Water pipes not grounded.....

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Old 11-17-13, 03:04 PM
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Water pipes not grounded.....

I was reading how ground rounds are supplemental.... got me to thinking, I have a real old house. I noticed all I have is a single ground round out by the electric meter, it attaches to a conduit that goes into the meter box.

The water enters the basement on the opposite end and I dont see any evidence of it being connected to the electrical system.

Do I have an issue here? Is this a common setup for old house?
 
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Old 11-17-13, 03:37 PM
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The connection to the water might be closer to the panel or water heater than current codes dictate. Take a look and report back.

The ground rods are for high voltage events like lightning. They have nothing to do with the third prong on a receptacle.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 05:06 PM
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As far as I can tell, there is no connection to the water piping anywhere....

My outlet are all grounded I thought thru the mechanical ground of conduit and metal electrical boxes. All outlets test for hot to ground with my multimeter.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 05:18 PM
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Your confusing the EGC (Equipment Grounding Conductor) with the GEC (Grounding Electrode Conductor). The EGC is for personal safety to provide a low impedance path to trip a breaker should a hot wire touch a metal case. The GEC is to bleed off atmospheric electrical charges to lessen the possibility of a lightning strike.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 05:35 PM
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So my outlets are grounded thru the neutral conductor of the service wires.

And then Im protected (maybe) thru the "GEC" against lightning which is connected to the ground round outside and connects to the meter box.

So is that typical for an older house? Is what I have is adaquete? Please explain further.

I do realize current code says something to the effect of grounding to water pipe within a few feet of where it enters the house. Then use a ground round (s) as supplement.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 06:14 PM
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Nothing protects against a lightning hit. The GEC just lessens the likelihood.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 08:20 PM
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So is that typical for an older house? Is what I have is adaquete? Please explain further.
What I used to find as most typical in older houses was no ground rod, but neutral grounded to the closest cold water pipe. It used to be the electrician had his choice, either install a ground rod or just hit the nearest cold water pipe. Codes have changed a lot over the years. Either way provides an earth ground as long as the water service line from the street is metallic.
 
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Old 12-07-13, 05:15 PM
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What I used to find as most typical in older houses was no ground rod, but neutral grounded to the closest cold water pipe.
I want to ask this since I still am having trouble understanding this....

The wire connected to the ground rod on the side of my house by the meter appears to only go into the meter box. But I do not see any ground wire coming into the house/panel with the 3 service wires. There is also nothing connected to the water pipes in the house.

So do I have a GEC at all as I describe?
 
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Old 12-07-13, 05:54 PM
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The GEC goes to the rod and or water line.

The EGC is bonded to the neutral in the service panel. This is what trips the breaker.
 
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Old 12-07-13, 06:15 PM
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The wire connected to the ground rod on the side of my house by the meter appears to only go into the meter box. But I do not see any ground wire coming into the house/panel with the 3 service wires.
Some power companies want the GEC to terminate on the grounding lug attached to the neutral inside the meter socket and other power companies don't want it terminated in the socket, but to be terminated on the neutral bus in the panel. Either way grounds the neutral service conductor. This is usually a power company decision.
 
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Old 12-07-13, 10:24 PM
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>>>
So do I have a GEC at all as I describe?

Answer: Yes or no depending on a combination of semantics and where the other end of the wire goes within the meter box the latter of which you don't know.

If you extend that "GEC" (by clamping on additional #6 copper wire) to your panel neutral bus bar then you will have bonded the neutral bus bar with the ground rod using that wire and therefore the answer becomes "yes, definitely" regardless of where the hidden end went and regardless of where the power company would rather you hook it up to.

If your main cold water line is metal as it exits the house underground, then to complete your grounding electrode system you will need to add still more #6 copper wire (#4 for electric service over 150 amps) to reach the water pipe within 5 feet of where it exits the house. From the water pipe, if this new wire first reaches previously installed GEC of the same or larger size, it can end and be clamped on there instead of going all the way to the panel and then it becomes additional GEC.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-07-13 at 10:40 PM.
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