All electrodes specified in Sections E3608.1.1, E3608.1.2, E3608.1.3, E3608.1.4 E3608.1.5 and E3608.1.6 that are present at each building or structure served shall be bonded together to form the grounding electrode system. Where none of these electrodes are present, one or more of the electrodes specified in Sections E3608.1.3, E3608.1.4, E3608.1.5 and E3608.1.6 shall be installed and used.
A metal underground water pipe that is in direct contact with the earth for 10 feet (3048 mm) or more, including any well casing effectively bonded to the pipe and that is electrically continuous, or made electrically continuous by bonding around insulating joints or insulating pipe to the points of connection of the grounding electrode conductor and the bonding conductors, shall be considered as a grounding electrode (see Section E3608.1). Interior metal water piping located more than 5 feet (1524 mm) from the entrance to the building shall not be used as part of the grounding electrode system or as a conductor to interconnect electrodes that are part of the grounding electrode system.E3608.1.1.1 Interior metal water piping.
Interior metal water piping located more than 5 feet (1524 mm) from the entrance to the building shall not be used as a conductor to interconnect electrodes that are part of the grounding electrode system. E3608.1.1.2 Installation.
Continuity of the grounding path or the bonding connection to interior piping shall not rely on water meters, filtering devices and similar equipment. A metal underground water pipe shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in Sections E3608.1.2 through E3608.1.6. The supplemental electrode shall be bonded to the grounding electrode conductor, the grounded service-entrance conductor, a nonflexible grounded service raceway, any grounded service enclosure or to the equipment grounding conductor provided in accordance with Section E3607.3.1. Where the supplemental electrode is a rod, pipe or plate electrode in accordance with Section E3608.1.4 or E3608.1.5, it shall comply with Section E3608.4.
A concrete-encased electrode consisting of at least 20 feet (6096 mm) of either of the following shall be considered as a grounding electrode:
- One or more bare or zinc galvanized or other electrically conductive coated steel reinforcing bars or rods not less than 1/2 inch (13 mm) in diameter, installed in one continuous 20-foot (6096 mm) length, or if in multiple pieces connected together by the usual steel tie wires, exothermic welding, welding, or other effective means to create a 20-foot (6096 mm) or greater length.
- A bare copper conductor not smaller than 4 AWG.
Rod and pipe electrodes not less than 8 feet (2438 mm) in length and consisting of the following materials shall be considered as a grounding electrode:
- Grounding electrodes of pipe or conduit shall not be smaller than trade size 3/4 (metric designator 21) and, where of iron or steel, shall have the outer surface galvanized or otherwise metal-coated for corrosion protection.
- Rod-type grounding electrodes of stainless steel and copper or zinc-coated steel shall be at least 5/8 inch (15.9 mm) in diameter unless listed.
The rod and pipe electrodes shall be installed such that at least 8 feet (2438 mm) of length is in contact with the soil. They shall be driven to a depth of not less than 8 feet (2438 mm) except that, where rock bottom is encountered, electrodes shall be driven at an oblique angle not to exceed 45 degrees (0.79 rad) from the vertical or shall be buried in a trench that is at least 30 inches (762 mm) deep. The upper end of the electrodes shall be flush with or below ground level except where the aboveground end and the grounding electrode conductor attachment are protected against physical damage.
A single rod, pipe, or plate electrode shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in Sections E3608.1.2 through E3608.1.6. The supplemental electrode shall be bonded to one of the following:
- A rod, pipe, or plate electrode.
- A grounding electrode conductor.
- A grounded service-entrance conductor.
- A nonflexible grounded service raceway.
- A grounded service enclosure.
Where multiple rod, pipe, or plate electrodes are installed to meet the requirements of this section, they shall not be less than 6 feet (1829 mm) apart.