electrical systems serving

structure must be bonded together

Including the following

Electrical wiring system

Telephone system
Phone system
Burgular alarm system
Cable or satellite system

The process of making a planned,

continuous, connection between

the electrical wiring installation and
the earth and some other conducting

Describes the act of being connected
to the earth or some other
conduction body that serves in place
of the earth

Process in which all NON-CURRENT


electrical wiring system are
permanently joined together to form
a CONTINUOUS grounding path

Reduces the differences in potential
between each electrical system
May be caused by power surges,
lightning strikes or other types of
ground fault type occurences

Parts of the Electrical

Service Entrance Panel
Metal Water Pipe
Metal Gas pipe

Materials in Grounding System

Must be approved by NEC

The Grounding Electrode

All materials must be grounded using
approved bonding and grounding
electrode systems
Check with local building code

Metallic Pipe
Water pipe must always be bonded to
the service entrance panel,
grounding electrode conductor, or
grounding electrode
Other metal pipe, such as gas pipe,
which may become energized
accidentally must be bonded to the
electrical system grounded system

Use of Bonding Jumper

To provide CONTINUOUS grounding
path around devices such as water
meters installed in metallic water
pipe system

Types of Grounding

Metal Underground Water

Must be bonded to the supplemental
grounding system electrode and to
the neutral bus bar in the SEP
Connection must be made within 5
feet of entering structure
Water pipe must be in direct contact
with the earth for at least 10 feet

Concrete Encased Electrode

Electrode encased in foundation

footing covered with at least 2 inches

of concrete
Electrodes must be at least 20 feet in
length and consist of one or more
steel reinforcement bars

Ground Ring
Bare Copper
At Least #2 AWG or larger
Encircling residence for a length of
20 feet
Buried at least 2

Metal Framework

Supplemental Electrodes
Typically made of metal rods, pipes,
or plates

Rod and Pipe Electrodes

Iron or steel rod electrodes
Must be 5/8 in diameter
Pipe must be in diameter
Galvanized or metal coated for

corrosion resistance
8 feet in length
Installed to a depth of 8 in direct
contact with earth

Nonferrous rods must be listed at no

less than
Stainless Steel- diamter
Must be at or below ground level
Must be protected from physical

If electrode can not be driven more

than 4 into the earth b/c of rock or

other obstruction
May be driven at an oblique and of
no more than 45 from vertical
At least 8 of the electrode must be
in contact with earth

Multiple grounding rods

When more than one electrode
grounding rod is used:

Must be installed not less than 6 feet

Must be bonded together with an
approved bonding jumper to form single
grounding electrode system

Plate Electrode
May be used in areas where it is not

possible to use a grounding rod or ring

Steel/Iron Plate electrode must be
Non-ferrous metal plate must be 0.06
2 feet square
Buried at least 2 1/2

Grounding Electrode
NEC permits

AL and AL-CU may not be used in contact
with masonry, corrosive, or in direct
contact with the earth