*Two ways to splice a grounding electrode conductor that usually passes
inspection: Use a "C" Tap with the proper crimping tool and die or weld the
wires together using Cadweld.
The crimp must be made with the proper crimping tool. I think some dies
will leave a mark for the inspector so that he or she can tell if the proper
die was used. The "C" Taps are usually only available at an electrical
supply company. Sometimes they rent or will loan a crimper out.
The Cadweld is an excellent way to go, but the tools are expensive.
Link to "C" Tap: http://www.thomasbetts.com/ps/fulltilt/index.cgi?partT730
Link to die chart:
Link to Cadweld: http://www.erico.com/products.asp?folderIDA
Since you are going to pull a permit for this you should submit your plan
and a description of the materials along with the permit application. On
unusual jobs I will write a one page "Scope of Work" describing what I
intend to do and mention the materials and hand that in with manufacturers
cut sheets and the permit application. This way I will know ahead of time
if the inspector will approve the work or not. Someone else mentioned
taking pictures of the cut wire and the new pipe and give that to the
inspector. That is a good idea. It is better to give as much information
as possible up front instead of finding out after the work is completed that
the inspector will not approve of it. If the inspector does not agree with
your plan, ask him or her for an alternative.
On Sun, 26 May 2013 13:37:15 -0400, "John Grabowski"
I did see some interesting "one shot" cad welds at a trade show but
they were not cheap. (disposable mold) I doubt anyone really wants to
shoot one in the house anyway.
The crimp is the way to go if you can come up with the crimper.
If you can get the existing GEC outside to a rod, any extensions can
come from there without a permanent splice..
Section 250-81(a) requires another conductor, as well as the water pipe.
Since you'll need to install this conductor anyway, why not just pound in
the appropriate number of grounding rods and forget about the water pipe?
On Sun, 26 May 2013 16:33:49 -0400, "John Grabowski"
2008 either, try 250.53(D)(2)
(2) Supplemental Electrode Required. A metal underground
water pipe shall be supplemented by an additional
electrode of a type specified in 250.52(A)(2) through
On Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:06:57 PM UTC-4, mike wrote:
e steel with plastic. Home built in 1972 uses the water pipe as the "Ground
ing Electrode", which will be severed at the other end of the house. Everyb
ody tells me a different story, but the common result is that you just can'
t bridge the cut pipes with a wire. Of course, this happened on a holiday w
eekend, so I can't go to the source. With all the budget cutbacks and hour
reductions, I'm not sure I can still access the inspector before he comes o
ut to inspect. If I understand NEC 250.64C correctly, the "Grounding Electr
ode Conductor" must be continuous with NO Splices!!... EXCEPT that you do h
ave four options to splice it... "Irreversible Compression Connector" (list
ed for that application) seems to be what I want. What the heck is that? Is
that anything like a butt splice? The guy at Home Depot shows me to the El
ectricos aisle, but has no more than a dumb look for help. You can't believ
e everything you read on the interweb, but there's discussion of using a st
andard compression clamp with the bolt head cut off to make it irreversible
????...except if you cut off the "green" head, does that make it not approv
ed? I have limited experience with the electrical inspector, but it seems t
hat what he had for breakfast affects the pass/fail decision more than what
the code says. When I go get the permit, I'd like to take one along and sh
ow it to the inspector..."Is this gonna pass???" What do I look for in a sp
lice (listed for the application)? ++++++++++++++++++++++ While the topic i
s open, I'll broaden the question. Current "Grounding Electrode Conductor"
goes from the breaker panel up to the attic, over and down to hook to the w
ater heater cold pipe. That pipe goes down the wall and connects to a 22' p
ipe in or under the concrete, not sure which, to the outside spigot. But ei
ther should be a better ground than two ground rods 25 feet away. There is
some verbiage in the NEC about being able to use a water pipe as the "Groun
ding Electrode" as long is you hook to it < 5' from where it hits the dirt.
