Grounding Question


  #1  
Old 04-28-03, 09:32 PM
DWJ
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Grounding Question

My house has a 200 amp panel that installed before I purchased the house and receptacles in the kitchen and laundry areas were replaced (ie. grounded). Most of the recepticles in the rest of the house are not grounded. The house also has a hot water heating system with a 1.5" circulator pipe and branch pipes throughout the house. The heating system pipe is grounded along with the water service lines.

One of these days (when I open up the basement ceiling) I will replace all of the wiring with 12-2 and ground everything.

In the mean time, is it permissible to put in a grounded receptacle and run a separate ground wire to a pipe in the hot water heating system and attach it with a ground clamp?

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 04-28-03, 09:52 PM
texsparky
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No.

The ground wire from the device needs to run back to the Grounding Electrode System. That is....., to the ground bar in the panel,the water pipe (if metal and in direct contact with the earth for at least 10 feet and the connection is made within 5 feet of the entrance of the pipe), or the ground rod.
Are these receptacles already three prong without a ground ? If so, are they GFCI protected ?
 
  #3  
Old 04-29-03, 07:29 AM
DWJ
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The receptacles are 2 pronged and I would like to replace a few of them with 3-pronged outlets.

If the hot water circulation pipe is bonded to the cold water service (where it enters the dwelling) isn't it then part of the grounding system? This is a temporary situation and I belive it may be safer to ground outlets in the manner I described rather than not having grounded outlets. Of course, this is only true if the hot water circualtion pipe provides an adequate ground.

The hot water circulation pipe is 1.5" copper and runs in a closed loop just below the basement ceiling. It is grounded to the water service where it enters the house. Appears as if it is a good ground to me but then I don't want to create a situation that only 'appears' to be safer than the existing.

Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 04-29-03, 08:20 AM
texsparky
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This is a temporary situation
Too many times, temporary situations become permanent violations

The code is clear on what part of the the water pipe may be used for a grounding electrode as I stated in earlier post.
What exactly do you need the grounding outlet for ? Most household devices are double insulated and have only 2 prong cords. Can you run a separate ground wire from the outlet(s) to the water pipe entrance ? or to the panel ? Is your water pipe used as the grounding electrode ?( is there a wire from the neutral/ ground bar in you main service panel to the water pipe ?)
If so, what size wire ? Do you have (2) 5/8" x 8 ' ground rods spaced at least 6 feet apart to supplement the water pipe electrode ?
 
  #5  
Old 04-29-03, 04:21 PM
J
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You need to run the ground wire back to the panel and connect to the existing ground. As I have said many times if you can run a ground wire why not just run the proper new NM-B cable. The only time a ground only would be practical is if you hve conduit.
 

Last edited by joed; 04-30-03 at 05:00 AM.
  #6  
Old 04-30-03, 06:49 PM
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Lightbulb Grounded Recept

You stated that you needed a temporary solution for your grounding problem. I can offer one that is easy and permanent However It is Costly. The code allows for a ungrounded receptacle to be replaced with a GFCI receptacle and marked as ungrounded. This can also work for multiple recepts in the same circuit if you replace the first one with the GFCI and the rest (up to 5) can be replaced with grounded type recepts and labled as protected or ungrounded. Hope this helps..
 
  #7  
Old 04-30-03, 07:06 PM
J
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All of the information above is good. I would like to point out that improperly grounded receptacles are not safer than ungrounded receptacles. In fact, they are much more dangerous.

DWJ, can you tell us for what purpose you want three-hole receptacles? Are you trying to improve safety for you and your family, do you just need to plug in a three-prong plug, or do you need to protect sensitive electronic equipment? The best solution depends on your goals.
 
  #8  
Old 04-30-03, 08:11 PM
DWJ
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Thanks for all of your responses. This forum is very educational.

What I am trying to do is provide 3-pronged outlets for my computer equipment in one part of the basement and electronic equipment (amplifier, vcr, dvd player, TV) in another area of the basement.

Sounds like what I should do is go ahead and "temporarily" remove a portion of the ceiling and run 12-2 back to the panel rather than temporarily ground the receptacles to the hot water heating pipes.

Any better ideas on how I can provide grounds for the electronic system with the existing wiring.

Thanks.
 
  #9  
Old 04-30-03, 08:14 PM
J
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I think you have just stated the best idea.
 
 

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