Concrete encased Electrodes- UFER everybody. Chelan Home Inspection Services.
Well it has been on the books for a while but they are going to finally enforce it all over Washington State. Several municipalities have already been doing this.
The concrete encased electrode or UFER ground uses the rebar in the foundation footing to create the GEC (grounding electrode conductor).
Grounding is the process of electrically connecting any metallic object to the earth by the way of an earth electrode system. The National Electric Code requires that the grounding electrodes be tested to ensure that they are under 25-ohms resistance-to-ground (Earth).
There have been various studies and it has been shown when properly installed the UFER/concrete-encased electrode system will have a resistance of four ohms or less to ground for the life of the foundation which is considered 30 years or better.
This is the update from Washington State-
“Grounding electrodes – This change requires, except for mobile/manufactured homes, a concrete encased electrode to be installed and used at each new building or structure that is built upon a permanent concrete foundation. If the concrete encased grounding electrode is not available for connections, a ground ring must be installed per NEC 250.”
So if you are buying or building a new home the contractor should be properly installing a UFER system.
What this means to us as home inspectors is that we will need to look for the access point(s) and connection to confirm the system is in place. The connection point has to be accessible for inspection.
As per the Washington State home inspection standards of practice a home inspector is to identify “The existence of a connected service-grounding conductor and service-grounding electrode when same can be determined.”
“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”
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