Grounding straps on water meters

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Got this email from a friend in Columbus, Ohio. Can anyone explain why the straps were installed in the new homes.
There's a solid copper, heavy wire across my water meter. This puts the water pipes in my house at "ground" potential. Over the years, I've depended on that to find a convenient ground when I was working on things.
One of my Tuesday Crew buddies discovered yesterday that there are ground straps in the house we are building for Habitat. The problem is that the water line from the street is plastic, and the lines in the house are PEX. Either the plumber doesn't understand or the code still calls for grounding straps.
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The electrical code no longer allows using water pipes as an electrical ground, in part because plastic water service lines are quite common these days. The local plumbing code may still call for a jumper across the meter, but there's really no point in new construction. Obviously, doesn't hurt, just rather pointless.
Paul
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Paul Franklin wrote:

as the grounding electrode (along with ground rings and other electrodes if present). If water pipe is used, 1 or 2 ground rods are required as supplemental electrodes. Metal water service pipe is a much better ground than rods. Supplemental rods are required because metal water service pipes can be replaced with plastic in the future. The NEC requireds a bond across the water meter and an electrician would install it. -------------- In another post someone suggested that when all the pipe is plastic the bond across the meter should be made with nylon rope.
Bud--
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On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 13:40:38 -0400, Paul Franklin

The pipe system still needs to BE grounded, in the event that a wire shorts to a metallic pipe. The pipe system, however is not to be used to function as the SOURCE of ground for the electrical system. There is no way to guarantee that future work or modifications on a new house will not include adding or removing metallic pipes.
rusty redcloud
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wrote:

grounded is not really the term I would use, I would use bonded. Metallic piping systems are to be bonded to the electrical system in most places.
Phoenix once tried to get electricians to put jumpers on sprinkler pipes in commerical work. Needless to say it the ink hardly dried before the complaints and lawsuits started. Sounds to me like the code was written last century and the city has not updated the section. Where I live the water meter is fed from concrete pipe. So there is only a short distance of metallic pipe involved. New construction is all plastic. The inspectors install a tag saying as much.
in the event that a wire

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Decade plus past, the water pipe was not acceptable for grounding. However a connection must be made to water pipe where that pipe enters the building to remove electricity from water pipe. Electricity from inside or outside the house. This is a requirement of all incoming utilities. Utilities must make a connection to the building's earth ground where entering a building. This bonding requirement for a gas line is subject to local gas company requirements.
An electrical connection to water pipe is only to remove electricity. Even water can be a conductor, depending on the type of electricity. Therefore bonding is a good idea, even if not required, to have incoming water also connect to a building's single point earthing.
That wire to water pipe is to remove electricity from the pipe. It is called bonding - not grounding. Bonding is also required in other places such as between the hot and cold water (metal) pipes entering a hot water heater.
"Red Cloud" wrote:

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Water does not conduct electricity. Please give me a good laugh and describe the special "types" of electricity that would be conducted by H2O.

It doesn't matter at all what you call it, I DESCRIBED it clearly. Only an extremely anal retentive pedant would argue with what I wrote. Everyone else knew exactly what I meant without knowing or even thinking that bonding and grounding were exclusive terms. (For the record, they aren't)
rusty redcloud

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wrote:

house conducts somewhat more, depending on the dissolved solids. See http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae61.cfm .
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-snip-

Perhaps you can explain how my 'high water alarm' in my sump hole works. [and it *does* work] It consists of a couple leads that end at high-water level about 6 inches apart in the hole. If water gets up to them it completes the circuit. [or in the case of non-conducting water, some other force is at work] I thought this was DC electricity [9v in my case] being conducted by water.
I would assume then that all those warnings about dropping a toaster in the bathtub just apply to the old iron tubs with chipped porcelain? I always thought they were telling us that AC electricity can be conducted by water, too.
Jim
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wrote:

