Building foundation. Trying to locate ground rod

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I would like to locate the ground rod to my home. The panel in the house is on the carport in the laundry room. The carport is poured concrete and the panel is located on the inside wall.
When I open the panel, I can see a single no 6 bonded to the panel. The number six goes out the panel at the top and over head and back down the outside wall to the front of the house. This is where I assume a ground rod should be.
I took shovel and have dug down 6 bricks deep and have hit the base. I seems like I have hit tightly compacted sand, but still no attachment for a ground rod. I would have expected the ground rod to have been driven in the ground and the wire attached to it a little below the surface. This doesn't seem to be the case.
My next thought is to open the sheet rock wall and see if the ground rod is attached inside the wall.
Because my dirt finishing is better than my sheet rock finishing, I would like to find out from the pros where is the most likely place to expose the ground rod.
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Terry wrote:

<SNIP>
Is this location at the front of the house approx where the city water service line would be? Maybe it's buried/attached to the water line.
Why else would they run overhead great distance rather than planting a gnd rod at the panel site?
Jim
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I've always driven them as close to the panel as possible. Is it possible that its going to a water pipe?

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Another possibility if if is newer house is that the ground is tied to the rebar in the footings or slab.
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wrote:

The house is roughly 35 years old.
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wrote:

Dr Ufer invented the Concrete Encased Electrode system in WWII. It has been an acceptible grounding electrode in the NEC for decades, particularly if you don't have a metalic water system. The other thought is they could have used the well casing if it was metal.
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Thats the way they did my place in Tucson
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I don't think so. It is in the laundry room, but the water hook up is not close to where it is going down the wall. BTW there was no county water at the time, and the well is on the other side of the house.
This picture is what I can see
http://i4.tinypic.com/6236fsx.jpg
The entire area is poured slab for the carport. There is a storage area and the laundry room.
The panel is in the laundry room. The water hookup for the washer is in yellow. I can see from the attic that the ground goes overhead into the outside wall. The chance that it is connected to the water pipe is slim.
I assume anything is possible, but it seems unlikely. I think if I cut a hole in the sheet rock that I would see that the ground is in that wall and grounded in the front of the house.
I have dug down in front of the house 6 bricks deep and no sigh of a ground wire. I have hit compacted sand.
Any thoughts?
Anyone?
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wrote:

Keep digging ...........
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On Sep 8, 4:15 am, snipped-for-privacy@11101110011.com wrote:

Still not sure why you want/need to find the ground rod (or whatever metallic object is used as the ground) itself! On the off-chance that you feel the ground is not doing its job? In most North American installations (Multi Grounded Neutral, principle) the neutral wire serving your house will also be grounded back at the distribution step down transformer, and grounded again (and only) your neutral to ground at your incoming service panel.l So if you want to test it? There was a gadget called a ground megger. I haven't used one for about 40 years. So there is probaly a modern solid sate equivalent or 'Ground Tester'? The megger method involved setting out two temporary ground pins and connecting leads to them and the ground conductor. You can then measure usually in the low ohms range the resistance path of the grounding system. Still wondering why you need to find the ground rod or whatever? To make it meet code? Something floating and getting a tingle of voltage off it?
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wrote:

I want an extra ground rod and I want to bond the copper water pipe in the basement.
I had lightning hit a modem, router, and two motherboards.
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How about driving a rod where your existing ground wire is going into the soil? Use a Kearney connector to bond the rod to your existing ground wire. If it is headed to your water service, great, if it is tied to another ground rod, great. This way you don't have any chance of a change of ground potential. Anything that was grounded on the original installation is still grounded.
To save your appliances in the next storm, contact your local utility and ask about a Watt Stopper. Improving your ground will not hurt anything. It will also probably not improve what you have substantially.
--
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wrote:

