To know the distance of the ground rod from the panel, at first, we need to know what ground rod is and effective ground rod panel distance can be measured. Ground rods are the safety rods that keep us safe from all possible electrical hazards.
This type of rod is placed at a remarkable distance from the main electric box of a building. So, when any electrode tends to attack that particular area, the rod takes it to the ground by dissipating its power.
Till the end of this article, you will know about the distance of a ground rod should be settled from the electric box or a building to maintain safety.
Purpose of Ground Rods
The main purpose of establishing ground rods is, it provides a great protection from every kind of possible electric hazards and also squander away the electrodes coming towards the earth via thunderstorm. There are a few additional purposes too which are-
- Ensuring safety from severe electric shocks or fire incident.
- The environment gets protection too as the electrodes are taken to the ground so that they cannot get spread around.
- Ground rods create stability into the whole electric system, so, the electricity passing system stays neutralized.
- It protects all the material nearby safe.
NEC Guidelines for Distance between Ground Rod and Electrical Panel
NEC is National Electric Code which is a standardized form of establishing electric rods and electric equipment safely and also it sets some guidelines of maintaining distance between the ground rods and the electric panel. The guidelines are-
Depth of Rods
Either you place 1 or 2 rods, the depth of each rod will be at least 8 feet under the earth’s surface. It should be installed vertically in a 45 degrees angle with 2.5 feet apart from the ground close to the rock bottom.
Distance between each Ground Rods
The minimum gap between each ground rods are 6 feet because when the faulty electrodes go through the rods to the ground, it can be spread a bit and occur any type of accident. So, NEC has provided with a distance standard.
Distance between Electric Panel and Ground Rod
This is the most important thing you need to keep in mind for the best safety purpose of you and your dear ones. According to NEC’s set standards, the minimum distance of a electric panel and the ground rods is 2 meters. This will keep you safe from any metallic consequences.
Factors that Affect the Allowable Distance
Whether you try to maintain a perfect distance between the ground rods and the electric panel to ensure safety, there can be a few existing or sudden self-made factors that can unwantedly affect this distance and make you fall in a dilemma. These are-
Resistive Soil Condition
The distance between the ground rods is manipulated or affected by the resistivity of the nearby soil. If the soil is highly resistive, it will ask for the distance to be lesser comparatively which will lower the aggregate resistance of the grounding system.
On the other hand, if the soil is lower in resistivity, it will require comparatively huge distance between the ground rods and the electric panel.
System Conductor’s Size
High power demandable large conductors need outstretched grounding system that make the ground rod’s distances shorter and short distance are risky to be used.
The grounding system includes the settlement of the conductors, layout and the connections of the rods. The ultimate goal of this grounding system is to diminish the ground’s resistance to ensure faulty electrode’s disposal effectively.
The voltage can spill near the grounding system during the thunder passing or the faulty electrodes passing through the rod. Sometimes, huge distance between the rods tend to spill more voltages. It can lead to questionable safety.
The long distance of the gears, such as, the long distance between the electric gears and the ground rods requires larger conductors and these types of conductors enhances the total resistance of the grounding system. The increased grounding resistance are riskier.
The temperature variations in the soil affects the viability and performance of the ground rods. It even may affect the allowable distance too.
How Far can the Ground Rod be from the Panel?
The safety criterions, electric codes and its regulation techniques vary the distance between the ground rods and the electrical panel. These distances can be shorter or longer according to the preferences and safety purpose. To give proper protection from electric attacks, the grounding system is very essential.
It is very important to settle the 8 feet ground rod far from your house. Now, the question is what’s the minimal distance? The minimum distance of settling a ground rod far from your house is 2 feet.
NEC has not set any specific maximum distance of establishing ground rods. It just varies on the different building codes. But, if required or if we want to think about the maximum distance, the rods should be kept at least 6 feet away.
To maintain electric safety, it is important to keep the house and the ground rods at an accurate distance. Different regional houses need different distanced ground rods. So, check out your house’s electric code before establishing a ground rod nearby at your place.
Step-by-Step Proper Installation of Ground Rods
There are a few rules and regulations to install a ground rod at a nearby distance from the electric pole. The steps are-
Selecting Accurate Location
You need to choose a suitable location near your house. Your chosen are must be consist of moist soil and spontaneously accessible.
