I am a Breaktime lurker who does a fair amount of DIY and charity work. I am currently moving the electrical service at my house in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. Things are going well, but I was told today I shouldn't use two of my ground rods.
The project involves moving the 200 amp aerial service currently going to the house back to a new mast mounted on the garage, and then underground to two subpanels in the house.
Outside the garage at the new service entrance I have buried two ground rods (only one required in Ohio) connected to the ground bus on the new main panel with one #6 bare copper wire. Each of the two feeds going to the subpanels in the basement has a green #4 aluminum ground wire running from the new main panel in the garage to the subpanels in the house basement.
Today the inspector approved the trench/buried cable and main panel/meter box with no problems, so I'm good to have the electric company move the service and started to fill my trench back in (water table averages around 30 inches - starting to have mosquitos). I have not hooked up the subpanels yet.
I am also burying conduit for someday moving cable/phone underground, which would be a metallic connection between buildings. My plan was to install two more ground rods outside the house (one is already driven), with a separate wire going to each subpanel. This is based on things I have read here and in books, and I have already driven one of the rods. However, the inspector told me not to connect ground rods at the house to the panels - I should only have one ground location at the main panel which is now in the garage.
The obvious thing to do here is to not hook up the ground rods outside the house. The inspector has been very good to work with and isn't asking me to do any more unnecessary work. However, current opinion here (and possibly NEC 2008??) seems to be that I should have ground rods for both buildings. I don't see how bonding to the house plumbing is any different than a ground rod at the house, except that I'd rather any stray current stay away from my plumbing.
On a related note, when I remove the current main panel in the house, I will install splice boxes for about six or seven circuits that are moving to the new subpanels. There is already a ground wire/rod in this location and I was thinking of connecting them to the circuits I was splicing for additional ground (hooking all the grounds together, so they would still be grounded back to new subpanel). I don't see any need to do this, but don't see how it could hurt, either.
So, would you leave it with ground rods just at the garage, or would you go back after final inspection and hook up the rod I've already driven for the house subpanels? Am I sacrificing any safety by not connecting the rods?
Thanks in advance for any input.