Where are your other utilities bonded? (phone cable)
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Terry The quality of your Grounding Electrode System may not be the culprit here. If all of your wire carried utilities are not bonded to the same Grounding Electrode System the differences in potential between the separate utilities equalizes through the commonly connected devices such as Modems, fax machines, computers, answering machines, and so fourth. The first task is to assure that all of the Grounding Electrode Conductors for the different systems terminate to the same Grounding Electrode System. If separate Grounding systems exist then you must bond them all together into a single system. Meaning no offense I must warn you that the knowledge and skills to perform equi-potential bonding is beyond the skill set of most do it yourself folks. -- Tom Horne, speaking only for himself.
Terry wrote:

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Yes, I have read your helpful suggestions in the past. This is one of the reasons I am trying to locate the point my panel is grounded.
I have not been able to find a place where the copper pipe in the basement has been grounded. This is where the CATV and phone are bonded. As near as I can tell, the copper doesn't even come in contact with earth.
It is true that it might not be the culprit, but for now, it is the only remedy I have.
I think I have dug as far as a shovel will go and no sign of the ground rod. I was hoping someone familiar with building footing construction might have an explanation of where I am with the shovel.
If the house is a rebar type grounding system, then it is possible that the water pipe has been grounded at the point the copper pipe enters the laundry, but without cutting holes in sheet rock I can't verify this. (although if this were true, I would expect the ground wire coming out of the panel to head toward the piping)
I would rather just run another one than to start tearing out walls looking for the existing one.
I do have an alternative route for fishing an interior wall, if I have to, but it really would be the best place if I could just attach another ground clamp to the existing ground rod.
On Sun, 09 Sep 2007 01:33:51 -0400, Thomas Horne

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Terry wrote:

Psst: grounding won't help.
You need surge protection.
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wrote:

I now have the commputer equipment plugged in to a UPS, but I don't think the water pipe in the basement is grounded properly. This means that the CATV and phone might not be grounded properly.
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How about taking a piece of bare #6 or larger, bond at the same point that you see the phone and CATV being bonded and run to the point that you see your existing panel ground and bond to the wire or to the grounding lug in the panel.
Measure the ohms of resistance on the ground. Here the "rule of thumb" is just drive two rods without measuring as one will seldom if ever pass. 2 often won't pass, but the code says to drive 2 if the first one doesn't pass.
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That is the part I am working on. It would be much easier for me to bond this at the point in front of the house than to fish inside walls to get to the panel.

I will take that bet. The second rod I am driving will be in soil 8 feet lower than the existing one. (Not that I have found the existing one yet) :)
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gfretwell asked a critically important question:

If every wire in each incoming utility cable is not somehow connected short to the same earthing electrode, then household electronics damage can result. For example, a surge protector inside your telephone NID; where is its earth ground connection? Where does the TV cable make its short connection to earth? Even code now wants all those utilities connected to same earthing electrode.
Sound like you will be supplementing a questionable ground with another #6 AWG and electrodes. This new connection wire must not go up over the wall and down. Although that longer distance is sufficient for code (for human safety), your interest involves something that must also exceed code. IOW the new 6 AWG ground wire should pass through that wall resulting in less length and fewer sharp bends.
Those other utilities also must be earthed 'less than 10 feet' to the same electrodes.
Water pipe must be bonded. Bonded is not for earth ground. That bonding is essential for human safety reasons. Water pipe bonding need not meet the 'less than 10 foot', no sharp bends, etc criteria. But a water pipe must be bonded (not to earth ground) to breaker box safety ground. That bonding serves a different master.
Should all incoming wires not enter at the same location, then one utility offers a suggestion how to single point ground those widely separated utilities: http://www.cinergy.com/surge/ttip08.htm
An answer to gfretwell's question is important for understanding what you have.
Even though his post is not relevant to earthing, still, what volts500 suggests for human safety should also be considered since you are examining both earthing and safety ground systems: "Grounding Rod Info" on 12 July 2003 at http://tinyurl.com/hkjq
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