Not sure if that applies to this situation... I've got about 7 feet. I cou
ld easily extend the wire with the above-mentioned splice to the place wher
e the same pipe enters the concrete. Makes the actual electrical performanc
e worse, but maybe meets code if I do it? And if I bridge the cut pipe at t
he other end of the house, I'm still no worse off than I was before I start
ed. Yes, I understand that the electrical code doesn't care about where I s
tarted 40 years ago. The alternative seems to be to add 20' to the wire, ru
n it down the outside wall and use the two ground rods. Every option hinges
on the splice issue. IF I could just connect a new wire to the middle of t
he existing wire, I'd be good to go. Installing two ground rods is probably
easier than trying to interpret the electrical code. I don't want to repla
ce the Grounding Electrode Conductor. I watched an electrician snake wires
down the wall past the input wires to the breaker box, but I'm not willing
to risk arc-fault == death to try that myself. I could run the groundin
g electrode conductor out the bottom of the box and along the garage wall,
but I'd rather not do that either, if I can just splice the wire in the att
ic. I'm an electronic engineer, so I understand volts and amps and impedanc
e. What I don't understand is what it takes to predict inspector approval b
ased on an NEC that says you can't do that except that you have four option
s to do exactly that...as long as you use items approved for that applicati
on...GRRRRR!!! The easy option is that the plumber has an electrical guy wh
o will make it work for a mere $400 more. I dislike that option! I'm in Was
hington County, Oregon, USA Suggestions? Thanks, mike
I'm casting a vote for the run a new copper wire to two grounding rods on t
he side of the house where the box is. And forget about the water pipes.
I think once you mess with it most inspectors will require you to bring it
up to current code. Current code calls for 2 grounds. You can pick up a c
ouple ground rods and some solid copper wire for probably less than $100.
Once you replace the steel pipe with plastic, it is no longer an effective
grounding conductor. You will need to run a new 4 gauge continuous ground
wire from the breaker panel to two 8' copper ground rods spaced at least
six feet apart. Forget about the current attic route, just run the ground
wire the shortest route from the panel to the rods.
Then you need to run an additional ground wire from the breaker panel to
any metal piping that remains. This bonds the plumbing to the electrical
ground so there is no electrical potential between the pipe and ground. Of
course, if you have more than 10' or so of continous buried steel pipe
left, it will add to the grounding system also.
If you have steel pipe inside your house that is interupted with a section
of plastic pipe, you should install a jumper wire across that section to
bond all of the steel pipe together.
You should also have ground wires bonding your telephone and cable TV
lines. It's all to eliminate shocks and make sure everything is at the same
potential. Picture the guy with his hand on the breaker panel who
accidentally touches the steel water pipe. If they're bonded, no problem.
If their isolated, there could be a voltage potential between them which
could cause a shock.
Irreversible butt splice is usually a large copper butt splice that needs a
special tool to crimp check local electrical supplier, exothermic weld is
is more complicated and costly, it uses gunpowder to weld the copper togeth
er, you might need a licence to purchase so I would say that is not an opti
On Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:46:16 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I did not see the start of this thread, but if you're trying to connect
a bare copper wire that's probably a solid #6 or #8 gauge wire, just buy
an appropriate sized SPLIT BOLT from an electrical supply store or
larger hardware store. Slip the wire ends into it, and tighten the bolt
on it. Real simple. I would not suggest doing this underground though.
On Thu, 29 Sep 2016 02:51:49 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Not on a grounding electrode conductor. They must be unspliced with
the 2 exceptions the OP cited. They do sell a one shot exothermic
splice but it is not cheap. Otherwise you need the big crimper or a
set of Cadweld dies. For most people it is easier to run a new wire
the whole way
On 9/29/2016 8:16 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I replaced the water main with plastic and needed a new ground for the
I didn't feel comfortable trying to snake a bare wire down past
the service entrance into the box.
I went to the inspector's office and asked about the no-splice
requirement. He said, "no problem, splice onto the existing wire."
Passed inspection without a hitch.
I suppose there are inspectors who do not care about the code.
There is a loophole (90.4) that keeps them from being liable ...
unless someone is injured. Then there will be no problem finding a
lawyer who will allege gross negligence that pierces sovereign
immunity and loopholes in the code.
Either that code did not exist around 12 years ago, or there are
exceptions. Around 12 years ago, I worked for a friend who moved and set
prefab homes on their foundations. They came from the factory with all
the wiring, plumbing, installed. Those that came in halves or more
pieces had specific places where the wiring was plugged together between
the halves of the building. We had to move the house to the location,
set it in the foundation, connect the halves (or more) together, install
all supports, cap the roof shingles, plug in all the places where the
wiring had plugs, and sometimes connect some plumbing.
When we finished, an electrician hooked to the power line at a special
connection panel in the basement, or on the smaller units that did not
get a basement, it hooked up under the building. Split bolts were used
almost all the time to connect the bare copper grounding wire that was
pre-installed in the home, to the wire they ran to the grounding rods
that they installed.
After the inspectors checked everything, we came back and attached the
pre-cut trim to all places where there were joints between the different
parts of the building, which covered all the wiring plug connectors and
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