Grounding your Electrical System, a Seattle Home Inspector’s, 3 Part Series: Part II

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

     If your eyes haven’t completely glazed over and I can awaken you for a moment I would like to discuss the second means of achieving Grounding of your home’s electrical system. The new Washington State, Standards of Practice, require Seattle Home Inspectors (all Washington State Home Inspectors) to report: “The existence of a connected service-grounding conductor and service-grounding electrode when same can be determined.”

     I would hope that most home inspectors would have already been doing this, but having it spelled out specifically in the Standards of Practice is an improvement over most Home Inspection, Standards of practice around the country.

Ground Wire Disconnected from it's Ground Rod     All Electrical Services to homes have to be properly Grounded.  There are three common ways of achieving this grounding requirement.  Some homes will have one or two of these methods and it is possible for a home to have all three.  The first method of achieving grounding is the Main Water Pipe to the home.

     In this post, Part II of this series, we will discuss the “Ground Rod” the second type of Grounding Electrode Conductor.

     At some point in time (mid 60’s) it became apparent that the water pipe to the house could no longer be relied upon as the only means of achieving grounding of the electrical system.  Not only because of the soil conditions discussed in Part I, but because we started using plastic water pipes to supply water to homes (and little Joey was metaphorically getting more creative).  Plastic is a lousy grounding conductor----in fact it doesn’t work at all.  So the Electrical Gods gave us “Ground Rods.”   These rods are usually either galvanized steel or copper coated steel.  At first, just one rod was used but it did not take long for two rods to be required.  The reason for this is that the diameter of ground rods has much less surface area than the water pipe that runs to the home, they are nowhere near as long, and therefore did not provide a really “positive” connection to the ground---especially in particularly poor soils---like gravel.

     Because of the importance of achieving really good grounding, a third method of grounding had to come into play. 

     In Part III of this series Herbert Ufer will visit my blog and help us understand the “Ufer Ground,” the third type Grounding Electrode Conductor.

Charles Buell

 

Seattle Home Inspectors, ASHI Home Inspector, Structural Pest Inspector, Charles Buell Inspections Inc, Seattle, WA

 

 

 

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out:  AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.Just quack on me to subscribe

 


Raven DeCroeDeCroe, is my "ethereal" home inspector assistant and occasionally flies into my blog and other people's blogs to offer assistance. To find out more about her beginnings just click on Raven.

 

 
Posted by

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seattle Home Inspector

 

The Human Rights Campaign   QR code for Charles Buell Inspections Inc  ASHI.org

 

WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
Dedicated Bloggers
Home Inspector's Corner
Diary of a Realtor
Sparky's Plumbing
FREEDOM Office: Professionals Working from Home
Tags:
seattle home inspectors
electrical grounding
everett wa home inspector
shoreline wa home inspectors
ground rods

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,243,096
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr Charles,

This series post is not nearly as dry as the first one. I can see those little electrodes darting about in my mind.

Nutsy

Aug 16, 2009 02:55 AM #1
Ambassador
1,599,267
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Uferground.... wasn't he one of the dwarves in Snow White?

Aug 16, 2009 03:09 AM #2
Ambassador
1,323,680
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Nutsy, as can I, as can I

Alan, I think you are thinking of Uberground:)

Aug 16, 2009 03:12 AM #3
Ambassador
296,025
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!

Charles, nice series, I am glad we have folks like you to keep us out of trouble because I don't know what the heck you are talking about!!! LOL

Aug 16, 2009 03:36 AM #4
Ambassador
1,323,680
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

David, OUCH!---I was hoping you would by the time I am done with all three:) LOL

Aug 16, 2009 03:43 AM #5
Rainmaker
226,377
Suesan Jenifer Therriault
JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team - Blakeslee, PA
"Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own".

Hey Charles, my eyes still haven't glazed over. I'll give you credit, you've taken a topic which I have always found boring and found a simple way to get the message across while sparing the brain. I do appreciate it. I'll send Jon over tomorrow to read parts one and two ... I think he would benefit some what from your explanation since mine always bored him.

Aug 16, 2009 09:30 AM #6
Ambassador
1,323,680
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Suesan---I wouldn't expect an inspector's eyes to glaze over---this is the equivalent of talking about sex to an inspector:)  The third installment will be coming out on Tuesday AM----to a theater near you.

Aug 16, 2009 09:40 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,816,530
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Moses was really grounded and he had a staff in addition to a rod.

Aug 16, 2009 12:48 PM #8
Ambassador
1,323,680
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

I hear he was even able to stay grounded when he went across the water:)

Aug 16, 2009 12:52 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,816,530
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

There is an electrical trick in there that no electrician has yet mastered.

Aug 16, 2009 12:53 PM #10
Ambassador
1,323,680
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

I have met a great many that think they can do that trick though!

Aug 16, 2009 01:09 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,816,530
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

On an inspection last year an electrician was on an aluminum ladder in a puddle working on a light installation outside of a garage nearby.  During the inspection I heard a loud crack. 

It was him...

Aug 16, 2009 01:12 PM #12
Rainmaker
534,518
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

now that would work in the Name that Photo group! :-)

Aug 16, 2009 04:49 PM #13
Ambassador
1,323,680
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Aluminum ladders scare the bejeezes out of me.

Liz---maybe---until the first inspector came along:)

Aug 17, 2009 12:46 AM #14
Rainer
79,091
Mike Parks
Residential Building Inspectors - Circleville, OH
Inspector

Please note that in the above picture that the clamp (for water lines) is not approved for ground rods.

You need an acorn.

Aug 18, 2009 01:06 AM #15
Ambassador
1,323,680
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Mike thanks for the comment.

Aug 18, 2009 02:04 AM #16
Rainmaker
1,243,096
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr Charles,

Why would he be giving you an acorn. It seems that I would be more deserving and appreciative.

Nutsy

Aug 18, 2009 02:05 PM #17
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Ambassador
1,323,680

Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspector
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information