House Ground Wire

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-01-11, 09:24 AM
supersonicklutz's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ct
Posts: 155
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
House Ground Wire



Im trying to find out what the story is here. Please excuse the 'monkey with finger paint' drawing. There are 2 heavy gauge copper wires, one from the power company meter and one from the AT&T Uverse box (voice/TV/internet). AT&T's grounds to the outside of metal conduit from the electric meter. Then another goes from that point and is buried securely in the ground. Then theres the one that travels down the inside of the conduit which is not buried, I assume it was at one point but has parted from the rest of it. The Uverse feed (not drawn) goes into the house just below their box. The old CV coax used to go into the house where indicated, but it was cut off at that coupler. DTV ran coax to all the rooms with TVs. When I realized I knew more about DTV's system than they did, I bagged them for Uverse. The Uverse installer used DTV's inside coax since it was in all the right places already.

When I noticed the broken ground wire, I called the power company so they would repair what obviously looked like their ground wire. (Noted by the red circle, there was another heavy copper wire going from the CV coupler to the same point on the metal conduit.) Well, the power company showed up and was gone in less than 5 minutes. I called them and I was told that the tech signed off the job as "all the power company's wires were in order". When I looked at it, I noticed that he had cut the CV ground wire from the conduit and just bent the remainder back around itself. So who's responsibility is that broken ground wire that should be buried and attached to whatever the other one is, and how critical/urgent is it?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-01-11, 11:32 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,846
Received 43 Votes on 41 Posts
I'm a bit lost, but I'll see what I can do to help.

The most important ground in your house should be an 6ga (or 4ga) wire coming from either the meter pan or your main panel and attached to one or two ground rods driven in the ground and your water line if metallic. It seems that you may have that... but it's connected to a clamp around the conduit? If that's the case, it's certainly not right. How old is your electrical service/main panel?

The POCO didn't really help since anything past the weather head is your responsibility including that ground.

Next is bonding. You want all the metal pathways in your house to be bonded together. This eliminates (or significantly reduces) the possibility of you getting shocked by touching the kitchen sink and toaster at the same time because of ground voltage differentials. It'll also help keep your electronics (cable box, router, etc) from going up in smoke from a distant lightning storm.

To do this, you need an 6ga or 4 ga, depending on your service ampereage, wire connected to where your water main enters the house (presuming it's metal). Any other service into the house (DTV, CATV, Telephone) should be bonded before it enters the house using 10ga wire (I believe 10ga... someone will correct me if I'm wrong). These can either be connected to your main ground wire or to the ground bus in your main panel or possibly other locations.

I personally don't like the idea of connecting any of them to a clamp around a metal conduit, it's not very reliable especially after a house painting, etc.

Hope this helps a bit... It does always seem that most installers don't understand the need/requirement for bonding. I've seen some quite questionable installations, certainly worse than this
 

Last edited by pcboss; 12-02-11 at 09:46 AM. Reason: technical and additional info
  #3  
Old 12-01-11, 01:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
Super, please post some pictures of the connection blocks and where the wires run to the conduit and such. Zorfdt has given some information in regard to wire sizes and attachment points. After I see the pictures I (or someone else) will detail what needs to be done.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 12-02-11 at 09:47 AM. Reason: info in post referenced has be corrected, not needed.
  #4  
Old 12-02-11, 09:49 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,997
Received 40 Votes on 35 Posts
A fitting of this style would provide a means to bond the cable and phone systems.

Grounding Products | Grounding Bridges | Grounding Bushings and Clamps | GB5P
 
  #5  
Old 12-09-11, 11:48 PM
supersonicklutz's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ct
Posts: 155
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Gentleman, I hope this is sufficient. What I really want to know is is the broken ground wire the power companies responsibility or not. Im sure the whole thing could be done much more professionally but unless my house is in imminent danger of burning down than it can stay that way. There is no $ do anything non critical and its been that way for 20 years.
 
  #6  
Old 12-10-11, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: usa
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
This would be your responsibility to fix. The power company wont fix it because anything past the weather head is your responsibility even including the meter box, the power company owns the meter that is in that box though.
 
  #7  
Old 12-10-11, 11:30 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,846
Received 43 Votes on 41 Posts
Agreed, the grounding is usually (always?) the responsibility of the homeowner. Since the ground is going directly into the meter pan, you'll be best served by hiring an electrician to fix it. Pulling and replacing a meter is not a DIY project.

I can't imagine it being more than an hour or so of work for an electrician. Two new ground rods, a new ground wire connecting them either back to the meter or to the main panel, and tying in the other service grounds.

I'd suggest having this fixed... while it probably won't burn down your house, any kind of voltage surges or nearby lightning can easily cause a voltage imbalance between the services and fry your electronics. In my opinion, I'd have it fixed sooner rather than later.
 
  #8  
Old 12-10-11, 05:02 PM
supersonicklutz's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ct
Posts: 155
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks all, this is what I will do then. I'll see if I can nail down an electrician to or close to an hour before I have it done. The only reason I even asked (or even called the power co in the first place) is because someone told me that the power co fixed theirs.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: