How to Attach a Jumper Wire around a Water Meter

A water meter.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-30
What You'll Need
2 'U' Type grounding clamps
#6 bare copper wire
Measuring tape
Wire pliers
Wire cutters

If you use your home's main water pipe to ground the electrical system (and many homes do), you should attach a jumper wire around the water meter in order to provide a better path for the electricity ground path. If no jumper wire is installed, a surge in electricity could cause damage to the water meter in some cases. Installing a jumper wire on your home's main water pipe is easy, and this simple step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to know.

Step 1 - Find the Water Meter

First, you'll need to locate your home's water meter. In most cases, the water meter will be located in front of your home facing the street. It will also usually be located at the lowest point in your home. If for some reason you're unable to locate the water meter, contact your local water company and ask them.

Step 2 - Disassemble 'U' Type Grounding Clamps

Disassemble the 'U' type grounding clamps by removing the screws that hold the mounting bar to the 'U' section of the clamps. Do this for both grounding clamps.

Step 3 - Attach the 'U' Clamps to the Water Main Pipe

After you have disassembled the grounding clamps, you need to place one about 6 inches on either side of the water meter. Once you have the grounding clamps correctly positioned, use a screwdriver to tighten down the screws.

Step 4 - Cut the Copper Wire to Length

Measure the distance between the two grounding clamps. Then, add 6 inches or so to that total. Next, take the wire cutters and cut a piece of #6 bare copper wire to the measurement between the clamps plus an additional 6 inches. The additional 6 inches of bare copper wire is needed to arch around the water meter and provide enough clearance so that the water meter will not be damaged in the event of a surge or other electrical problem.

Step 5 - Prepare the Wire for Installation

Before you connect the bare copper wire to the grounding clamps, you should first take a pair of wire pliers and bend hooks on both ends of the wire that are about 1/2 inch long. You can connect the wire to the terminal screw without doing this; however, this will help to ensure that the wire does not work itself loose and fall out of the grounding clamps.

Step 6 - Connect the Copper Wire to the Grounding Clamps

Use a screwdriver to loosen the terminal screw on top of the grounding clamp. Then, inside the open end of the book in the hole beneath the bottom of the screw and tighten it down with a screwdriver. Repeat the process for the other grounding clamp.

Step 7 - Arrange the Wire

Finally, pull the copper wire away from the water meter as much as possible without creating too much tension on the copper wire. Ensure that the open end of the arch faces the rear of the water meter.