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Electrical Contractor
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I never had a inspector fail me for not using ufer
Unless you have an amendment then the inspector does not know about it,or doesn't care. IMO, you are doing a disservice to the customer whether the ufer is required or not.

Nc has an amendment so we don't have to use the Ufer but we always do.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I'm having trouble finding a good reason to use rods, instead of Ufer.

Here's one possible scoreboard:
Performance in difficult ground +ufer
Cost savings +ufer
Time savings +ufer
Easy to do +ufer
No need to plan ahead +rods
Easy to inspect +rods

Does anyone know a serious reason not to use an ufer?

I think that I may have read somewhere where a large lightning strike through an ufer might damage the footer? But I also read somewhere else that that's not true? North Carolina has a TON of lightning -- wonder if that has anything to do with it?
 

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Electrical Contractor
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If lightning hits anything directly there is no telling what the damage would be. I saw the results of lightning hitting a line out by the pool where it broke the drain line and traveled into the house on one of the conductors and blew a hole thru the slab by the panel. It was just rods - no ufer.

I think the biggest objection to a ufer if the extra trip and that could be a significant trip for most. I usually do it myself but if the job is far away I give it to the builders that I have trained. I make them watch me do it so they know when they get a job far away.

I also try and have them have the footer ready so I can do the temp pole at the same time
 

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We put them in but our electrician asked us to put a bend on the end of the bar and we run that 8" bend in a stud bay. Last house the inspector was completely happy and liked the ease to always be able to see that. They put a mud ring where it's at and then just a plate cover so at anytime it can be seen or accessed


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Electrical Contractor
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We put them in but our electrician asked us to put a bend on the end of the bar and we run that 8" bend in a stud bay. Last house the inspector was completely happy and liked the ease to always be able to see that. They put a mud ring where it's at and then just a plate cover so at anytime it can be seen or accessed


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That works also especially if you have a crawl space. Stub out down there above grade.

I have heard that some people stub out there rebar below grade outdoors. That is a no-no since the rebar will not last in soil
 

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I have heard that some people stub out there rebar below grade outdoors. That is a no-no since the rebar will not last in soil
Which brings up another point I sometimes wonder about. Rebar rusts even when encased in concrete, albeit much more slowly. How good can the electrical connection to ground be once that gets fairly well along--say 15-20 years after construction?
 

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Well, the same is true for rods so what I do is I install 20' #4 copper in the footer AND connect it to the rebar. I figured if the rebar goes I still have the wire in the concrete
 

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John the Builder
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Which brings up another point I sometimes wonder about. Rebar rusts even when encased in concrete, albeit much more slowly. How good can the electrical connection to ground be once that gets fairly well along--say 15-20 years after construction?
I've been told that after a million volts or so, lightning don't don't look at rust as an obstacle.
 
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Discussion Starter #49
If lightning hits anything directly there is no telling what the damage would be. I saw the results of lightning hitting a line out by the pool where it broke the drain line and traveled into the house on one of the conductors and blew a hole thru the slab by the panel. It was just rods - no ufer.

I think the biggest objection to a ufer if the extra trip and that could be a significant trip for most. I usually do it myself but if the job is far away I give it to the builders that I have trained. I make them watch me do it so they know when they get a job far away.

I also try and have them have the footer ready so I can do the temp pole at the same time

These are excellent points.

Yes. I suppose you do everything possible. Yet, at some point there's a pratical limit. I suppose that beyond some limit is where insurance takes over.

Yes. A highly trained electrician shouldn't need to waste a trip -- you could print out the instructions and hand them to the builder. As a builder, I like doing it, or at least double checking it to make sure it's done right. Only takes a few minutes and a wrench. Otherwise, hopefully, any stupidity will be caught during the rebar inspection?

Any way to verify the 'goodness' of the ground before the electric company hooks on? Save a trip and show due diligence?

I like it bent up into the basement in a bay. Right under where the panel goes. Sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Which brings up another point I sometimes wonder about. Rebar rusts even when encased in concrete, albeit much more slowly. How good can the electrical connection to ground be once that gets fairly well along--say 15-20 years after construction?
What I have heard, and like with everything, who knows if it's true ...

If you use those fittings, with the bolts, to join the rebar that makes up the ufer, then that bolt in the fittings bites down deep into the rebar.

Rust forms a layer, yes, but it should stop after a layer. Otherwise, rebar would completely dissolve and be useless as a structural member. What could be better to ground to if not a structural member?

Rebar is not supposed to be near the outside surface of the footer. What is it, 3 inches, can't remember. So then it shouldn't rust, theoretically.

If rebar is rusting in the footer then there's probably other problems, too.

Again, like with everything I say, it's based on what I've heard and seen. I'm not an electrician. Don't know if it's best practice, or anything.
 

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Rust forms a layer, yes, but it should stop after a layer. Otherwise, rebar would completely dissolve and be useless as a structural member. What could be better to ground to if not a structural member?
Iron oxide is not noted for electrical conductivity. A 2x4 stud is a structural member, but probably not a great grounding point. :no:
 

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John the Builder
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So I went looking for Ufer Ground CEE info.

Yup, copper was originally used, but the high ph of concrete would flake it away, so they went to steel rebar.


And lightning can flash the moisture in concrete, causing damage.

Oh well.

And even small DC current leakages through the Ufer can cause corrosion.

But other than that, the pluses outweigt the minuses.

Well, I lernt me sumthin.
 

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Wording requiring Concrete encased electrodes ""if present'' made its entry into the nec in the 2005 edition. Other wise known as uffer ground. It was in the code before that, but the wording was ''if accessible'' in the older versions. It was easy then to say the concrete made it not accessible. Now there is no excuse. That is more than ten years ago, all electricians should be up to date on this by now.
 

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Wording requiring Concrete encased electrodes ""if present'' made its entry into the nec in the 2005 edition. Other wise known as uffer ground. It was in the code before that, but the wording was ''if accessible'' in the older versions. It was easy then to say the concrete made it not accessible. Now there is no excuse. That is more than ten years ago, all electricians should be up to date on this by now.
Mikey- NC has somehow taken the new wording "if present" and said the same thing as when it stated "if accessible". Once the concrete is poured it isn't present for the ec to use.

IMO, that is BS and it should be enforced but I have no power other than to do it myself and feel good about it whether NC enforces it or not.
 
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