Using Correct Tools
The tools and materials needed for establishing a ground rod are a rod driver, a hammer, grounding wire, a suitable conductor according to rod’s size and obviously the ground rod you want to settle.
You need to broom or clear the surface to create enough space for installation. One thing to keep in mind that you have to keep gloves and safety equipment with you for your security.
Installing and Connecting the Rod
The ground rod needs to be installed vertically and you need to use a hammer so that the rod gets into the soil properly. Most of the part should be driven under the soil level. A few feet like 8 will be above the ground.
You have to put a clamp on the rod then. A conducting electric wire is needed to attach the clamp onto the rod properly.
Trampling the Conductor
After installation, you have to route the conductor from the clamp to all the connecting points and to the main conductor.
Overlook and Try
This is the last step of installation. At first, check if all the connections are firm and secured. Then, give a performance trial and overlook the resistance measurements of the whole grounding system. Lastly, implement the regulations according to the electric code.
Starting from the installation to use the ground rods, you need to maintain some safety precautions. Let’s know about it.
- Knowledge about the whole procedure: Installing and use any electric system is not so familiar to all, which is a definitely common thing. So, at the earlier stage, if you have not any prior experience, you have to gain proper knowledge about it and also take a training for betterment and safety.
- Choosing right location is a must: The rod should be settled in such a place where the grounding system can easily diminish the electrodes.
- Using protective equipment: It would be the best if you can wear a PPE before getting into this type of risky task. Moreover, to ensure safety, you must wear goggles, gloves and hard boots.
- Abstain from excessive moisture: You should not choose any area that consists of excessive moisture soil as this may not ensure the firmness of the installation.
- Deflection of Lightning: There is a different design of installation if the ground rod is used for the protection from lightning. So, cut your cloth according to your need.
Importance of Testing and Inspecting the Grounding System
The electricity grounding system ensures a safe path of electrode diminishing task. It is highly essential to check the whole procedure on a test basis and also inspect it from every aspect before using it. The reason why we should do so are-
- Checking the rod on daily basis ensures the whole grounding system to be safe as it prevents us from every type of electric hazard.
- Inspect properly that the rod may not overheat all the equipment as it may lead to a fire accident.
- Create a harmless shield to the path of the grounding system and check it out every now and then. Spontaneous review will help to identify if there is any damage to any electric equipment.
- In this type of carping infrastructure, any type of interruption can create malfunction that may occur any accident. So, inspecting it at least once a day is a basic need.
- Any physical damage or inadequacy in installation may degrade the ground rod. So, testing it daily will help you to find out the existing problem at the earlier stage and so, you can correct or fix it at a minimal effort.
So, there are the reasons why you should test and inspect your grounding system on a daily basis. Doing so will keep you away from any unwanted incident.
How far can a ground rod be from the house?
Ground rods are settled to keep you safe from any type of electric hazard. Such as, any lighting occurred by thunder. According to NEC, a ground rod can be 6 feet far from the house. This is the safest distance a ground rod be stayed at.
Where should a grounding rod be placed?
A ground rod should be placed near a house or any firm infrastructure where an electric code exists. It is a copper made firm rod that creates a safe pathway of passing the electrodes which prevents us from electric shock. Every household or building needs to settle ground rods beside it for safety.
Why are ground rods 8 feet long?
Ground rods need to be low-resistant to ensure a safe and effective path to diminish the electric currents. To achieve this nature, a ground rod must be of 8 feet tall. A lengthy rod can catch up the currents easily and maintain a better amalgam with soil.
Does every house need a ground rod?
To be specific to the answer, it’s a yes. Yes, every house needs a ground rod. But it varies according to the building’s nature, electric system and need of safety. It is important to abide by the regulations of the building codes. A licensed electrician may help you to choose the correct system of ground rod establishment.
For a better effectiveness and safety, the NEC guidelines should be followed that helps us ensuring the effective ground rod panel distance. It’s ion your own hand where you settle the rod. Your installation area and regular overlooking describe about your safety.
A ground rod looks like a metallic water pipe. It is a reliable path of dissipating electric currents. So, if you were unaware of the accurate distance of the ground rod panels, I hope now you are enough aware of how far can the ground rod be from the panel.