grounding neutral from panel?

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  #1  
Old 03-12-15, 04:00 PM
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grounding neutral from panel?

in my crawl space the white wire from the panel is clamped to the galvanized water line. I am about to begin replacing all this water line with pex pipe as this will be a rental unit in the future. How or what do I bond to now? there is a steel beam running the length of the house sitting on (welded) three 4x4 steel tubes that are anchored on cement footings. To reach this beam I would need to splice the white wire. can this be done and be legal? there is also a concrete stub wall that will not be insulated in the area that could be reached without a splice, could a bracket we anchored to this cement wall and the white wire attached there? Do I need to drive a ground rod (there is no room) or do I need to bury a rod horizontally? What are the legal options here?
 
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Old 03-12-15, 04:19 PM
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in my crawl space the white wire from the panel is clamped to the galvanized water line.
There should never be a white wire connected to a water pipe. You need two ground rods with a #6 green or bare copper continuous to the first then the second. If this is the first breaker box the green goes to the neutral bar. The rods may be driven at 45 or burred horizontally. Rods need to be a minimum of " x 8'.
 
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Old 03-12-15, 04:38 PM
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ok, i assumed this wire comes from the panel (it is a number 6) i will check and see if i can trace it to the panel. this panel has been converted to a sub panel (i think) i will explain better if i can tell it as you can understand it.

this building is fed with 3 phase, there are multiple disconnects for equipment in the shop and then there are a couple of step down transformers to get to 220 single phase, once there it is fed to a panel that runs all the 110/220 in the shop. there is a large breaker in this panel that feeds a panel for the house (this is where i discovered the white wire attached to the water line) i will look tomorrow to see if i can find if this panel has a ground rod driven into the earth, i know the first panel has one as it has the bare wire you talked about just outside the building hooked to a rod.
 
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Old 03-12-15, 06:09 PM
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I'm a little confused. You have a shop with a three phase service. You have a transformer in your shop feeding a three phase 120/208v sub panel. Then in this sub panel you have a 2P breaker feeding an underground line to your house panel ?
 
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Old 03-12-15, 06:19 PM
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This sounds well out of the scope of both this forum and a diy. If this is commercial it probably requires a licensed and insured contractor.
 
  #6  
Old 03-12-15, 06:54 PM
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this little house is attached to the shop, this shop was my fathers and now I have inherited it. yes it is a three phase service stepped down (I think twice) to end up with a 220 single phase panel in the shop and then a sub panel in the house (this is all in one building) and it is in rural Ontario and classed as "residential special" If I need to hire and electrician I will but I though all I had to do was move this grounding clamp from the water line to a new ground rod or the steel beam. the 3 phase lines happened to go down the side road to go to a sewage treatment plant and my father put in for his hobby.
 
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Old 03-12-15, 07:01 PM
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The shop and house is one building ?
If the house is inside the same building as the shop then the subpanel that feeds the house shouldn't need a separate ground connection. It should be a subpanel and all the driven and water grounds should be at the three phase service. Your transformers need to be bonded to building ground/steel also.
 
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Old 03-12-15, 07:07 PM
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Is the 3-phae wye (star) or delta. If I am reading you correctly is it 480 wye and you have a center tapped secondary transformer that provides 240/120. Is that correct? Most of the pros here it seems see more delta then wye so best to be specific so they know what they are dealing with. But as said a commercial electrician should do the actual work.
 
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Old 03-12-15, 07:24 PM
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im not sure of star or delta, I will ask my dad when I visit him at the home. I am quite sure everything is (was) according to code as I remember the inspector being there every week because he kept having to go somewhere to find out what size of heaters some of the motors required when ever my father came across another piece of equipment. that was his hobby, refurbishing old war time equipment and making it run as new, lathes, milling machines, drill presses etc. also I think I will have a master electrician give it a once over as well. I will come back and let you all know what his findings are. Thanks for everything so far.
 
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Old 03-12-15, 09:12 PM
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Water lines are an acceptable means of grounding up here. But the ground wire has to reach the city side of the meter and be clamped on either side of the meter so if the meter is removed, you still have continuity in your ground. Commercially, we have to bond the building, water lines, and gas lines.
OP, you do not have to use ground rods if you are not able to. You can bury a ground plate 600mm (minimum, deeper if you wish) from grade.
The white wire used as a ground is odd. If this is indeed your ground from your panel, tape it green. Also check where you telephone service enters your property, it could be the ground for your phone system, although I doubt it due to the size of the wire.
 
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Old 03-14-15, 04:56 AM
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ok, I spoke with my father and an electrician and checked in the panel as well.
the service is wye and my father says is rated at 550 volts. I looked in the panel and it is wired as a sub panel and the ground and neutral are separate, the white wire is NOT a neutral but is used as a ground and is fastened to the ground going back to the main panel. The electrician said when the house was built (early 70's) it may not have been best practice but was acceptable to use this wire. As I am not changing anything other than the location I do not need to change the wire, but I could put some green tape on it. I have also installed a new furnace with a gas line, he suggested I put the ground on this line as it is reachable with the existing wire then where the gas line runs by the hot water tank to use a proper ground wire and clamps, and use a jumper to the copper pipes there to ground the water system. I trust this as being correct

thanks everyone
 
  #12  
Old 03-14-15, 05:59 AM
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Gas line not accepted in the 2014 NEC as a grounding electrode in the USA ,although the gas line should be bonded to it,not sure in Canada.

Geo
 
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Old 03-14-15, 04:03 PM
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Geo,
Same rules apply up here. The OP, I believe, is talking about the old water lines being "bonded" and the new gas line being "bonded", not "grounded".
 
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Old 03-14-15, 04:52 PM
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yes bonded, sorry for my silly wording
 
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