Hot Water Heater Piping Ground


  #1  
Old 01-25-04, 04:30 AM
emmettr
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Question Hot Water Heater Piping Ground

Some 10 years ago I relocated my gas hot water heater in my home. I recently discovered that when they relocated the heater they did not move the electrical ground wire which had been hooked to the original cold water pipe to the new hot water heater. The original grounding system was completely isolated from the piping both electrically and mechanically. As a result my hot and cold piping now is not tied to my electrical box ground.

My question is: Does this matter? Are the water pipes supposed to be grounded? If so ...hot, cold or both?

Next question.....what would be the effects of operating ungrounded like I have for years?

Thanks,

Emmett
 
  #2  
Old 01-25-04, 05:15 AM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
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Yes, the piping should be bonded .
You must bond the cold piping anywhere accessible. Unless the line coming into the house is metal and in contact with the earth 10' or more. In this case you must hit the piping within 5' of where it enters the house. Also you must bond around the meter and any softeners/filters which break the continuity.
This of course is the code for new installations but if you are replacing the bond now I would follow these guidelines.
You need only bond the cold. Normally the hot is bonded through shower/sink valves, boiler, etc.
If you have had no problems then you are OK. There is no residual effect from this. It is a safety system.

What size is your service?
Is the water pipe coming in the house metal?
 
  #3  
Old 01-25-04, 07:33 AM
emmettr
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HOT WATER HEATER GROUND

Thanks Speedy Petey

My incoming service is a 3/4- inch I.D. copper line from the meter which is about 50-60 feet from where it enters the house. The house is on a slab foundation and the water pipes run under the slab, in 3/4-inch lines, popping up where ever service is to be accessed. Since I moved the hot water heater (about 10 years ago) I have had 3 sub slab leaks (all in the hot water lines) and each of them have been a tiny pinhole corroded through the piping. Do you think that there could be a relationship between the missing ground or bond and the creation of these pin holes? The house was about 15 years old when we moved the hot water heater (and removed the bond) and we had never had a leak problem. 10 years after the bond disappeared we seem to have a new pin hole every couple of years.......

Emmett
 
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Old 01-25-04, 08:44 AM
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I guess it could be some sort of electrolysis.
I am not very versed in this. Maybe someone with some background can elaborate.
 
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Old 01-25-04, 04:24 PM
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Is the pin hole leak in a copper pipe? Just where does the pin hole show up, in a straight section or always at an elbow?
 
  #6  
Old 01-26-04, 06:26 AM
emmettr
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HOT WATER HEATER GROUND

Yep the pin holes are in a copper line and all three have been in the hot water line in a straight section. The last one had a buildup of green stuff inside the pipe at the point of the pin hole. This deposit was about 1/4 inch high. I punched on it and it came out and easily crumbled into a powder. Sort of reminded me of corrrosion deposits on a auto battery terminal. All of these pin holes are making me nervious.......sitting here wondering when the cold water side is going to get in on the action!

Emmett
 
 

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