Pure H2O does not conduct electricity. Your sump does not contain pure H2O, and neither does your bathtub.
rusty redcloud
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I remember from my old school days that pure distilled water is a terrible conductor. However, mix some salt in, and it conducts very nicely.
Your sump water contains some dissolved, ionic salts.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Deja vu all over again!
That just reminded me that about 35 years ago while I was CE at Scully, I came up with an inexpensive portable water detector to measure the depth of the "water bottom" present in most gas station storage tanks and other large petroleum product tanks. It was much easier to use than smearing "water paste" on a stick and putting it in the tank long enough for the water to make it change color.
It was just a weighted bob on a wire with a coaxial conductivity probe at the bottom end and a simple battery powered circuit which produced a tone from a piezo speaker when the probe was in water. It didn't even have a power switch, as there was no battery current drain when the probe wasn't in water.
Remebering it now I just had to check, and by gosh they're still making and selling the damn things:
http://www.scully.com/cgi-bin/pdf/67039_desc.pdf
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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I learned this lesson some years ago when my cousin and I were about ten years old, and he urinated on an electric fence, thinking "water" didn't conduct electricity. Impure water conducts electricity shockingly well.
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What did your company do about it, when there was too much water? Some kind of pump that draws off the bottom of the tank?
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

That was outside of our company's activities, we just made and sold a lot of differnt kinds of small equipment for use by various sections of the petroleum storage and distribution industries.
The product which got the company started back in the 1930s, and is probably the one most familiar to folks with inquiring minds anywhere that fuel oil is used for home heating, was the "Ventalarm" whistling tank fill signal. A simple gadget that during a "fill" makes a whistle sound come out of the tank's vent pipe until the oil in the tank is a few inches below "full". When the oil truck driver hears that whistle stop, he knows its time to stop filling pronto or he'll have oil spraying out the vent pipe.
To answer your question... Yes, when the water level gets too high in a gas station's tank they drop a pipe down the "stick hole" all the way to the bottom and suck out the water. Usually that is done by a service company, not the gas station personnel themselves.
The suction lines for the "gas pumps" don't go down all the way to the bottom of the storage tanks, so a fair amount of water can sit down there without screwing up your ride.
Home fuel oil tanks are subject to the same "water bottom" condition, which can cause an oil burner flameout just when you need heat the most.
I designed a floating fuel oil pickup combined with a tank level gage for those home tanks. The fuel oil gets drawn from about one inch below the surface, keeping it clear of the water and sludge on the tank bottom for as long as possible. I wanted to name it "The Scully Topsucker", but the boss wouldn't hear of it so we called it "The Snorkel". They're still making that one too.
I never did satisfy the first SWMBO's hopes that I'd someday make the cover of TIME magazine. But just for laffs, I kept this trade journal magazine cover showing "My Topsucker" and me:
http://home.comcast.net/~jwisnia18/temp/tankstuff.jpg
Jeff - Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented."
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"Red Cloud" wrote:

Lightning. Your apology for being wrong is expected.
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If I was wrong, I would apologize. Since I am right, you can go pound sand, wacky_tom.
rusty redcloud
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When one really has insufficient technical knowledge, that Red Cloud then posts insults. This post for the benefit of lurkers. If he cannot post technical reasons for his opinion, then he probably said, "Nobody expected the levees to be breached". When do we tire of those who post without first learning reality - who must then post insults?
"Red Cloud" wrote:

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Once again, Wacky_Tom shows that he lacks "The right stuff". He posts insults complaining about other people insulting him. He posts garbage.
He used to post over and over that lightning strikes happen ever 8 years like clockwork. He finally stopped that nonsense, but now he has new nonsense. Don't ever triust anythiong he says. He is a religious zealot with a narrow agenda. You have been warned!
rsuty redcloud
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When a poster does not possess sufficient technical grasp, then he may post insults, misrepresent facts that he never comprehended, AND attack the messenger. Below is a classic example.
"Red Cloud" wrote:

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