My 1950s era house had a 100amp panel, with a grounding wire that ran to my
well and was clamped to the well casing. I hired a licensed electrician t
o upgrade to 200amp panel. He also installed 2-3 ground rods outside the h
ouse and connected from the new panel to them, AS WELL AS running from the
panel via a heavy wire (looks like #6 aluminum strand) clamped to the coppe
r water pipe downstream of my pressure tank. Notice... he didn't connect t
o the well casing, but to the piping on the "house" side of the pressure ta
nk, and the pressure tank is separated from the well casing by my pump and
black rubber hose (i.e. no electrical continuity). And he left the origina
l ground wire as-is on the well casing.
Never noticed all this until recently.
Is this correct?
Shouldn't there be a jumper cable to connect across the black rubber hose (
from the copper pipes to the well casing?)
Experienced advice appreciated.
On Tue, 8 Dec 2015 21:34:32 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
Would you settle for inexperienced advice? He thought 2-3 (which is
it) ground rods were more than enough, and he only connected the wire
because he thought you'd want it (Had you said anything about it?) and
he didn't pay attention to where he put it, or he didn't care,
because he thought the ground rods were enough. Are they?
On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 2:00:04 AM UTC-5, Micky wrote:
n to upgrade to 200amp panel. He also installed 2-3 ground rods outside th
e house and connected from the new panel to them, AS WELL AS running from t
he panel via a heavy wire (looks like #6 aluminum strand) clamped to the co
pper water pipe downstream of my pressure tank. Notice... he didn't connec
t to the well casing, but to the piping on the "house" side of the pressure
tank, and the pressure tank is separated from the well casing by my pump a
nd black rubber hose (i.e. no electrical continuity). And he left the orig
inal ground wire as-is on the well casing.
It's a code requirement, for obvious reasons, that the house metal
plumbing system be bonded to the grounding system. That bonding wire is
The OP said that the electrician left in place the original ground
wire going to the well pipe. Not clear if he means that he has it
connected to the new panel, but IMO it should be. It was already
there and is an additional grounding electrode.
On 12/8/2015 10:34 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The electrician is ensuring your house's *plumbing* is grounded.
Ages ago, houses picked up their "local earth" *through* the
water main. But, there are problems with that approach:
- the water meter can be removed which "opens" the connection to earth
(so, run a jumper across the meter's location to ensure galvanic
continuity even in its absence)
- whole house filters and softeners pose similar problems
- the water main may not be metallic (or for only part of the way)
- the interior plumbing may contain sections that are non metalic
- water pipes corrode (and, can do so at any place, not just one
that might be convenient electrically!)
The grounding rods ensure a reliable connection to earth regardless
of the state of the plumbing, water main, etc.
The electrician has no way of knowing if <someone> expected the
plumbing to have been this source of earth, previously. So, he
intentionally connects the plumbing to this "reliable earth"
that he has created to ensure any connections to those pipes
will make it to earth.
For similar reasons, a metal frame building would *also* find
an explicit connection of the building frame to that earth.
[Ductwork is required to be grounded in some commercial
settings to control the build-up of static charge]
I agree the ground rods are plenty. The pipes are grounded so they do
not somehow become electrically live. The ground wire is usually 6
gauge copper. If you jumper across that hose, are the pipes going to the
well metal? Usually they are plastic these days. If they are metal, it
wont hurt to add a jumper. But if the pipes to the well are plastic, you
wont gain anything.
Just curious. How did they have a wire connected to the well casing?
That's usually a 4 to 6" pipe. That would need one hell of a clamp.
You could also connect that wire from the casing to the grounding system
too. It cant hurt anything, but is not necessary.
Many thanks for all these excellent responses.
I checked this morning, it's 3 grounding rods outside.
The older, existing, grounding wire to the well casing is definitely less t
han #6. It's armored cable, and WITH the armor it looks like it's as thick
as a #6 conductor (without sheathing). Perhaps that's just the type of wi
re used to ground stuff in the 1950s? Anyhow, it's connected to the well c
asing with what looks like a bolt clamped onto the casing's top flange. As
far as I can tell, the other end of this original grounding wire is still
connected to the panel.
The underlying reason I ask all this is because I'm about to install a wate
r softener that would electrically insulate the section of copper pipe wher
e this grounding wire is connected to, making it irrelevant. Perhaps I sho
uld move this grounding wire downstream of the water softener? Or again, j
ump across it, AND across the pump to the well casing, such that all of my
plumbing is grounded. Thoughts? More importantly, any reason why I should
On Wed, 9 Dec 2015 04:44:34 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
Best practice is a single ground poit - with everything grounded to it
That ground needs to be a "contiguous" ground - no breaks. This means
you jumper the softener (unless it uses a brass bypass block and is
totally plumbed with soldered copper) and you jumper the pipe flex (to
ground the pump to the system) and you connect the house side of the
softener to the panel ground. You also jumper the gas pipe to ground
making sure the gasline is at ground potential as well - ground to
steel pipe, not soft copper or stainless flex. The phone and TV cable
systems should also be properly grounded.
