Electrical – Can two ground rods be bonded via a PVC conduit above ground


According to my understanding, if a supplementary ground rod is installed, it must be bonded to the existing rod via a buried 6 AWG cable (NFPA 70).

However, because virtually every side of my house is paved, I have no access to the soil around the ground rods. Could I use a 4- or 6-gauge wire running above ground through a PVC conduit via the basement to bond the two ground rods?

The new ground rod is for a TV antenna, and I have been told it is very unwise to ground it to the meter, which is just several feet away.

Note: The house needs to pass inspection, so please keep that in mind.

This question regards code compliance, which is not specifically requested in this post: Bonding Ground Rod for Rooftop Antenna.

Best Answer

I can find nowhere in the NEC that says that you must bury inter-electrode bonding jumpers. In fact, 250.64(B) explicitly allows for running grounding electrode conductors (such as inter-electrode bonding jumpers) along construction or otherwise aboveground when suitably protected against physical damage, etc.:

Securing and Protection Against Physical Damage. Where exposed, a grounding electrode conductor or its enclosure shall be securely fastened to the surface on which it is carried. Grounding electrode conductors shall be permitted to be installed on or through framing members. A 4 AWG or larger copper or aluminum grounding electrode conductor shall be protected if exposed to physical damage. A 6 AWG grounding electrode conductor that is free from exposure to physical damage shall be permitted to be run along the surface of the building construction without metal covering or protection if it is securely fastened to the construction; otherwise, it shall be protected in rigid metal conduit (RMC), intermediate metal conduit (IMC), rigid polyvinyl chloride conduit (PVC), reinforced thermosetting resin conduit (RTRC), electrical metallic tubing (EMT), or cable armor. Grounding electrode conductors smaller than 6 AWG shall be protected in RMC, IMC, PVC, RTRC, EMT, or cable armor. Grounding electrode conductors and grounding electrode bonding jumpers shall not be required to comply with 300.5.

Of course, you'll have to double-check with your local inspectors, though -- they may have some local requirement for burial of bonding jumpers.