AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: College Park, MD
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Bigdog660 needs to connect his auxiliary ground rod to his home's ground electrode system, which includes its power ground rod, the box the meter is in, and something called "the service panel", as well as the first five feet of the copper water pipe where it enters the house. I'm not sure that the term, "service panel" is even explicitly defined. I think that, back in the old days, when home systems used fuses, the box with the gigantic 50-100 amp cartridges was called the service panel, and from there the elecrticity went to the fuse box. Now, the functions of the old service panel and the old fuse box have been combined in modern (how can somethng 50+ years old be modern?) breaker boxes. I have had some electrical inspectors tell me they would allow the circuit breaker box to be considered the service panel but others say that it does not qualify.
FWIW, if the breaker box is recessed into a wall, it would be more difficult to connect a wire to it than you might think. There is a requirement that a ground attachment screw cannot be used for any other purpose other than attachment of the groundwire, so you can;t simply wrap the groundwire around a screw that holds the panel cover on.
As far as the rules concerning mast ground wire minimum size, I think it is to better assure survivability in a harsh environment.