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Code Q&A

Code Q&A

Q. When a metal water pipe is used as a grounding electrode, is the concrete encased electrode satisfactory as the supplemental electrode, or is a ground rod still required?

A. When an underground metal water pipe grounding electrode is present [250.52(A)(1)], it must be supplemented by one of the following electrodes [250.53(D)(2)]:

  • Metal frame of the building/structure electrode [250.52(A)(2)]
  • Concrete-encased electrode [250.52(A)(3)]
  • Ground ring electrode [250.52(A)(4)]
  • Ground rod electrode meeting the requirements of 250.52(A)(5)
  • Other listed electrodes [250.52(A)(6)]
  • Metal underground systems, piping systems, or underground tanks [250.52(A)(8)]
The termination of the supplemental grounding electrode conductor must be to one of the following locations (see Figure):
  1. Grounding electrode conductor
  2. Service neutral conductor
  3. Metal service raceway
  4. Service equipment enclosure
Exception: The supplemental electrode is permitted to be bonded to interior metal water piping located not more than 5 ft from the point of entrance to the building/structure [250.68(C)(1)].
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