Ground wire to Plumbing?????

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Old 03-10-10, 11:38 AM
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Ground wire to Plumbing?????

Ok so I am working on replacing my main load center, and have one wire that is a 2 or 4 gauge that goes from the ground bar to the main copper water pipe coming into the house and is clamped to it. Is that my earth ground? It is all the way across the house like 40 feet from the box... Would it be better to put a ground rod in somewhere closer to the box? That wire hooks to the ground bar which hooks to the ground wire that goes into the meter.

Also, the new CH box (BR3040B200V) doesn't have any ground holes big enough for that wire, should i split it and use two holes in the ground bar or is there a different ground bar that I can get with bigger holes.


Sorry if I went into to much rambling


Scott
 
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Old 03-10-10, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by spetrola View Post
Is that my earth ground?
The water service pipe is the mandatory primary grounding electrode and the wire is the grounding electrode conductor. For a 200A service, it should be #4 copper.

Would it be better to put a ground rod in somewhere closer to the box?
A secondary electrode is also required which in most cases is a ground rod driven near the panel. This one must be connected to the panel ground bar with #6 copper.

Also, the new CH box (BR3040B200V) doesn't have any ground holes big enough for that wire
It should be able to take #4.

should i split it and use two holes in the ground bar or is there a different ground bar that I can get with bigger holes.
No. If the wire really doesn't fit, you can buy a lug kit for the panel. Should be a couple dollars.
 
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Old 03-10-10, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by spetrola View Post
Ok so I am working on replacing my main load center, and have one wire that is a 2 or 4 gauge that goes from the ground bar to the main copper water pipe coming into the house and is clamped to it. Is that my earth ground? It is all the way across the house like 40 feet from the box... Would it be better to put a ground rod in somewhere closer to the box? That wire hooks to the ground bar which hooks to the ground wire that goes into the meter.

Also, the new CH box (BR3040B200V) doesn't have any ground holes big enough for that wire, should i split it and use two holes in the ground bar or is there a different ground bar that I can get with bigger holes.


Sorry if I went into to much rambling


Scott
There should be lugs that you can add to the ground bar to accept a bigger wire size. Wherever you got your panel should also sell different bars and lugs for the ground. Second. you will also need to drive (2) 8' x 1/2" ground rods spaced 6ft apart into the earth. You would need to run a #6 ground wire from your panel and connect to these rods, the wire should be continuous and not broken.
 
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Old 03-10-10, 02:41 PM
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The #4 conductor you refer to is the Grounding Electrode Conductor.

If this is a insulated conductor; NOT a conductor inside a metal armor ; you can provide a connection-point for Grounding your cable TV system by simply exposing a foot of the GEC outside the Service enclosure where a "Bonding" connection can be made.

Providing a "Bonding point" at the Service location is a recent Code requirement that certainly would not be applied to your panel change , but if you can do it without too much trouble , it would be to your advantage to do so.

The relevant Art is 250.94
 
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Old 03-10-10, 05:06 PM
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Here is one model of intersystem bond block.

New Grounding Bridges for up to #1/0 Grounding Conductors
 
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Old 03-10-10, 05:47 PM
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I might add that all water pipes used to be metal and a cold water pipe ground was a good thing...

Then came plastic pipe. People replace existing underground metal pipe with plastic pipe. And then don't ever think to update the electric system ground!

(Not a good thing...)

Or they replace sections of metal pipe in the house with plastic, so the "electrical continuity" within the "water pipe system" is not contiguous.

(Also not a good thing...)

So these days 2 ground rods placed 6 ft. apart might be a better "for sure" ground, then bond the "water pipe system" to this as well. (Ask local electrical inspector for what is required specifically.)

Then "water pipe system" means cold and hot water pipes.

What can happen is the hot water portion is electrically isolated from the cold via rubber grommets or dielectric unions at the hot water heater. Or there may be sections of plastic pipe installed to replace metal pipe. Etc.

Sometimes there is a bath/shower faucet which electrically connects the hot side to the cold. If not, install a bonding jumper between the hot and cold pipes.

Anyway an "electrically hot" conductor could touch a metal pipe anywhere. Then someone could go and turn on a faucet and be shocked. If the entire water pipe system is bonded to ground, then this would not happen.

And if a section of metal pipe is replaced with plastic, be sure to install a bonding jumper between the existing metal pipes on either end as needed.

At the following link, it discusses Washington State coming out with a new rule for this pipe bonding issue for plumbers...

Terry Love's Plumbing & Remodel DIY forum
 
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Old 03-10-10, 06:24 PM
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The water service pipe is the mandatory primary grounding electrode and the wire is the grounding electrode conductor. For a 200A service, it should be #4 copper.
You could also use #2 aluminum ground wire to the water service, but I prefer copper.
 
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Old 03-11-10, 06:52 AM
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Ok thanks to all. there currently is a 2 or a 4 gauge wire on the main water line coming into the house. I called "miss utility" our marking company and I will work on the ground rods this weekend hopefully.


Scott
 
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Old 03-11-10, 08:47 PM
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One more easy one. Should my ground rod be galvanized or copper coated?
 

Last edited by pcboss; 03-12-10 at 06:16 AM. Reason: clarified question
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Old 03-12-10, 09:52 AM
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The NEC allows either as long as it's 5/8" x 8'. If you have corrosive soil, your area may require copper-clad.
 
 

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