Concrete encased Electrodes- UFER everybody.

By
Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Concrete encased Electrodes- UFER everybody. Chelan Home Inspection Services.

Well it has been on the books for a while but they are going to finally enforce it all over Washington State. Several municipalities have already been doing this.

The concrete encased electrode or UFER ground uses the rebar in the foundation footing to create the GEC (grounding electrode conductor).

                                         UFER Ground system Chelan Home Inspections

Grounding is the process of electrically connecting any metallic object to the earth by the way of an earth electrode system. The National Electric Code requires that the grounding electrodes be tested to ensure that they are under 25-ohms resistance-to-ground (Earth).

There have been various studies and it has been shown when properly installed the UFER/concrete-encased electrode system will have a resistance of four ohms or less to ground for the life of the foundation which is considered 30 years or better.

This is the update from Washington State-
“Grounding electrodes – This change requires, except for mobile/manufactured homes, a concrete encased electrode to be installed and used at each new building or structure that is built upon a permanent concrete foundation.  If the concrete encased grounding electrode is not available for connections, a ground ring must be installed per NEC 250.”

                                   Grounding electrodes Chelan Property Inspection

So if you are buying or building a new home the contractor should be properly installing a UFER system.

What this means to us as home inspectors is that we will need to look for the access point(s) and connection to confirm the system is in place. The connection point has to be accessible for inspection.

        UFER ground access Chelan Home Inspection    UFER ground Wenatchee home Inspection

As per the Washington State home inspection standards of practice a home inspector is to identify “The existence of a connected service-grounding conductor and service-grounding electrode when same can be determined.”

“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Red Adair


NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service
www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                               509-670-9572

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Rainmaker
375,287
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jeremy, Good point. I know I was aiming the information a little higher. But I should do a follow post.

 

Joan, This all depends on what the municipality is enforcing and what codes they have adopted.

Feb 08, 2013 09:09 AM #5
Rainmaker
223,633
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

I'd read it. :)

Feb 08, 2013 09:15 AM #6
Rainer
174,427
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

An important blog for sure. A lot of homes & foundations are not grounded properly.  Jim

Feb 08, 2013 10:02 AM #7
Rainmaker
375,287
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jeremy, It will be on the subject list. Grounding and bonding is so important in an electrical system.

Jimmy, Thank you. This is one of those areas of the electrical system that is over looked.

Feb 08, 2013 10:56 AM #8
Rainer
277,285
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA
- Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties

Don -- though Manufactured Homes are exempt from this requirement, would it work to have them grounded this way, if they are on their own property, and tied down to concrete foundation?

Feb 08, 2013 11:34 AM #9
Rainmaker
223,633
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Excellent!  I shall endeavor to learn and understand from your forthcoming blog post!  :)

Feb 08, 2013 11:37 AM #10
Rainer
18,002
Kristin D. Smith
Keller Williams Realty Mid-Willamette - Albany, OR
Kristin D Smith

A bit over my head, but I loved your quote about being too expensive to hire a professional - isn't that the truth!!  Unfortunately many people don't realize that until it is too late.

Feb 08, 2013 01:56 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,257,375
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

More and more I am seeing the little covered plate in the garage wall under the panel box!

And didn't I see another guy with an Ufer post just a couple of weeks ago?

Feb 08, 2013 05:51 PM #12
Rainmaker
375,287
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Steven, They can put in a stand alone concrete encased electrode. They could also have it installed if they did a strip footing when they are prepping the site for the home.

Kristin, Yeah it is a bit of a nuance of the electrical systems, but an important one.

 

Jay, Did not see that post. If you remember it forward it to me please.

Feb 09, 2013 06:22 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,257,375
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Only the truly brilliant think alike.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/3566976/a-protective-earth-aka-equipment-grounding-conductor-an-ufer-ground

Feb 09, 2013 12:33 PM #14
Rainmaker
223,633
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Donald, you should check that one out.  It's written by a pretty good blogger, now that I see it.

Feb 09, 2013 01:04 PM #15
Rainmaker
638,485
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Not seeing this here. You may be interested in my post tomorrow. 

Feb 09, 2013 01:29 PM #16
Rainmaker
223,633
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

James, are you writing about the same topic, too?  I just had a discussion with Jay about how you guys seem to do that a lot!

Feb 09, 2013 01:33 PM #17
Rainmaker
638,485
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Hey Jeremy. Check in tomorrow and see :)

Feb 09, 2013 01:38 PM #18
Rainer
170,162
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

We don't yet have this standard being applied here and I've only read about it. But given that high performance plastic piping is starting to be used in municipal systems the electrical continuity of those water lines will start to change so UFER is comming.

Feb 09, 2013 01:42 PM #19
Rainmaker
223,633
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

James, oh the suspencw!

I'll be sure to look tomorrow.

Feb 09, 2013 01:44 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,257,375
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It's been here, Robert, since Mr. Ufer came up with it in the 40s!  "High performance plastic?"  Is that like high performance TracPipe?

Feb 09, 2013 02:27 PM #21
Rainer
170,162
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

It would be a type of PEX Jay.

Feb 10, 2013 07:46 AM #22
Rainmaker
52,122
Hank Spinnler
Harmony Home Inspection Services of GA - Hoschton, GA
Atlanta Home Inspector

Good article & illustrations. Funny, but the code does not use the term "UFER" but uses Concrete Encased Electrode

Feb 10, 2013 08:23 AM #23
Rainmaker
375,287
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Hank, Yeah you are right they do not use the term "UFER" just CEE. 

Feb 10, 2013 08:31 AM #24
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Rainmaker
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Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
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