Yes, you can use rebar as a ground rod . However, it corrodes much faster and has a lower conductance than a copper grounding rod. It is therefore not preferred despite being much cheaper than other ground rod types.
Rebar can be utilized as a grounding rod, nevertheless copper rod works a lot better. Copper is a greater conductor, and won’t corrode as badly as metal. Rebar corrodes a lot simpler and can lose contact simpler.
The next thing we wanted the answer to was: why can’t rebar be used as a ground rod?
It isn’t practicle to use rebar as a driven ground rod, because it rusts in contact with moisture, and looses conductivity. Copper tubing cant be sued because it is impossible to drive. The Ufer ground, (named for it’s inventor, Herbert G. Ufer, ans should always be capitalized), utilizes rebar encased in concrete.
Do I need a Ufer ground rod?
My understanding is that a Ufer (rebar in concrete) ground is now required for new construction (in most areas), but usually there’s a requirement for a secondary ground rod. The ground rod must go deep enough to contact damp soil. Water pipes, and, in some cases, metal siding must be ” bonded” to the ground system.
Mostly code now calls for a “grounding system” that consists of 2-3 different grounding sources, plus the “bonding” of other parts of the structure. My understanding is that a Ufer (rebar in concrete) ground is now required for new construction (in most areas), but usually there’s a requirement for a secondary ground rod.
While I was writing we ran into the inquiry “How do I know if my ground rod is sufficient?”.
Soil type and moisture can make a big impact on grounding too. A good electrician should be able to test and see if the ground rod is sufficient, or if you need multiple rods driven. Ufer or a concrete encased electrode is just that. It must be encased in 2″ of concrete located in the foundation .
Do I need to bond to rebar in the concrete?
The foundations I use do not have much rebar, much of the structural support is with carbon fiber reinforced concrete. I’ve had many electricians comment that with the new 2011 NEC I am required to bond to the rebar in the concrete and drive an appropriate sized rod in the ground next to the foundation.