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cold water ground.....

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  • cold water ground.....

    What's the latest on homes that do not have metal cold water pipes? Say your home is plumbed with Wisbro-Pex . You have Pex from the water meter to the exterior of the house, then a short run of copper from trench to the exterior wall. The rest of the house is all Pex
    and the only copper is the manifold system and stub outs. The water heater is a gas model.

    Do you still need to attach a ground wire to the plumbing system? If so...do you simply grab a ground from a receptacle box and tie it to the copper manifold?


    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: cold water ground.....

    That issue has been ongoing for years. That's why I am a big fan of Ufer grounds for new construction. Before the concrete floor is poured in the basement, just run a #4 copper wire from the panel, to a ground rod driven nearby, then just run the wire out along the dirt, and idealy bond it to any rebar or wire mesh. Once the concrete is poured, you can't get a better ground than that, even better than driven rods.

    Ok, enough veering off course, unfortunately, there really isn't any hard answer for that issue. Best course of action, ask whomever is the "Authority Having Juristition". Meaning the electrical inspector.

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    • #3
      Re: cold water ground.....

      If you want to go to the letter of the code, any section of exposed metal piping in the home has to be grounded. Any copper manifold, any short sections of copper, whatever, are supposed to be grounded. Plastic pipe has made grounding a real pain the butt. We have some inspectors here that enforce it rather strictly.

      Jeff

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      • #4
        Re: cold water ground.....

        Originally posted by piette View Post
        If you want to go to the letter of the code, any section of exposed metal piping in the home has to be grounded. Any copper manifold, any short sections of copper, whatever, are supposed to be grounded. Plastic pipe has made grounding a real pain the butt. We have some inspectors here that enforce it rather strictly.

        Jeff
        Yeah, but that is the problem, even if you bond every copper stub-up, cold water line, or feed for the water heater to eachother and the panel ground, as long as the water main to the house is non-metalic, there is no way to create that secondary grounding means at all.

        However, there is a work around, as I stated before, a Ufer ground, prior to the concrete pour, that is bonded to the rebar system or wire mesh, satisfies both the primary and secondary grounding requirements.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: cold water ground.....

          Generally after a replumb you should install an 8' grounding rod.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: cold water ground.....

            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
            Generally after a replumb you should install an 8' grounding rod.

            Mark
            Course that depends on soil conditions. If the area is a dry climate, driving a rod rod will do nothing at all. When I was in the mid-east, ground rods did nothing at all. The only way to get a ground was to drill through the earth until moisture was found. I remember one such ground for a 11KV transformer had to be drilled for 1500 feet into the earth.

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            • #7
              Re: cold water ground.....

              Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
              Course that depends on soil conditions. If the area is a dry climate, driving a rod will do nothing at all.
              To some degree, I'm inclined to agree with you, but then wouldn't that kind of condition also render your suggested "ground to rebar" (in basement floor) also somewhat non-functional?

              CWS

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: cold water ground.....

                Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
                I remember one such ground for a 11KV transformer had to be drilled for 1500 feet into the earth.
                Man, that is one looong ground rod.....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: cold water ground.....

                  If moist earth is sought after for a good ground, and you shouldn't swim during a lightning storm because water conducts, why do you need all those grounds on a water system? Isn't the pipe filled with water? Doesn't water conduct? So shouldn't every section of pipe in the system that is connected electrically (not physically) be at the same potential?

                  I know this goes against what is required but I want to understand why it's you can't do it that way. Is it because the pipe may not always be filled with water such as when drained for maintenance or repairs?
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: cold water ground.....

                    Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                    If moist earth is sought after for a good ground, and you shouldn't swim during a lightning storm because water conducts, why do you need all those grounds on a water system? Isn't the pipe filled with water? Doesn't water conduct? So shouldn't every section of pipe in the system that is connected electrically (not physically) be at the same potential?

                    I know this goes against what is required but I want to understand why it's you can't do it that way. Is it because the pipe may not always be filled with water such as when drained for maintenance or repairs?
                    It's funny you mention that. Ever notice the fish are still alive even during a lightning storm where a bolt hits the water? I remember during a flood, an electrical service at a river dock was completely submerged, yet it did not short out. Granted the meter was spinning like mad, but no arcy-sparky. Here is something you will find interesting: Pure water is an insulator, not conductive at all.

                    Also, just because there might be water in the pipe at one point, it may not even conduct, or even less, electricity may not even flow through it. Plus as you have said, say it does conduct, until someone drains it.

                    Believe it or not, when you see a copper wire, electricity only travels along it's surface.
                    Last edited by tailgunner; 04-21-2009, 05:51 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: cold water ground.....

                      the idea is to put ever thing on the same potential, (just like the fish in the lake, or a bird on a high voltage wire), that is why swimming pools and dairy barns are bonded and grounded on ever possible point including all the re bar, if there is stray voltage, (which may not be from the source of the panel) stray voltage can come from the power lines, and other sources,
                      At one time the basic thought was electricity will take the path of least resistance, and to a point it is true, but electricity will take all paths to complete the circuit, so say the power line make a U path around your property, it is possible that some of that voltage could be flowing in the earth right under your house, yes it is the "ground" but if for some reason (a swimming pool or in the case of a dairy, where cattle are very susceptible to micro differences of voltage) this stray voltage could create a problem, just as if a wire would some how wear through and short on a metal water pipe in the a home, if that pipe is insulated by plastic pipe some where and the valve it metal and that is where the wire shorted when you turn on the valve it may be the last thing you do, as you complete the circuit, so if it is bonded to the ground the electric is hopefully safely ground out and you never feel a thing hopefully tripping the breaker or GFCI.

                      adding things to water is what makes it conductive, salts or nearly any impurity will increase it conductivity,

                      many times ground rods are put in the drip line of the roof to help keep them moist, and it is not unusual to put in multiple ground rods in new construction to meet the code requirements,

                      and electricity can travel many feet when lighting strikes the earth, one day we had some dry lighting strikes (no rain at the time) near the buildings on the farm about 1/4 mile away was the closest one, it just so happened that my daughter was picking a flower at the time a bolt struck and she got an electrical shock from the flower,
                      Last edited by BHD; 04-20-2009, 10:40 PM.
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                      • #12
                        Re: cold water ground.....

                        electricity only travels along it's surface.
                        It's known as the 'skin effect', the majority of the current flows on the surface of the conductor, however some does flow inside. There are more holes for electrons to move through in the surface molecules.
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment

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