House Not Grounded - Questions

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  #1  
Old 06-12-14, 12:27 PM
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House Not Grounded - Questions

While running new wire to my AC condenser I dug up this fat (4awg) wire in the dirt with about 1/2" exposed at the end and laid in about 2" of dirt. Turns out it was my main ground wire, and nothing is bonded to my (all copper) plumbing either. 200A service FWIW.

I don't care for wiring anything bigger than 10ga, so I'll likely hire this job out but want to do what I can and get a plan here.

Questions:
1) I understand the plumbing should be my main ground, but do I have to bond to it as it enters the home? My box is on the far end of the home from where the plumbing enters, and 80' of #4 will not be cheap or easy to run. I have a pipe 8' from the box if I can bond that.

Edit: It sounds like I need to connect the wire to within 5' of the plumbing entrance. Should I wire the ground rod to that connection in series, thus having the ground rod near where the plumbing enters (without hitting it of course)?

Also, does it matter which side of the meter the wire is bonded?


2) Is touching that #4 wire in the dirt dangerous?

Thanks in advance!
 

Last edited by BQuicksilver; 06-12-14 at 12:48 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-14, 01:41 PM
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Normally the wire to the water and wire to the ground rod are separate. Both wires are required to be continuous which can complicate wiring them in series. Also the wire to the ground rod is never required to be larger than #6 copper.

does it matter which side of the meter the wire is bonded?
It should be bonded to the main panel.

2) Is touching that #4 wire in the dirt dangerous?
It shouldn't be if it is connected to the main panel neutral bus.
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-14, 02:44 PM
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Thanks!

So you're saying that I need to run 1 80' 4AWG wire to the plumbing entrance, as well as a 6AWG wire to a ground rod?

The comment "Both wires are required to be continuous which can complicate wiring them in series" left me a little confused. It seems like bonding to my plumbing with a "pass through/series" type of connection out to the ground rod would be easiest. Are you suggesting to 2 ground wires coming from my electrical box (a 6 to the ground rod and a 4 to the plumbing?).

As far as the "meter" goes, I meant the water meter, not the poco meter. Apologies for the confusion, and thank you for the reply.
 
  #4  
Old 06-12-14, 07:10 PM
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Are you suggesting to 2 ground wires coming from my electrical box (a 6 to the ground rod and a 4 to the plumbing?).
That was the recommendation; #6 copper to the ground rod and #4 copper to within 5 feet of the water service entering the house and jumpered around the water meter and PRV valve. You can substitute #2 aluminum for the water service ground.
 
  #5  
Old 06-13-14, 06:23 AM
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The ground connection location maybe up to the POCO around here it must be in the meter socket,and the supplemental ground dose not have to be continuous , are you sure you didn't slice the # 4 when you were digging ? Have you checked the water meter to be sure there isn't a # 4 connected there?
Geo
 
  #6  
Old 06-14-14, 11:10 AM
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Definitely not connected to/near the meter (basement unfinished so it's all exposed), and I was just digging loose dirt with my hand, so no damage. I did dig around a bit to see if I knocked it loose from a hidden ground rod.

Remaining Question:
- I only have one big lug on the ground/neutral bars of my main electrical box (neutral uses other). Currently the #4 wire described above is attached there, but how to I interconnect everything since I will have 1) #4 to water service entrance, 2) #6 to ground rod, 3) #6? to an intersystem grounding bridge.

How do I connect all this with one free lug?
 
  #7  
Old 06-14-14, 11:23 AM
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Just use another hole in the bus. The 2 GEC doe not need to be spliced directly to each other.

The intersystem bond bridge will attach to the GEC on the way to the rod.

Arlington | Intersystem Grounding Bridges
Arlington | Product Videos
 
  #8  
Old 06-14-14, 11:39 AM
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Thanks pcboss, tolyn , and everyone who helped me here!

I have exactly that intersystem bridge in the mail.

You're right, a #6 could easily fit on the bus, I just assumed it couldn't.
 
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