I need to connect several copper-clad ground rods together with AWG 6 solid copper wire for lightning protection, and as part of the electrical service grounding. I also need to connect some 2.5" copper strap to this system.

Is brazing with an oxy-MAPP gas torch and bronze-copper brazing alloy allowed for these connections? Or perhaps a high silver alloy like Harris Stay-Silv 15? Seems more accessible than exothermic welding, and more durable and effective than mechanical clamps (especially for underground connections). But I've read contradictory information -- can someone clarify with a direct citation of the NEC or similar standard?

  • If you're not using it to ground mains electrical service, you don't have to comply with NEC... Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 3:46
  • @Harper -- actually, see Art 810 in particular 810.21(K) which refers to 250.70... Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 3:53

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Actually 35 some odd years ago we approached the Airport and the FAA with the same question and they had no problem with it, and sent out a memo that it was ok and met miltary spec. In my mind Cadweld is just another method of brazing but AHJ may have a problem with it if it isn't familiar with what everyone else is doing. Their argument is based around the fact that everyone else is doing Cadwell it works so that's what we want and to be fair that's not a bad argument.

I know I keep beating the same drum but if you have the time I would submit it as a question to the IAEI (the international association of electrical inspectors). They publish answers every month and if you can get them to buy off on it. It would be awful hard for an inspector to go against his own association.

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