How well do you know the Code? Think you can spot violations the original installer either ignored or couldn't identify? Here's your chance to moonlight as an electrical inspector and second-guess someone else's work from the safety of your living room or office. Joe, who has a knack for finding shoddy electrical work, did the dirty work and found this mess. Now it's your turn to identify the violation.
In the center of this "sandwich," we see a 10-ft-long by ¾-in.-diameter ground rod.
As per Art. 100, a grounding electrode is defined as "a conducting object through which a direct connection to earth is established." The electrode shall comply with the requirements of 250.53, which states, "The electrode shall be installed such that at least 2.44 m (8 ft) of length is in contact with the soil. It shall be driven to a depth of not less than 2.44 m (8 ft) except that, where rock bottom is encountered, the electrode shall be driven at an oblique angle not to exceed 45° from the vertical or, where rock bottom is encountered at an angle up to 45°, the electrode shall be permitted to be buried in a trench that is at least 750 mm (30 in.) deep. The upper end of the electrode shall be flush with or below ground level unless the aboveground end and the grounding electrode conductor attachment are protected against physical damage as specified in 250.10." This connection is made well above ground level in an exposed area.
The other problem with this installation is the misuse of the "split bolt connector." This connector is not designed for this use, according to the product instructions and listing by Underwriter Laboratories Standard UL486A. It also doesn't seem like a good idea to attach the connector on the threaded portion of the rod.