Saturday, February 6, 2010

Grounding The Electrical System

In a lot of houses the electrical system is grounded by connecting to the metal water pipes coming from the municipal water system, but since I don't have any metal water pipes coming into the house, I've installed a grounding plate electrode to ground my electrical system.

It's simply a metal plate about 12"x16", and it's connected to the service panel with #6 copper wire. The ground wire is just a bare, uninsulated wire that runs on the surface of the ground up to the point at which it comes through the basement slab. There, it's protected by a short piece of PVC conduit. After that, it just runs bare again up to the service panel.

The electrical code says that the grounding plate has to be buried at least 24" underground, but I can't find any rules regarding it's location (i.e. inside the house or outside the house), so I dug a hole in the basement and put it there. I have to leave it uncovered until the electrical inspector approves it, so if turns out that I have to put it outside instead... well, it's really no big deal.


  1. The code also requires you to ground the foundation reinforcing to the system now as well. Every house we build now must have a grounding rod outside and one inside tied to rebar.

    BTW...project is coming along nicely!

  2. Thanks Todd... nice to see you again. Interesting. I'll put that on my "If I ever do this again" list.