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I currently live in Florida, where the soil is basically sand and clay. My question is: how should my grounding rod for my house be installed? I've managed to dig up the grounding rod that was installed by the builders, and it looks suspicious. It is a corroded (I believe copper) rod that is jetting out of the foundation of the house horizontally, and buried about 4 inches deep. The main copper wire (ground wire) from the house is loosely wrapped around the corroded rod. Something tells me this is not the correct way to install a grounding rod. Can anyone tell me if this is normal, or just a case of the builders not knowing what they are doing?enter image description here

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    Does it go into the foundation concrete, is it embedded? It may be an Ufer ground. – Harper Nov 4 '18 at 22:24
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    Can you dig it out to the edge of the foundation and post a photo? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 4 '18 at 23:46
  • I can try to dig it out, but from my initial efforts, it looks like it's embedded into the base. That said, it is quite corroded. I do notice that almost every single GFCI in the house gets tripped during a bad thunderstorm. I even had a POE switch, connected to a router short out last year. – Dan Pollack Nov 5 '18 at 15:13
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    What is this a grounding rod for? Electrical box, cable, pool, etc.? Rebar is fine for cable. Electrical/pool should be copper. I also can't tell if it is going horizontal or if it is just bent. Most will also have a clamp on them which I don't see either. – Micah Montoya Nov 5 '18 at 18:43
  • This is for a whole house electrical ground. I'm not sure this rod is even copper. Copper isn't supposed to corrode like this, right? The rod itself is horizontal, and does look bent. No clamps were on it. Ground wire was just loosely wrapped around it. – Dan Pollack Nov 5 '18 at 18:51
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This is a ufer ground or a concrete encased electrode. There should be a listed connector that connects to the rebar. To repair this wire brush the rebar and get the correct size clamp for the rebar size, tighten the clamp to the rebar then attach the copper to the clamp at the screw. These clamps are usually brass with a stainless screw, the rebar will get rusty but a ufer ground is the best method for grounding due to the large foundation area that is in contact with earth. If you want you can add a driven rod right next to the rebar it sounds like the wire may be long enough but a clamp to the rod will also be needed. Even though the rebar is rusty this is a superior grounding method so clean it up and use it even if you decide to add a driven rod.

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I would certainly replace it with a new 8 foot ground rod with a proper clamp or better yet have it CAD welded. ...... Florida requires a minimum of a 8 foot ground rod and #6 solid copper ground wire. ...... Ground rods are copper plated steel so yes, they will corrode over time.

  • This appears to be the tie-in for an Ufer (concrete encased) electrode, so there's no sense throwing the best electrode you can get away and replacing it with something decidedly inferior. – ThreePhaseEel Nov 30 '18 at 23:59
  • I am one of the last cad welded electrode installers in my area but a standard listed clamp is all that is needed in 2 of the 3 county's I work in only 1 requires an additional driven rod and many homes only have the original water pipe with no other means and they are just fine, no "shocks" .note the ufer ground is much more effective than all other grounding methods check it out it was developed in ww2 for desert conditions. – Ed Beal Dec 1 '18 at 1:05

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