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NFPA TIA70-05-2

Concrete-Encased Electrodes



Dear Electrical Contractors,

As you know, there are numerous changes in the 2002 NEC and it will take some time for all of us to sort things out. I will keep new information available at our front counter and on our web site as the information is developed. For now, here are some changes that I want to share with you because a great majority of you will encounter these changes every day. I will update this list as necessary.


1.)   PANIC HARDWARE: Personnel doors in rooms with electrical equipment that is individually rated at 1200 amperes or more shall have panic bars, pressure plates or other devices that are normally latched but will open under simple pressure. Art.110.26 (C)

2.)   DEDICATED SPACE: Dedicated space must be provided at all switchboard, panelboard, distribution board, and motor control center locations. The basic rules are the space must be unobstructed, as wide as the equipment is, and extend from the floor to 6’ above the equipment or structural ceiling (whichever is lower). Suspended ceiling panels are allowed in this space. Art.110.26 (F)

3.)   GFI RECEPTACLES: GFI protected receptacles are now also required in kitchens in other than dwelling units. In the absence of an NEC definition, IBI will define “kitchen” as an area with permanent provisions for sanitation and cooking. (Note: The typical office break room with a sink and a portable microwave oven will not be considered to be a “kitchen”.) Art. 210.8 (B)

4.)   ARC-FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS: All branch circuits that supply outlets in dwelling unit bedrooms shall have arc-fault circuit interrupter protection. Art. 210.12  (Note: See Art. 100 for definition of “outlet”.)

5.)   HVAC RECEPTACLES: All new HVAC installations now require a general use receptacle to be located within 25’ of the HVAC equipment and on the same level. Art. 210.8 will determine when these receptacles shall be GFI protected. Art.210.63

6.)   SERVICE CONDUCTORS: Underground service conductors in conduit under building floors that are not constructed of a minimum of 2” of concrete shall be a minimum of 18” deep to be considered as “outside of the building”. Art. 230.6

7.)   TRANSFORMER SECONDARY CONDUCTORS: Transformer secondary conductors in other than industrial locations are now permitted to be up to 25’ in length without overcurrent protection at their source under specific installation conditions. Art. 240.21(C) (6)

8.)   CIRCUIT BREAKERS USED AS SWITCHES: Circuit breakers used as switches for fluorescent lighting shall be marked “SWD”. Circuit Breakers used as switches for high-intensity lighting shall be marked “HID”. This rule only applies when the circuit breaker also serves as a switch for the lighting. Art.240.83 (D)

   9.)     GAS PIPE BONDING: A separate bonding conductor from the grounding electrode system to the interior metal gas piping is no longer needed when there is gas operated equipment that is connected to an electrical branch circuit. Art.250.104 (B)

10.)     GROUND RODS: The 2002 NEC does not recognize a metal underground water pipe as a suitable “additional electrode” for supplementing a single ground rod. If the resistance of a single ground rod exceeds 25 ohms to ground and there are no suitable “additional electrodes” (Art. 250.56 refers you to Art. 250.52 (A)(2) through (A) (7)), a second ground rod must be driven (at least 6’ away). You may be required to certify the quality of your installed grounding electrode system. If you have a “single ground rod” installation and there are no other available electrodes, you can avoid such certification requests by providing an additional ground rod prior to requesting an inspection. Factors taken into consideration will be the quality of the soil, whether or not the soil has been disturbed, whether or not the rod is driven as opposed to being laid in a trench or next to a footer, etc. On jobs where a building or structure containing no available electrodes is supplied by another building, the grounding electrode (usually a ground rod) that you install will already be supplemented by the grounding electrode system at the “first” building via the installed equipment grounding conductor between buildings or the bonded neutral at the “second” building. Art. 250.56

11.)     GROUND ROD WIRE SIZE: The maximum size grounding electrode conductor required for the sole conductor to a rod, pipe, or plate electrode is 6AWG. 250.66 (A). (Note: Two rods bonded together are considered to be a single electrode system. Art.250.58)

12.)     CONNECTING EQUIPMENT GROUNDS TO BOXES: Unless the circuit conductors are terminated or spliced within a box, they do not have to be bonded to the box. Art. 250.148 (Note: Metal boxes still have to be grounded)

