Grounding Electrode Conductors and a splice.

Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Grounding Electrode Conductors and a splice.

Wenatchee Home Inspections


In general, the grounding electrodes and their conductors create a connection of the electrical system to the earth (earthing). The earth is considered to be at zero potential. The second function of the system is to dissipate over-voltages into the earth. Overvoltages can come from the system itself or from lightning.

It is typically required the grounding electrode conductor (GEC) should be one continuous length without a splice. But there may become a time that it may require a splice such as when work is done during remodeling or the replacement of existing electrical equipment. Another cause could be copper thieves. They have been known to cut or remove sections of the grounding electrode conductor. So what is next?

You are not allowed to just splice together as in this example from a home inspection.

The code states (from the 2014/2017 NEC);



(C) Continuous.

Except as provided in 250.30(A)(5) and (A)(6), 250.30(B)(1), and 250.68(C), grounding electrode conductor(s) shall be installed in one continuous length without a splice or joint. If necessary, splices or connections shall be made as permitted in (1) through (4):


1)Splicing of the wire-type grounding electrode conductor shall be permitted only by irreversible compression-type connectors listed as grounding and bonding equipment or by the exothermic welding process.


2)Sections of busbars shall be permitted to be connected together to form a grounding electrode conductor.


3)Bolted, riveted, or welded connections of structural metal frames of buildings or structures.


4)Threaded, welded, brazed, soldered or bolted-flange connections of metal water piping.


So we have 4 means of creating a splice.

Here is an example of a compression type of connector-








Here are examples of an exothermic weld type of connections, also know as a “Cadweld”



Cadweld plus Cadweld-Standard




“Remember that current always returns to its source through either an intentional or accidental path - electrons don’t care and they don’t read schematics!”


Gerke, D. and Kimmel, W




If you find any errors or have additional information that would expand on any code, building standards or manufacturer requirements please let me know.




NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  


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Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Donald Hester Fortunately, I have not encountered this situation in the past, but now knowing that a Cadweld is an option is great information. Thanks!

Aug 21, 2017 07:51 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Sandy and Norm, Thank you for the comment.

Aug 23, 2017 06:39 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Sorry I didn't see this when you first posted it, Don. 

I find that the more I delve into the code the less I understand it!

Last week I took a class required by Virginia to give me a new designation called "New Residential Structure" inspector.  They stressed over and over how we are not to put any code references into our inspection reports.  I asked how we should mention things that are obvious violations because most things we call out are code violations in some way or another.  The gubment official said, "Just write down what you see.  You don't have to prove it."   When I have done that in the past I have been called an idiot who doesn't know what he's doing...

Aug 28, 2017 10:29 AM