Do I need to ground my copper pipes?


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Old 07-25-06, 10:29 AM
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Do I need to ground my copper pipes?

The electrical system in my house is not grounded to the copper tubing. All the outlets, lights, etc, are grounded with a ground wire back to the electrical panel. Do I still need to ground my copper water supply lines? I get water from a rural water supply, but there is a plastic tube coming into the house. I wondered if the copper has some transient voltage that grounding helps with?

Thanks
Chris
 
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Old 07-25-06, 02:00 PM
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Leave the electrical the way it is. Many areas now prohibit grounding to the plumbing system. Most require a ground rod outside the house. Good luck.
 
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Old 07-25-06, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by majakdragon
Leave the electrical the way it is. Many areas now prohibit grounding to the plumbing system. Most require a ground rod outside the house.
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but since I've spent quite a bit of time in the electrical forums as well, I've learned quite a bit about grounding/bonding. I believe most people would highly recommend bonding all metal systems in your house including the plumbing supply system. If the main into the house is metal, all the better, but at least it will ensure there won't be a voltage differential between a faucet and electrical items in the house.

As you said, you certainly need a ground rod (or rods - two are usually recommended) as an underground water main can not replace the house's ground rod.

-Mike
 
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Old 07-26-06, 02:15 AM
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At one time it was common pratice to use the water system for THE ground if the connection could be made near the meter base. This was OK in the 60's at least where I lived. You cant do THAT now

Makes sense that they should be bonded because there will be the connections through things like water heater, garbage disposals, and well pumps any way. Check with local code on this but I am pretty sure the restriction Majak mentioned is in using the water system as the sole ground.
 
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Old 07-26-06, 01:57 PM
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NEC 250.104 (A)(1) requires bonding of the water piping system to the equip serv enclosure, the grounded conductor at the service, the grounding electrodeconductor if of sufficient size, or to one or more of the grounding electrodes used.

While this is the NEC, each individual jurisdiction is allowed to make their own rules.

If the area accepts the NEC as their code, then it is required that it be bonded to one of the electrical service bonding/grounding points unless excepted out of their local code.
 
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Old 07-26-06, 05:13 PM
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Thanks guys. I think I may have conveyed the problem improperly. Currently my electrical is NOT grounded to the water system. My electrical system has its own grounds. I am wondering though if I need to ground the copper water pipes as they are not grounded since I have a plastic pipe coming in from the rural water. I was wondering if I can just connect a ground from a close circuit to the pipes for this or if something else it needed. Maybe I don't need to do anything.

Thanks
Chris
 
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Old 07-26-06, 05:25 PM
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In this situation the proper term is BOND (not "ground") the pipes.

Unless otherwise required by your LOCAL code the hot, cold, sewer (if metal) and gas lines along with HVAC metal ducts should all be bonded to the electrical grounding electrode conductor as close to the grounding electrode as possible.
 
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Old 07-26-06, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris611
Thanks guys. I think I may have conveyed the problem improperly. Currently my electrical is NOT grounded to the water system. My electrical system has its own grounds. I am wondering though if I need to ground the copper water pipes as they are not grounded since I have a plastic pipe coming in from the rural water. I was wondering if I can just connect a ground from a close circuit to the pipes for this or if something else it needed. Maybe I don't need to do anything.

Thanks
Chris
I didn't misunderstand anything. I merely posted where in the Nat's Elect Code that REQUIRES you to bond your metal piping to your electrical system.

My post states that you need to bond the piping

1. at the electrical service enclosure (service disconnect panel); or;

2.the grounded (neutral) conductor at the panel;or;

3.to the grounding electrode conducor if of sufficient size.; or;
(a GEC is often to do this IF the GEC only connects to the ground rods. There is a requirement per NEC for a particular size conductor (wire) depending upon what is being connected and the service size (amperage) the "close circuit will absolutely not be of the correct size

4.to one or more of the grounding electrodes

So, unless there is a local code that allows you to NOT do this, you HAVE to do it.


As well, furd's post is correct that you have to bond any and all of the systems he posted.
 
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Old 07-27-06, 04:43 AM
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Thanks guys. I will get the pipes bonded to make the system safe.

Chris
 
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Old 07-27-06, 05:32 AM
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check your local codes first to be sure its allowed .
 
 

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