13.)     AIR HANDLING CEILINGS: Liquidtight Conduit is no longer approved for use in air handling ceilings. Art. 300.22 (C) (1)

14.)     OUTDOOR RECEPTACLES: “Bubble” covers are required on all outdoor receptacles in wet locations. Receptacles protected by the weather (beating rain) by roofs, porches, and canopies may be considered to be in damp locations – the actual location of the receptacle will be the determining factor. Art.406.8 (B)

15.)     NEUTRAL CONNECTIONS: The “doubling up” of neutrals in panelboards is now prohibited. Art.408.21 

Gaylord Poe, Chief Electrical Inspector

Inspection Bureau, Inc.
250 W. Court Street, Suite 320-E
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 381-6080

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 Swimming Pools

Notice To Contractors
Swimming Pool Equipotential Bonding Grids for
One, Two, and Three-Family Dwellings


Certain changes in 2005 NEC 680.26 (C) have a major negative impact on pool builders and homeowners. The costs for compliance with the new rules are extreme and provide only a questionable proportionate increase in electrical safety. Recently, the pool industry approached the NFPA and gained relief in the form of a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) that addresses the problems caused by the changes. It is uncertain if Ohio will accept the TIA or will wait until the 2008 code cycle.

IBI agrees with the TIA and believes that the changes provided by the TIA will provide an electrically safe installation. We also believe that there will be positive change accomplished on this matter in the 2008 NEC.

For these reasons IBI, with the support of and permission from the Hamilton County and City of Cincinnati building departments and other local building officials, will refer to NEC 90.4 (which provides, "By special permission, the authority having jurisdiction may waive specific requirements in this Code or permit alternative methods where it is assured that equivalent objectives can be achieved by establishing and maintaining effective safety.") and will recognize the TIA as an acceptable  "alternative method" for One, Two, and Three-Family Dwellings only. Please note that IBI will recognize the TIA as an acceptable  "alternative method" for these types of structures only.

This policy will remain in effect for One, Two, and Three-Family Dwellings only until 1.) Ohio accepts the TIA or 2.) Ohio adopts the 2008 NEC.  

NFPA TIA70-05-2


Gaylord Poe

Chief Electrical Inspector

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Concrete-Encased Electrodes

The 2005 NEC now requires that reinforcing steel (rebar) in concrete, when present shall be used as part of 
the grounding electrode system. The 2005 NEC does not require that rebar shall be installed, only that it shall
 be part of the grounding system when it is installed.

In recognition of the verbiage of 250.52 (A) (3) "An electrode encased by at least 50mm (2 in.) of concrete, located within and near the bottom of a concrete foundation or footing that is in direct contact with the earth." many in the local (Cincinnati) electrical industry have began using the following method for code compliance
 and inspection:

In layman's terms...

  • The builder prepares a 20' long piece of 1/2" rebar by bending a short 90-degree bend in the end of it.


  • The builder pours the footer and slightly embeds this piece of rebar into the top of the pour (with the 
    bend protruding up), centered under the soon-to-be poured concrete foundation wall.


  • The builder brushes the concrete off of the rebar for it's exposed length so it will be visible for 
    inspection after the concrete sets.


  • In the time frame present between the concrete pour for the footer and the concrete pour for the 
    foundation wall the electrician visits the site, cleans the rebar end, makes the grounding electrode 
    conductor connection and has it inspected.


  • The foundation wall is poured encapsulating the rebar meeting the requirements of 250.52 (A) (3).


This method has proven to be a good solution to a problem. It saves trying to coordinate getting the 
electrician, the electrical inspector, and the builder all involved in the very tight time frames that are typical 
for footer pours. This method eliminates that initial coordination, provides a window for a proper connection
and inspection, eliminates the risks present for damaging the connection of the grounding electrode conductor during the footer pour, keeps the rebar "captive" during the time that exists between the pour of the footer and
the pour of the wall, and in the end, provides concrete encasement of the rebar and the electrical connection 
to it which remains "at or near the bottom" of the "foundation or footing" thus accomplishing the benefits that 
this new rule provides for electrical safety. This method promotes a safer installation and provides relief for 
the builder by providing a window of time that isn't often available when pouring footers.

It should be noted that there are many ways to accomplish compliance with this section of the NEC. The method outlined above has proven to date to be convenient and cost effective.


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