water pipe bonding question

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Old 03-31-14, 08:48 AM
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water pipe bonding question

I had a new service put in. There is the standard GEC on the copper pipe where the meter enters the house. ITs then run back to the panel in conduit.

Do I still need to have the jumpers over my water filter, softener and water heater?
 
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Old 03-31-14, 11:52 AM
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I should mention this installation passed inspection without jumpers at these appliances. I was wondering if I should add them for good measure?
 
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Old 03-31-14, 06:32 PM
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As you know, because it passed the inspection, code only requires the water service to be bonded at the point of entry. Around here inspectors require us to bond around the water meter.

IMO it would be a good idea to bond around (by adding a jumper) anything made completely of plastic that could interrupt the continuity of your water pipes. The wire size should be the same size as what is going from your panel to your water service originally. #6 for 100 amp, #4 for 200 amp.
 
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Old 03-31-14, 07:22 PM
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Never seen a jumper around a water meter where I live but I suspect it is because the water meters are almost always at the curb, probably beyond the distance required for bonding or am I wrong about the bonding not being required past a certain distance?
 
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Old 03-31-14, 07:32 PM
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Almost all our meters are inside the buildings, mostly in the basements. It is only required to bond the water where it enters the building.
 
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Old 03-31-14, 08:25 PM
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I would recommend adding the bonding jumpers. Even if you don't need it for inspection/code reasons, it's important for safety. You want to be sure any metallic system that could inadvertently become 'hot', is grounded/bonded to force a quick breaker trip. Though it's a really low chance of a safety issue... it's worth a few dollars for some jumper wire and clamps to ensure you don't run into any kind of electrocution hazard.

There have been some threads here about slight shocks while in the shower, likely traced back to poor bonding. Not something I'd want in my house.
 
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Old 03-31-14, 08:51 PM
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Almost all our meters are inside the buildings, mostly in the basements. It is only required to bond the water where it enters the building.
Older house in my area have the water meter in the basement along with the pressure reducing valve. Both are removeable and need a bond across them.
 
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Old 03-31-14, 09:34 PM
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Sometimes it is like reading of people in another country. No basements, no meters in the house, no pressure reducers, no boilers or even electric baseboard heaters.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 05:47 AM
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Ray, what's the pressure of the city water serving your house. Around here it typically runs around 90-95 PSI, too high for most faucets and fill valves on appliances.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 07:05 AM
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Just to confirm, brass ground clamps can touch copper correct?

I will add them for good measure.

One at my water filter (plastic housing)
I suppose I don't need one at water softner, bypass valve is stainless steel.

And I am not certain about the water heater? I would simply clamp on the hot and the cold supply correct?
 
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Old 04-01-14, 08:31 AM
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Any listed ground clamp should be fine to touch copper pipes.

A jumper between the hot and cold at the WH using two clamps is fine.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 10:55 AM
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anything in the water line that is removable should have a jumper across it. A while back, here in town, a city water dept worker was seriously injured when he was changing out a malfunctioning water meter. As soon as he unthreaded one of the bibs and broke the connection. he was seriously electrically shocked to the point where he had to be admitted to the hospital. At the same time several appliances in the house also were damaged. It was found later that the neutral connection to the service had become damaged and the neutral path back to the source was now using the ground connection thru the water piping and traveling to the neighboring houses. The ground bond on the water line was only connected to the house side of the meter and thus when he broke the connection he became the conductor in the circuit. When he was thrown clear of the meter (found unconscious on the floor) was when the damage happened to the appliances in the house. There is now a policy in the water servicing departments to manually connect a heavy jumper wire across all water meters when servicing then weather there is a jumper in place or not.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 11:00 AM
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I suppose I don't need one at water softner, bypass valve is stainless steel.
Stainless is a very poor electrical conductor. Unless I could read a low-resistance continuity through it I would jump across it.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 11:05 AM
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If your meter, filter and softener are all colocated, you could probably just as easily jump from the incoming pipe to the outgoing pipe. The foot or two between meter/filter/softener isn't a bonding concern.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 11:13 AM
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The filter and the softner are collocated but the water heater is 20' away.


