ELectrical ground at Water Meter?


Old 06-20-05, 03:10 PM
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ELectrical ground at Water Meter?

This involves electrical and plumbing so I will post it on both forums:

Where the main water line enters the house, there is a ground "jumper" around the water meter.

The brackets at either end appear to be brass, with a #6 copper stranded wire running from a bracket on the "city side" of the meter to a bracket on "my side" of the meter. Coming out of my side of the meter there is a short length of pipe (looks like brass?) attached to a short length of iron pipe, followed by a dielectric connector, and then copper pipe.

I assume because of the dielectric connector (which keeps the copper piping from coming into contact with the iron pipe), the jumper goes from iron pipe on the city side to the copper pipe on my side. BUT the iron pipe on my side of the meter (between the meter and the copper) has a whitish look to it, and there is some type of white corrosion that has formed on the copper water pipe where the ground wire bracket is attached.

It looks to me like something must be wrong here but I have no idea.

Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated! I could possibly post a picture.
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Old 06-20-05, 03:26 PM
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sounds like theres been a repipe and the plumber did not connect the jumper correctly.in my mind he should have went from the copper over to the city side of the meter.the dielectric fitting(union?)would break the contanuitity.is there really a union underground? i'm sorry you said connector.what does it look like? anyway hope this helps...good luck...and if i'm wrong about a million others will let me know about it.
Old 06-20-05, 03:37 PM
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Houses are usually grounded to the water lines regardless of what current codes call for. Your is probably no exception.

The standard, factory made meter set for an in-ground setting, has a bus bar integrated into it to keep the "grounded" wiring in continuous contact with the earth ground if or when the water meter is pulled or replaced. A standard safety practice for meter repairmen is to place a jumper wire from inlet side to outlet side when working on the meter so they do not become ground for bad wiring.

In your case, it does not sound like a factory made meter set. But the reason for the wire is the same. It provides an earth ground on the water line as it goes on out into the water main.

The white material usually happens when you have some corrision going on from dissimilar metals (galvanic) in contact with one another in a moist atmosphere.
Old 06-20-05, 04:42 PM
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It's sort of like this:

----------------------------white coating
city pipe.............................pipe.......union..........pipe
................................GROUND WIRE

(I had to add the dots to make this display right)

The iron pipe to the right of the meter has the whitish coating and white corrosion is on the copper pipe where the bracket is attached.

Last edited by jakeami; 06-21-05 at 11:37 AM.
Old 06-20-05, 06:33 PM
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grounded water pipe

looks pretty normal...is grounded this way so the meter can be replaced and your ground is not lost and your ground does not have to run through the meter....the corrosion at the joints could just be from not cleaning it whne they hooked it up....all this is mostly guessing..lol
Old 06-21-05, 12:40 AM
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The wire can prevent you from getting electrocuted if you remove the water meter.
Old 06-21-05, 11:40 AM
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I'm fine with the wire, and the plumbing connections all appear to be correct.

I'm concerned about the "corrosion" that seems to be forming where the ground bracket is attached to the copper pipe, and to a lesser extent the white "coating" that the iron pipe seems to have.
Old 06-21-05, 06:56 PM
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gently wire brush it off...wipe with warm soapy water and dry ..it is likely some sort of chemical reaction either caused by moisture or some sort of paste used when it was connected
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