Main Panel Ground

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Old 11-15-06, 09:22 AM
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Main Panel Ground

My main electrical circuit breaker panel has two grounds. One is an 8 foot grounding rod and the other is to a galvanized water pipe. I plan to install a dielectric union in the water pipe when I install some copper pipe in that water line.

I understand that grounding to a water pipe was once acceptable but is now illegal. Since I have a grounding rod, can I disconnect the ground to the water pipe and get by with only the ground rod?
 
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Old 11-15-06, 09:30 AM
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You may be being confused by a previous post that may have confused some people who responded, mainly because it did not provide enough details when it was asked.

In the US, if your water is provided by a metal pipe then the metal pipe must be the primary grounding method for your electrical system. The electrical system must make it's connection to the water pipes within five feet of where they enter the house. Additionally, there must be a jumper around the meter and any other locations where the pipe is not continuous.

Your electrical system needs another grounding method. This is usually a ground rod driven into the ground.

It sounds like your electrical system is properly grounded, assuming that the connection to the pipes is correct. You must leave both grounding methods intact.

Furthermore, if the water pipes IN your house are metal, but the pipe entering the house is not, then pipes in the house (any and all metal sections) must be BONDED to the electrical system ground. This is to provide a path for any current that finds it way to the metal water pipes.

What is no longer allowed in the US is attaching a wire to the water pipes anywhere in the house and using that wire to ground a receptacle, switch or appliance.
 

Last edited by racraft; 11-15-06 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 11-15-06, 09:31 AM
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"I understand that grounding to a water pipe was once acceptable but is now illegal."

Exactly wrong---











" Since I have a grounding rod, can I disconnect the ground to the water pipe and get by with only the ground rod?[/QUOTE]"

Positively NO!!!!!!
 
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Old 11-15-06, 06:08 PM
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Jumper the union aswell. This will ensure continuity to all parts of the system.

Technicaly, If you have a forced air heat/cool system, you must jumper around the flexable transition too.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 12:05 PM
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The present ground to the water pipe is no where near where the water pipe enters the house. If I extend the ground to within 5 feet of entry does the wire have to be insulated or is bare copper ok? Is #8 ok for 100 amp service?
 
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Old 11-16-06, 02:17 PM
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[QUOTE=fredmorrison]The present ground to the water pipe is no where near where the water pipe enters the house.


"If I extend the ground'"--- This is effected with "ir-reversible" connectors ONLY !

" to within 5 feet of entry does the wire have to be insulated or is bare copper ok?" --- bare copper is permitted


"Is #8 ok for 100 amp service"--- Yes
 
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Old 11-17-06, 09:33 AM
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I am not sure what is meant by "ir-reversible" connectors.

To correct the existing ground wire I would run a new #8 bare copper wire from the circuit breaker panel to within 5 ft of where the copper water line enters the house. The connection in the panel and the connection at the water line would be reversible if someone disconnected them.
 
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Old 11-17-06, 11:04 AM
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You asked about extending the ground, which was taken to mean adding an extension to the existing ground wire . To do this would mean an irreversible connection where the two pieces meet.

If you replace the ground wire entirely, then you don't have to worry about this.
 
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Old 11-17-06, 02:54 PM
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Have we yet established if the MAIN water pipe entering the house is metallic or plastic?

The reference to connecting the GEC to the water pipe within 5' is only is the pipe entering is metallic.

If it is plastic then this wire is not a GEC but simply a water bond.
 
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Old 11-17-06, 06:20 PM
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If metallic... Jumper the water meter.
 
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