Any unlisted ground rod that fits in the Galvan Ground

Rod Gage is too small in diameter to meet the

requirements of the NEC.


NOTICE:  Non-Compliant Galvanized Ground Rod Purchased From Distributor In The Carolinas

We recently purchased an unlisted galvanized ground rod from a distributor in the Carolinas. The rod does not comply with the NEC or with standards established by ANSI-Approved/NEMA GR-1 specifications.


The rod in question is a 5/8” x 8’ galvanized rod and marked as “MANGAI INDIA”.  There are two compliance issues related to this rod:


  • DIAMETER:  Finished diameter of the rod ranges from 0.578 – 0.584 inches.  NEC 250.52.A.5 requires a full 0.625-inch diameter for an unlisted rod. A listed rod is required to have a diameter greater than 0.500.  This rod is NOT listed, therefore does not comply with the appropriate code.
  • COATING THICKNESS:  NEMA GR-1 requires an average zinc coating thickness as specified by either ASTM A-123 for hot dip galvanized rods (.0039 inches) or ASTM A-153 for spin galvanized rods (.0035 inches).  The average thickness over the length of the rod measured only .0031 inches, which does not meet either specification.

Since this rod is not listed (UL, CSA, etc.) there is little Galvan can do about this problem. If it was marked as being listed, we would file a UL field complaint and UL/CSA/ETL would pursue an investigation.  Since it is not a listed rod, it falls on the Authorities Having Jurisdiction – the local inspectors – and other concerned members of the electrical contracting and utility communities to keep these non-compliant products out of service.


If rods like this one are found in distributor, contractor or utility inventories, they should be returned to the supplier and replaced with compliant products. If they are found installed, the installation should be failed or rejected at inspection. The rods should be removed and returned to the distributor.  At each failed site, new ground rod electrodes in full compliance with the applicable codes should be installed, with the site being re-inspected.


For those of us in the ground rod business, this type of product hurts two ways. First it compromises the integrity of the industry by ignoring clear requirements. Secondly, because the cost is lower for this type of rod, due to less steel and less zinc coating, legitimate suppliers will suffer financially by being forced to be price-competitive with cheaper, non-compliant products.


This information needs to get to electrical inspectors, installers and others as quickly as possible to prevent products like this from being installed in the Carolinas, or anywhere else they might appear.


Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), electrical contractors, distributors and retailers should be aware that this ground rod may not be suitable to provide an adequate path to ground.  Its use could lead to personal injury or death, property damage and professional liability.

For more information, contact Galvan Industries at 1-800-277-5678 or 704-455-5102.

  Ground Rod Selection Guide, IAEI Magazine
  Ground Rod Marking And Compliance Requirements
  Ground Rod Electrodes - What You Need to Know
  Grounding Vs. Bonding (from EC&M)
  Lightning Protection: Getting Grounded (from Electrical Contractor)
  Navigating the Ground Rod Electrode Maze (From IAEI News)
  Grounding Requirements For 600 Volts Or Less by John M. Caloggero.
  Why Steel Ground Rods are Copper Plated by PolyPhaser Corp.
  Introducing the Gold SeriesTM UL® Listed Ground Rods
  UL® Listed Ground Rod FAQ's
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