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Are Ground Rods Needed if You Have a CEE?

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
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Oct 16, 2009
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Palm Beach County Florida
If you have a Concrete Encased Electrode (CEE), such as tying into the rebar of a footer, is it still necessary to have a ground rod as part of your Grounding Electrode System (GES)?
 

conarb

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Oct 22, 2009
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California East Bay Area
Sometimes, depends on the utility, I've built homes that don't require them and a few miles away both UFER and driven ground are required.
 

Builder Bob

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Oct 17, 2009
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Sunny SC - Coastal (not Charleston or Myrtle Beach
AHJ Call, as usually the NEC States when they are available, they shall be bonded......2014 NEC Article 250.50 - UG Water, Metal Frame Building, CEE, Ground Ring, Rod & Pipe, Plate electrode.

and when they don't exist -250.52 states one or more of the following may be used for the grounding electrode - UG Water, Metal Frame Building, CEE, Ground Ring, Rod & Pipe, Plate electrode.
 

Jimmy T

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Sep 18, 2020
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13
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Washington Ga.
Ufer is a superior ground in my area, clay soil and ground rods are not friends, so I dont usually require a driven ground with a verifiable ufer. Any doubt about the ufer and I will require a driven ground.
 

Beniah Naylor

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Sep 10, 2020
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55
Location
Manhattan, Kansas
No ground rods needed, Ufer is better ground than ground rods anyway.

But that won't stop an engineer from specifying a ufer, three ground rods, and a plate electrode, and tying them all together with 1/0 wire...
 

Rick18071

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Nov 28, 2009
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Poconos/eastern PA
Not needed.

But I always wondered what other inspectors do for a reintroduction of power where no work was done and you only see a copper wire going into the ground and don't see any ground rods? Do you make them dig 4' down to prove that it goes into the footing or to something else?
 

Mark K

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May 12, 2010
Messages
1,808
With a properly installed Ufer there is electrically no need for a ground rod.

Have seen a project where a formal membrane was installed under the foundation. This was because of potential contaminants in the soil. In such a case a UFER system would not be effective. There needs to be a path for the electrons to travel from the building ground to the soil beneath the building. With the membrane acting as an insulator this is not possible.

If the permit drawings call for both a ufer system and ground rods they both need to be installed.

If there is a formal lightning protection system I believe that you will want the grounding of that system to be at the exterior of the building.
 

ADAguy

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Sep 11, 2013
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California
UFERs are cool, did an FAA facility with a 1,000 points of attachment, each one hammer tested. Don't forget to wear your glasses when observing the welding.
 

Pcinspector1

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Oct 28, 2009
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MID WEST
POCO wants a ground rod to the meter socket. So I'm forced to oblige.

Here they tie a piece of rebar to the footing ufer and run the rebar vertical through the top of the poured foundation and the sparky's tie a grounding clamp to the rebar for the GC. A friend of mine Said, "I wouldn't want that house!" he said if lightning hits the house it could send the energy through the poured concrete foundation wall and if there's enough electrical charge it could blow the wall out or crack the wall. Do you think there's any truth to that?
 

Beniah Naylor

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Location
Manhattan, Kansas
POCO wants a ground rod to the meter socket. So I'm forced to oblige.

Here they tie a piece of rebar to the footing ufer and run the rebar vertical through the top of the poured foundation and the sparky's tie a grounding clamp to the rebar for the GC. A friend of mine Said, "I wouldn't want that house!" he said if lightning hits the house it could send the energy through the poured concrete foundation wall and if there's enough electrical charge it could blow the wall out or crack the wall. Do you think there's any truth to that?
If lightning directly strikes the house, it will cause massive structural damage regardless of the CEE. If you see pictures of houses that get struck by lightning, they look like a bomb went off in the attic. Now, the concrete may get damaged also, but I think that would be the least of your worries.
 

Mark K

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May 12, 2010
Messages
1,808
1000 points of attachment and hammer testing do not compute.

Multiple points of attachment create the potential for ground loops which can cause problems with high frequency devices such as the radios in a FAA facility. I do hope the electrical engineer talked with the radio engineer that was responsible for the radio systems. This is the type of project where an electrical contractor should not be allowed to design the system on his own.

The UFER ground consists of a ground wire connected to wire or a piece of steel that is imbedded in cast in place concrete which is in contact with the soil which acts as the ultimate ground. The electrons in the ground use the electrons from the water in the concrete to flow into the soil. Think of the concrete as an intermediate ground that helps to engage the ultimate ground.

Hitting the ground wire or piece of steel projecting from the concrete with a hammer will prove little or nothing.

Once the concrete is poured as a part of a UFER system the only way to verify what was done are demo the concrete to expose the embedded wiring or install ground rods so that you could measure the ground resistance of the UFER ground.
 

steveray

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Nov 25, 2009
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West of the river CT
Don't worry...The 2024 IBC there is a proposal to REQUIRE lighting protection systems at new buildings and additions....Brought to you by UL and NEMA.....
 
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