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Discussion Starter #1
I came across this site in my search for information on counterfeit copper ground rods. The defective one's from China with the fake UL stamp in particular. I want to hear from people that know what kind of problem they are causing in the industry and the safety hazards. I want to know where to find any and all info that is available.
 

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UMMMM let me see you can drive pipe electrodes no UL listings, plate electrodes UL listings. What type of problems would you expect? Other than possible lead in the soil issue.
 

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ground rod

I Have read that the counterfeits from China have less than 20% of the required copper which can cause corrosion in 6-8 years rather than the 40 they should last. I work for a company that sells the fakes and they say that we should not worry about it, keep quiet and just sell them and that it won't cause a problem. From what I have read, I have my doubts. I want to hear what electricians have to say. I can't get UL to respond to me. Just looking for piece of mind. Don't want some family to die cause I sold some cheap ass China junk. I'm in a bad field, I'm a salesperson with a conscience.
 

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I Have read that the counterfeits from China have less than 20% of the required copper which can cause corrosion in 6-8 years rather than the 40 they should last. I work for a company that sells the fakes and they say that we and that it won't cause a problem. From what I have read, I have my doubts. I want to hear what electricians have to say. I can't get UL to respond to me. Just looking for piece of mind. Don't want some family to die cause I sold some cheap ass China junk. I'm in a bad field, I'm a salesperson with a conscience.
I believe you "should not worry about it, keep quiet and just sell them", or find another job.

Work'in For That Free Tee . . .
 

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Rods

Than what you are telling me is that this whole UL thing is just something they have blown out of proportion. That they are just pissed off that they don't have their hand in it. I have heard from contractors that ground rods are no big deal that you could stick a hanger in the ground and get the same affect. ;) than I guess I have nothing to worry about. I was just wondering what the big deal that was going on was all about, being new to the business.
 

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Not trying to down play grounding (to earth). BUT in the whole scheme of thing a ground rod is seldom to never needed in most houses. Ground rods are NEC mandated and serve an important function under certain RARE circumstances and I would not violate this code. I'd bet if a house was damaged from lightning or a utility incident, I guarantee a lawyer could take the electrician and supply house to task on this issue.

Test have shown that it is not the diameter but the length, as far as corrosion soil conditions would play a factor in this.
 

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IF it's not UL approved it's not NEC approved right? If so than I'm sorry to tell you Sweetie, but if you used Copper clad ground rods from 2004-up until about 3 months ago (and some may still be in their warehouses, not to their knowledge of coarse) you have violated that code. The distributors thought they were buying the real thing. There were millions of them sold. Millions plus. They were sold to all the major distributors in the country (not to their knowledge). You ever used any from Wesco, Crescent Elec, Gexpro, or C.E.D. ( Ithink C.E.D. quit believing the crap they said and quit buying them on the west coast) just mention a couple. A couple from thousands. From the east coast to the west coast. I don't see how the electrician or distributor can be held responsible. I feel bad for these people as they have no idea. It should be the manufacturer specially since they were aware of what they were doing. And from the whispers and hubub I've been hearing it's not just the ground rods. Some sort of **** is gtting ready to hit the fan from what I have heard. That's whay when I went out to buy a house 2 years ago, I made sure that it was at least 5 years old.
 

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......That's whay when I went out to buy a house 2 years ago, I made sure that it was at least 5 years old.
Because of a ground rod?!!?!?:eek:

Here's a simple solution: Drive a new, known-UL-listed rod right next to the suspect one that's installed. Move the GEC over 2" and sleep at night.

How about counterfeit breakers? Did you pass on a house that had Square Ds in it?

BTW, how old are the smoke detectors in your house?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
rod

Not just ground rods from what I am finding out. And not just my house, what about your house and my kids house and all the houses this defective material was used in. According to UL they all need to be replaced.
http://www.electriciantalk.com/showthread.php?t=897

Hey, look on the bright side, it says a qualified electrician should replace them.

Give me a little credit, I'm just trying to keep you guys working in this sluggish economy!!:thumbup:

ANd my smoke detectors are fine thank you. I had the wiring in my house closely inspected after I went to work for this comany.
 

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Not just ground rods from what I am finding out. And not just my house, what about your house and my kids house and all the houses this defective material was used in. According to UL they all need to be replaced.
http://www.electriciantalk.com/showthread.php?t=897

Hey, look on the bright side, it says a qualified electrician should replace them.

Give me a little credit, I'm just trying to keep you guys working in this sluggish economy!!:thumbup:

ANd my smoke detectors are fine thank you. I had the wiring in my house closely inspected after I went to work for this comany.
Same link I posted early on.

Seiously, how do you determine if a ground rod is counterfeit, especially once it's in the ground? As I stated, if it's such a concern, drive a new one.... 2 minute job tops. Not exactly what I call a lot of work.

As to your smokes, I'm not asking how they work. I asked how old they were. Or did you not know there's a limited life to them?

Section 8-3.5 of NFPA 72 now requires all single-station and multiple-station smoke alarms to be replaced every ten years. This is because buildup of grease and dust, insect infestations, and normal failure rates dictate replacement. This requirement does not apply to system powered smoke detectors that are commonly found in commercial/industrial establishments because they are sensitivity tested to the requirements of Chapter 7 of NFPA 72.
 

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IF it's not UL approved it's not NEC approved right? If so than I'm sorry to tell you Sweetie, but if you used Copper clad ground rods from 2004-up until about 3 months ago (and some may still be in their warehouses, not to their knowledge of coarse) you have violated that code. The distributors thought they were buying the real thing. There were millions of them sold. Millions plus. They were sold to all the major distributors in the country (not to their knowledge). You ever used any from Wesco, Crescent Elec, Gexpro, or C.E.D. ( Ithink C.E.D. quit believing the crap they said and quit buying them on the west coast) just mention a couple. A couple from thousands. From the east coast to the west coast. I don't see how the electrician or distributor can be held responsible. I feel bad for these people as they have no idea. It should be the manufacturer specially since they were aware of what they were doing. And from the whispers and hubub I've been hearing it's not just the ground rods. Some sort of **** is gtting ready to hit the fan from what I have heard. That's whay when I went out to buy a house 2 years ago, I made sure that it was at least 5 years old.

WHAT ABOUT people who use galvinized rods ?, MAYBEE you can enlighten me , but dosent grounding with rods or made electrodes work on the principal of surface area and minerals and moisture in contact with the earth ?, SO WHAT DOSE IT MATTER what kinda metal they are made of, soil and moisture conditions and how far from the building and apart they are and how many is more important.

Go drive a copper clad and a galvanized rod in the same conditions and put a ground restiance meter on it and see what they read.

IF your reading is bad add more rods if it is the only electrode avalable, if its a suplemental electrode dont worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Copper ground rods actually are copper clad steel, because copper rods would be too soft to drive in the ground and unnecessarily expensive. Most people probably assume that copper is used because of its high conductivity. That is a slight added advantage, but not the real reason. The resistance of the soil surrounding a ground rod is so high compared to the resistance of any metal that the series resistance of a rod and the soil surrounding it would be almost the same regardless of the metal used. The real reason copper is used is copper a noble metal that has high corrosion resistance. It becomes a cathode when joined together with a less noble metal such as steel in the presence of an electrolyte such as moist soil. The less-noble steel becomes a sacrificial anode that corrodes away first, leaving a relatively corrosion-free copper shell in contact with the soil. The counterfeit have 20% less copper allowing them to have a life span of 6-8 years as apposed to the UL approved which last 40 years.
Galvanized rods had a tendency to mushroom when placed in the ground, although now I have heard that problem has been addressed by good galvanized rod manufacturers and there are many good ones on the market that don't.
I believe the difference is that some are used in certain parts of the country where soil and moisture conditions call for that particulars type.
The problem as I see it is that when your rods poop out much earlier than they are suppose to you are left wit no protection and don't even know they need to be replaced till it's to late. I don't know about you, But I don't like it when I get stuck with a rod that doesn't work.
And that is the point, there are thousands of buildings in the country that have these defective rods and don't know it. And thousands of people that paid for the proper protection and think they got it and didn't. These rods were all manufactured in China. AND that to me is just another reason to be pissed!!!
 

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CHRISTIE:

Did you read my post regarding the use of ground rods. I am serious this is a NON issue, with the exception of a possible lawsuit that would be based on nothing but the UL mark not the adequacy of a metal rod stuck in the ground.

In the whole realm of things there are a lot of real issues to be concerned about.

I perform grounding investigations and surveys, 99.9% of copper ground rods are specified because the engineers think COPPER conductivity. If ground rods were a major concern the NEC would take a stance on a minimum resistance to earth value but as it stands if you have two ground rods the resistance to earth could be 1 ohm or 1,000,000 ohms and no NEC issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, thanks for the advice. It's good to know there are no real safety concerns. I guess that is why I have had so much trouble finding any complaints other than the UL's.
It just irks me that large companies are selling inferior products and passing them off as the real deal and don't care what the consequences are. I guess I'll move on from the ground rods and do a little investigation on the bogus 12-02 MC. Thanks again.
 

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Are these rods advertised as UL listed or just no mention one way or the other?
 

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IF it's not UL approved it's not NEC approved right? If so than I'm sorry to tell you Sweetie, but if you used Copper clad ground rods from 2004-up until about 3 months ago (and some may still be in their warehouses, not to their knowledge of coarse) you have violated that code. The distributors thought they were buying the real thing. There were millions of them sold. Millions plus. They were sold to all the major distributors in the country (not to their knowledge). You ever used any from Wesco, Crescent Elec, Gexpro, or C.E.D. ( Ithink C.E.D. quit believing the crap they said and quit buying them on the west coast) just mention a couple. A couple from thousands. From the east coast to the west coast. I don't see how the electrician or distributor can be held responsible. I feel bad for these people as they have no idea. It should be the manufacturer specially since they were aware of what they were doing. And from the whispers and hubub I've been hearing it's not just the ground rods. Some sort of **** is gtting ready to hit the fan from what I have heard. That's whay when I went out to buy a house 2 years ago, I made sure that it was at least 5 years old.
I just don't see where 250.52 requires the electrode to be listed. 250.52(A)(5)(a) and(b) list iron or steel rods as well as galvanized pipe. I just don't see anything "defective" about these "bogus" rods other than the false UL stamping. The NEC dosen't require a minimum amount of copper for a rod electrode. If it has any copper cladding I would assume it would be more conductive than a plain iron or steel rod which is acceptable as an electrode according to 250.52.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
They have a fake UL stamp. The company they get them from in China couldn't get them UL approved so they just said what the hell and put it on anyway. The whole thing goes very deep. Went on for almost 4 1/2 years. This company knew but chose to look the other way till UL caught wind. They told people to just sell them and if they come back mix them in with ones with the ul code that they hadn't caught on to yet and no one will catch it. But for some reason UL has not been able to trace them back. I noticed on their sight they have the manufaturer as "unknown" . that's why I figured it might not be a big deal cause it couldn't be that hard. Or else they are just not to bright.
 
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