Phoneline ground installed on gas furnace exhaust. Safe?

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  #1  
Old 07-12-13, 06:09 PM
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Phoneline ground installed on gas furnace exhaust. Safe?

Hi folks,
Friend of mine called me, was a bit confused with how a technician grounded a phone line. The phoneline stopped working, because of lightning according to the technician, and had to be replaced.
It was grounded onto a gas furnace exhaust. Wouldn't that be dangerous considering the possibility that there could be gas fumes? Especially since the whole reason for replacing the wire was because of lightning...
He callled Bell (Canada) and they offered no explanation whatsoever, however they will charge him if they send a technician and everything is all right.

Is there anything in the Canadian/Quebec electrical code about this?

Thanks
 
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Old 07-12-13, 06:15 PM
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Can your friend provide photos for you to post? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 07-12-13, 06:22 PM
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Under the NEC in the US, the phone line would not be bonded to the furnace, but to the grounding system of the house. I suspect the CEC would be similar.
 
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Old 07-12-13, 07:03 PM
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Old 07-12-13, 07:12 PM
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The picture you posted show is a clamp around a painted pipe of some kind.
It's not even making direct contact with the metal.
My phone line has it's own ground rod that's 6' in the ground.
Attaching it to the same ground rod as the panel box would do the same thing.
 
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Old 07-12-13, 07:24 PM
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My friend now thinks the furnace's ground is also on that pipe, I'll update once I can verify that info.
 
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Old 07-12-13, 07:26 PM
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As Joe said it isn't grounded for all practical purposes because of the paint but that looks like a gas pipe. In the picture the pipe looks to be two inches or less. Unless I'm missing something that is too small for an exhaust. Ask the phone company if you can email that photo to the engineering department.
 
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Old 07-12-13, 10:50 PM
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I agree that can't possibly be grounded since the pipe is painted. What really should be done and can easily be done by the homeowner is to just take that off of the gas pipe and attach it to copper water pipe. If there is no easily accessible copper pipe then a copper grounding wire could be sent through the house wall to the outside and then attached to a grounding rod. You would then attach the telephone company ground onto that ground.

Apparently the NEC and CEC work very closely together to come up with standards for both the United States and Canada since in some areas the Canadian border is literally just a walk across or down the street. So a fire starting in a border town is of great concern to both countries. Here is a link to a PDF pamphlet I found that mentions close cooperation between the two groups http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf . I would show that to your friend I think it will answer many questions and is quite detailed.

The pamphlet is a little old according to their copyright as it was copyrighted in 2005 but still I believe has relevant information and since this is a PDF document has other clickable links to other websites that talk about fire and lighting safety. The document is published by the IEEE I found it by doing a Google search.
 
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Old 07-13-13, 04:07 AM
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I doubt that is an exhaust pipe for the furnace. If it is, it wouldn't make a good ground because it doesn't come in contact with the ground.
 
  #10  
Old 07-13-13, 04:35 AM
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The Bell Canada techs are often not the brightest. I took a look at my neighbours phone demarc and the installer had put the ground clamp on the conduit from the meter to the service panel - the PVC probably is not a very effective ground!
 
  #11  
Old 07-13-13, 05:09 AM
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The Bell Canada techs are often not the brightest.

I guess the tech took a shortcut, If the tubing is solidly bonded to ground, and the clamp has a good bonding to the tube, then common sense tells this grounding to work. My logic sense tells me to be careful to use a gas pipe as a conductor, but it will probably be a minimal risk.
Since lightning or over-voltage has caused the last fault, a good grounding may be of some importance.

Here in Norway the they stopped grounding the the phone line more than 50 years ago, but the nearest termination box has the same equipment as your demarcation points if not underground cables, and a of course a grounding. (They save money this way.)

The grounding of a modern telephone line in US/CA demarcation points has no function under normal use. It is just for extra protection.

My conclusion: To not have to pay for a new visit, I would do a simple test:

I would try if a lamp (Max 50 watts) connected between the ground wire of the telephone. (either at demarc point, or the clamp, whatever most convenient) and a live wire from a circuit not protected by g.f.c.i or a.f.c.i would lit up. I f it does, the grounding will be able to work, if not;
Fix it your selves, or get the tel-co out there. The first thing to try could be removing a little paint on the tubing.

dsk
 
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Old 07-13-13, 06:42 AM
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Under the NEC in the US, the phone line would not be bonded to the furnace, but to the grounding system of the house. I suspect the CEC would be similar.
pcboss is correct. This is the proper device, an intersystem grounding bridge, to bond the telephone system and/or cable TV system to the grounding system of the house in the U.S. It's both U.L. and CSA approved.

http://www.aifittings.com/products/spec-sheets/GB5.pdf
 
  #13  
Old 07-13-13, 02:29 PM
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I agree that can't possibly be grounded since the pipe is painted. What really should be done and can easily be done by the homeowner is to just take that off of the gas pipe and attach it to copper water pipe. If there is no easily accessible copper pipe then a copper grounding wire could be sent through the house wall to the outside and then attached to a grounding rod. You would then attach the telephone company ground onto that ground.
Friend decided to get another technician, that one found it dangerous, did exactly what you suggested. Thanks y'all
 
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