Inspector noted no ground to pipes

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Old 09-29-03, 08:46 PM
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Inspector noted no ground to pipes

I have an 8 year old home and had my bonus room inpected today by the county electrical inspector. He thought all of my work looked fine but noted there was no ground to the copper pipes.

He recommended I get 4 ga copper and run it from both the hot and cold pipes to the ground bar in my panel. If the panel is already grounded what is the purpose of this?
 
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Old 09-29-03, 09:14 PM
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If you have metal water pipes in contact with at least ten feet of earth, code requires you to use this pipe as your primary grounding electrode. You must connect to the cold water pipe within five feet of where it enters your house. The connection to the hot water pipe is for a different purpose -- it is to ground the pipe, not to use the pipe for grounding (get the difference?).

Most areas also require one or two grounding rods, but these supplement the water pipe electrode.
 
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Old 09-29-03, 10:21 PM
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I doubt I have metal pipe with at least 10 feet of earth. My water comes from a well and enters the house via a black pipe that appears to be plastic. In this case do I still need to ground the cold water pipe?

If not, is it wise to ground the pipes anyway?
 
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Old 09-30-03, 01:59 AM
cem-bsee
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illegal not to have all metal systems within a building connected to the grounding circuit. because they may become accidentally grounded causing explosion for gas piping, shunt off shorted wire currents such that the main does not trip at the panel, become a shock hazard.
 
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Old 09-30-03, 07:36 AM
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If the pipe is metal but not a suitable grounding electrode, then you are still required to ground it. In this case, the connection does not need to be within five feet of where it enters your house, since it is not serving as a grounding electrode.
 
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Old 10-01-03, 12:12 PM
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On my neighbors inspection the inspector called for the number 4 to the cold inlet even though it was plastic entering. We didnt want to make a point with him as he was so acccomodating so we just did it anyway but I believe it could connect anywhere in this case and only needs to be large enough according to the largest ocpd in the panel likely to come in contact with the electric,, which is most of the time a 50 or 60, would then a 10 wire qualify for this?
 
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Old 10-02-03, 04:51 AM
cem-bsee
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NO -- could use #6awg solid -- solid wire has the least surface area, so less subject to corrosion, #6 has good mechanical strength also.
 
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Old 10-02-03, 04:54 AM
cem-bsee
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#4 was requested to match that in use at main panel, probably.
 
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Old 10-02-03, 07:17 AM
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4 is required if the pipe is used as a grounding electrode which is not the case here, and solid or stranded doesnt matter unless its on pool bonding in a home. This connection is fault protection only and as long as it was rated for the largest breaker it seems it would be legal. I think inspectors often just use that number 4 thing as a blanket answer. Not that its a bad idea, but its easier to explain to an owner. Just the same as a 60A subpanel needs only a 10 ground wire. If I am wrong here I gladly would like to know it.
 

Last edited by sberry27; 10-02-03 at 11:25 AM.
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