'Ground' not an option

To the real estate editor: You responded in your column to a reader's question concerning ''a grounding wire'' for an electrical system.

All local and state jurisdictions in the United States have building codes that include regulations for construction and maintenance of electrical systems. In recent years, most jurisdictions have adopted the National Electrical Code (NEC) developed by members of the National Fire Protection Association, headquartered in Boston.

Article 250 of the 1981 edition of the NEC states in Sections 81 and 83 that the electrical system must be bonded (grounded) to the incoming service conductors, from the local utility company, and a metal underground water pipe.

Further, the code requires that ''a metal underground water pipe shall be supplemented by an additional electrode,'' as specified in Section 83, Article 250. The most frequently used supplemental electrode is a rod or pipe that has a galvanized surface or that is copper; the rod must not be less than 8 feet in length and must be driven a minimum of 8 feet vertically into the ground.

The foregoing requirements have been enforced for new residential construction as well as replacement of existing residential electric service components (circuit breaker/fuse panels, service conductors, meter equipment) for almost a decade.

Note that the rod is a requirement and not an option as implied in your article. Geoffrey K. Hechtman Arlington, Va.

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