Ground Wire Laying On Dirt

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I had an electrician over and asked about grounding an outlet (early '60s house with grounded wire only to baths and kitchen).
This was an outside wall with a water pipe faucet near. He said he could just poke a hole through the wall and run the ground wire to the pipe and attach it there. So he does this and I end up with a green ground wire coming out of the wall about a foot up. He then said he could just have it go straight down to the ground and then over to the pipe, which is about 6 feet away. I was surprised when he offered to just make a very shallow impression in the dirt and then just cover directly with dirt. So basically it is just put on the ground with a little dirt thrown on it. I did ask if this was code and he said "sure" (just so you know, he is licensed and has been around for years).
Well now I don't feel so comfortable with this. Is it ok to have a wire like that in/on dirt with no hard weatherproof casing? Is this considered normal practice for a ground wire?
Interested in opinions on this and what problem(s), if any, would you be concerned about. Note: to be clear, this is not bare copper, it does have the green sleeve.
-- John
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Get a new electrician you ground to the house ground which should be a copper ground cable near your panel. If you are having no promblem with shorts just ground the new plug switchs or whatever to the ground screw of you boxes in the wall, then install gfi pugs which are manditory in these parts ,
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The wire itself is fine for retrofitting a ground conductor to a non grounded outlet. Connecting it to an internal water pipe was acceptable at one time but isn't anymore. It can be connected to any part of your electric service's grounding electrode system, including the first five feet of metal water pipe, where it enters the building

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Are you saying that you have no problem with the wire laying on the dirt, but just a problem with where it is connected?
What is so special about "the first five feet of metal water pipe, where it enters the building."
I should note that this particular water outlet runs from the water supply entry then under a concrete slab (garage) then up and on the wall. So if it's the fear of someone replacing a part of it with plastic, that is not going to likely happen (rest of house has crawlspace with opportunity for changes). Also, the phone company grounded the phone service with a clamp on this pipe also (in 1960).
RBM wrote:

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The problem with it laying in the dirt is just sloppiness. The first five feet of a buildings underground water supply is part of the grounding electrode system, which grounds everything electrical in the building. Internal piping is not necessarily contiguous

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Now I am confused about something. When you say "the first five feet of a buildings water supply", do you mean the first five feet AFTER it enters the building or BEFORE it enters the building?
I assumed this meant after entering the building. If that is true, then I could see where you could go into the crawlspace and have access to that pipe to connect a ground clamp. But if you mean before the building, how in the world could this be done without excavating the area before it enters the building?
RBM wrote:

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The first five feet after it enters the building,of metal water pipe, along with the required driven ground rods and sometimes other things as well, are the grounding electrode system, which grounds your electric service. A separately run grounding conductor can be run and attached from the non grounded existing receptacle, to any point along the grounding electrode system. This also includes the neutral/ground bar in your service panel

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RBM wrote:

The attachement of an electrical ground to the water pipes is for the purpose of neutralizing the hazard due to the plumbing system - it has nothing to do with the integrity of the electrical system.
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John,
You've been cheated. That outlet is not safely or correctly grounded if you description is correct. Ask the "electrician" when he's going to install the grounding rod. Bare wire is ok, not having a grounding rod isn't. A little dirt thrown around a wire does not make a ground. 8 ft. of grounding rod pounded into the ground is the usual way.
Dave M
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David Martel wrote:

I think there may be some confusion here about the wire in the dirt "being the ground." To be clear, the wire ends up on a clamp that is affixed to the water pipe. My concern was with the wire being directly on dirt (not that just putting wire in dirt would ground something).
OK, just re-read your answer and you said the bare wire was ok. So you are not against the wire laying on dirt, but are only opposed to where it is connected? Just to make sure, suppose he drove in a ground rod at the other end of the house and ran the ground wire on the ground under the house with just some dirt thrown on it. Would that be OK with you?
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John Ross wrote:

At best, he grounded the pipe, not the outlet.
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HeyBub wrote:

Can you explain what you mean? I know it is not thought highly of here, but I thought that grounding to a metal water pipe would give a ground. And like I said before, the phone company grounded the phone system to the exact pipe!
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wrote:

That's not an electrician, it's a nutcase. DONT PAY THE FUCKER. Tell him if he wants to be paid to come and do it right. If he refuses, and if you already paid him, call your local building inspector and show them the job and your receipt from this asshole. His license will be revoked.
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.@... wrote:

Again, I want to be clear and point out that the wire DOES end up on a clamp on a water pipe (I didn't mean to suggest he was grounding it by just putting the wire in the dirt). Did you understand that or are you saying the laying the ground wire on the dirt would "get his license revoked?"
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wrote:

It has to be grounded to the grounding bond IN THE MAIN PANEL. The pipe may or may not be a "usable" ground. If it connects to plastic pipe or has a dialectric union, you have no ground. If this is a gas pipe, this is even worse. Either way, this is NOT legal according to the code. His license should be revoked for violating the code. No other reasons are needed. I am not an electrician, but even "I" know more than the asshole that claims to be your electrician. How do you know he is even a licensed electrician? Did you see his license? If he really has one, it should be revoked.
It's not even legal to run a green wire alongside of a non-grounded romex to the breaker box grounding bond. However, that is at least safe and to be honest, I think it should be legal. But the code is the code and you got an "electrician" who is an idiot. Sounds to me like he's be better working as a garbage man or paperboy.
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.@... wrote:

You are wrong on just about every point.
Bob
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Look in the 05 Nec under receptacle replacements, and ultimately you will see: 250.130C
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John Ross wrote:

It actually might be OK if it's 6 gauge solid wire (or if the wire was protected by a conduit) and it connects to the main water supply line with a listed clamp.
From your description, it's probably not kosher but it's probably not dangerous either. And it's not clear if the green wire does anything at all. Is it actually connected to a water pipe?
Bob
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If the water pipe all metal to the feed and is grounded it will probably work.
I don't know if it is code or not.
But if it is a bare wire, I would worry about corrosion after a few years of the wire where it touches the dirt.
Mark
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Mark wrote:

I don't understand what you mean by "and is grounded." I thought the ground was achieved because the metal water pipe goes for a long distance and deep into the ground.

call it). Do you consider that a "bare wire"
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