Grounding Guide for Phone System Installation

Purpose of Grounding the System 

  • Fundamental to the safety of those installing, using, and servicing the electrical system
  • Assures the system will work properly while preventing damage to the system
  • All electrical systems serving structure must be bonded together including the following:
    • Electrical wiring system
    • Telephone system
    • Phone system
    • Burglar alarm system
    • Cable or satellite system

Grounding: The process of making a planned, continuous, connection between NONCURRENT CARRYING parts of the electrical wiring installation and the earth and some other conducting body. 

Grounded: Describes the act of being connected to the earth or some other conduction body that serves in place of the earth.

Bonding: Process in which all NON-CURRENT CARRYING METALLIC parts of the electrical wiring system are permanently joined together to form a CONTINUOUS grounding path.

Bonding 

  • Reduces the differences in potential between each electrical system
  • May be caused by power surges, lightning strikes or other types of ground fault type occurrences

 Parts of the Electrical System 

  • Circuits
  • Service Entrance Panel
  • Metal Water Pipe
  • Metal Gas pipe

 The Grounding Electrode System 

  • All materials must be grounded using approved bonding and grounding electrode systems
  • Check with local building code

Metallic Pipe 

  • A cold running Water pipe must always be bonded to the service entrance panel, grounding electrode conductor, or grounding electrode
  • Other metal pipe, such as gas pipe, which may become energized accidentally must be bonded to the electrical system grounded system
  • Do not ground to sprinkler system pipes

Use of Bonding Jumper 

  • To provide CONTINUOUS grounding path around devices such as water meters installed in metallic water pipe system 

 

Types of Grounding Electrodes
 

grounding phone system

Metal Underground Water Pipe 

  • Must be bonded to the supplemental grounding system electrode and to the neutral bus bar in the SEP
  • Connection must be made within 5 feet of entering structure
  • Water pipe must be in direct contact with the earth for at least 10 feet

 Concrete Encased Electrode 

  • Electrode encased in foundation footing covered with at least 2 inches of concrete
  • Electrodes must be at least 20 feet in length and consist of one or more ½” steel reinforcement bars

Ground Ring 

  • Bare Copper
  • At Least #2 AWG or larger
  • Encircling residence for a length of 20 feet
  • Buried at least 2 ½”

Metal Framework

Supplemental Electrodes 

  • Typically made of metal rods, pipes, or plates

Rod and Pipe Electrodes 

  • Iron or steel rod electrodes
  • Must be 5/8” in diameter
  • Pipe must be ¾” in diameter
  • Galvanized or metal coated for corrosion resistance
  • 8 feet in length
  • Installed to a depth of 8” in direct contact with earth
  • Nonferrous rods must be listed at no less than ½”
  • Stainless Steel- ½” diameter
  • Must be at or below ground level
  • Must be protected from physical damage

 Exceptions 

  • If electrode can not be driven more than 4” into the earth b/c of rock or other obstruction
  • May be driven at an oblique and of no more than 45° from vertical
  • At least 8” of the electrode must be in contact with earth

Multiple Grounding Rods 

When more than one electrode grounding rod is used:

  • Must be installed not less than 6 feet apart
  • Must be bonded together with an approved bonding jumper to form single grounding electrode system
  • Plate Electrode 
  • May be used in areas where it is not possible to use a grounding rod or ring
  • Steel/Iron Plate electrode must be ¼” thick
  • Non-ferrous metal plate must be 0.06” thick
  • 2 feet square
  • Buried at least 2 1/2’
  • Grounding Electrode Conductor 
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Copper-clad
  • AL and AL-CU may not be used in contact with masonry, corrosive, or in direct contact with the earth
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