Isnt the hot and cold supplies bonded at the fixtures?
 
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Old 04-01-14, 03:02 PM
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How do you properly read a multimeter for continuity? Thru all these appliances I get the audible indication that there continuity before and after the appliance, however, I am unclear when I switch it to the OHM setting on what I need to understand.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 03:59 PM
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Switch your meter to resistance (ohms), look at the dial or display, keep your ears an eyes open. Touch the two probes together.

Whatever display and sound you get with the two probes touching, that's the signal your meter gives for continuity.

That said, most meters aren't built to accurately measure actual resistance, and you have to know what to make of the results when they are.

I would install a jumper across that stainless steel section. In fact, I would have already done it and moved on.

Here's a Table of Electrical Resistivity and Conductivity that a friend of mine posted. Check out where stainless steel is in it. Check out where any kind of steel is in it. And be sure to check out where copper is.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 08:04 PM
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A while back, here in town, a city water dept worker was seriously injured when he was changing out a malfunctioning water meter. As soon as he unthreaded one of the bibs and broke the connection. he was seriously electrically shocked to the point where he had to be admitted to the hospital.
That's a real hazard, but the consequences are usually worse when it's a gas meter that is being removed.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 08:02 AM
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I did the water heater now I need to get some wire and clamps for the softener/filter.

Theres two points I attach the two clamps before and after the softener/filter. The best place would leave about 3' of copper pipe in the middle. The not so best place would only leave about 1'.

Does that added length of the copper between the clamps make a difference?
 
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Old 04-02-14, 09:16 AM
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Does that added length of the copper between the clamps make a difference?
Only if that section might pick up ungrounded power and have no path to ground.

Assuming that both your WH and softener are slectric appliances, I can see how that might happen, so... what if you added a clamp with pass-through bonding lug in the middle?
 
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Old 04-02-14, 11:20 AM
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In regards to the waterheater, it is gas, with dielectric unions. I assume the hot and cold are bonded anyway thru the fixtures so perhaps this is overkill/cheap insurance?

In regards to the softener/filter..... Im using standard grounding clamp, not pass thru lugs. I was getting continuity without grounding clamps anyway. So I don't understand, wouldn't the portion between the clamps still go to ground? Adding the jumper was just insurance because of the stainless bypass in the softener and I presume stainless threads in the filter.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 01:27 PM
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Adding the jumper was just insurance because of the stainless bypass in the softener and I presume stainless threads in the filter.
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
Stainless is a very poor electrical conductor.

Here's a Table of Electrical Resistivity and Conductivity that a friend of mine posted. Check out where stainless steel is in it. Check out where any kind of steel is in it. And be sure to check out where copper is.
In regards to the waterheater, it is gas, with dielectric unions. I assume the hot and cold are bonded anyway thru the fixtures so perhaps this is overkill/cheap insurance?
No. The special unions required for connecting the water pipes to a gas water heater are made to isolate the heater from electrical current. They're insulators. The cold water piping runs right past the heater, so that's no problem. But the hot water piping begins at the heater. Unless there's a jumper installed to bond the hot water pipe to the cold water pipe at that point, any loose current that gets onto ta hot water pipe in your house doesn't have a low-resistance path to ground. It just stays there until it finds one, which might be through someone's body.

Humans are excellent conductors of electricity.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 01:56 PM
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No. The special unions required for connecting the water pipes to a gas water heater are made to isolate the heater from electrical current. They're insulators. The cold water piping runs right past the heater, so that's no problem. But the hot water piping begins at the heater. Unless there's a jumper installed to bond the hot water pipe to the cold water pipe at that point, any loose current that gets onto ta hot water pipe in your house doesn't have a low-resistance path to ground. It just stays there until it finds one, which might be through someone's body.
Then why is that usually a local requirement if at all? From what I see, NEC doesn't require the jumper at the water heater?

I assumed the dielectric unions on a water heater were to isolate dis-similar metal.
 
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