On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 5:42:51 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrot
ick as a #6 conductor (without sheathing). Perhaps that's just the type of
wire used to ground stuff in the 1950s? Anyhow, it's connected to the wel
l casing with what looks like a bolt clamped onto the casing's top flange.
As far as I can tell, the other end of this original grounding wire is sti
ll connected to the panel.
here this grounding wire is connected to, making it irrelevant. Perhaps I
should move this grounding wire downstream of the water softener? Or again
, jump across it, AND across the pump to the well casing, such that all of
my plumbing is grounded. Thoughts? More importantly, any reason why I sho
Taken literally, that would imply that the well should not be connected
to the grounding system. And also that only one ground rod should be used.
The question was if the well pipe should also be part of the grounding syst
and NEC says "yes".
As long as your whole grounding system winds up at the main binding
jumper (the ground bus in the panel for simplicity) you do have a
single point ground and all of your other services should be bonded
there. (that is where the intersystem ground bus lands).
You may be buying some fat copper if the satellite dish is not close
by. The 10ga wire to the 3 foot copper nail the sat company uses is a
joke if you are worried about lightning.
On Thu, 10 Dec 2015 00:25:32 -0800 (PST), Uncle Monster
Yup, we take surge protection seriously here.
In my previous life as a Physical Planning Rep at IBM, we did not have
the luxury of telling our customers to unplug everything every time
there was a thunderstorm (pretty much every day in the summer) so we
needed to design systems that mitigated the damage. We got pretty good
at it. It can be summed up by saying you trap the surge and shunt it
into the ground. You use MOVs and chokes along with a lot of copper.
On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 6:49:25 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
thick as a #6 conductor (without sheathing). Perhaps that's just the type
of wire used to ground stuff in the 1950s? Anyhow, it's connected to the
well casing with what looks like a bolt clamped onto the casing's top flang
e. As far as I can tell, the other end of this original grounding wire is
still connected to the panel.
e where this grounding wire is connected to, making it irrelevant. Perhaps
I should move this grounding wire downstream of the water softener? Or ag
ain, jump across it, AND across the pump to the well casing, such that all
of my plumbing is grounded. Thoughts? More importantly, any reason why I
From the perspective of it being at one end of the house tied to the
panel it's single point. It's single point from the perspective of not
having another ground rod on the other side of the house, not directly
connected to the one at the panel. But if you have a couple of ground
rods and and a water pipe going to a well connected together, I'd say each
of those is in fact a ground point that forms a single ground *system*.
If there is current in the ground system, some will flow at each of
those separate ground points. And the
way it was brought up here, kind of implied that connecting the well
pipe would be a violation. But CL never addressed that, which was the
On Thu, 10 Dec 2015 04:32:24 -0800 (PST), trader_4
I dont think I have ever seen a well casing used as a ground, but it's
probably one of the best grounds someone could have. But it needs some
sort of attachment welded to the pipe to connect the wire, since most
casings are just plain pipe.
My well is a steel casing, but its not used as a ground. It's about 200
feet from my house, but near my garage, but the garage has no water
pipes. But all my pipes are underground poly-plastic, right up to the
house. Inside the house, the original pipes were copper and they were
grounded, but they are no longer used since I've changed to CPVC pipes.
And the drain pipes were always PVC. The remaining copper pipes which
froze one too many times before I lived here, still exist underneath the
house, so they are still grounded.
On Thu, 10 Dec 2015 13:18:12 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The idea started when simply connecting to the metal water pipe picked
up the well casing. Plastic made that moot and I doubt anyone has used
a metal well casing in years. they all seem to be PVC.
They do make pipe clamps that will work though if you have metal and
want to use it.
That far away I would not call it "available".
I have not read the NEC code in years and dont have a current book, but
even in the 90's they required at least 2 ground rods. Some areas are
different, this depends on soil conditions, and local codes too. So
requiring 3 or more rods is possible.
More ground rods, or a well casing, or any other metal contacting the
soil just adds to the "system". When it comes to grounding, MORE IS
BETTER. Just as long as they all go to the ground buss (bar) inside the
main breaker panel.
Like someone else said, yes, gas pipes, phone system, cable tv lines,
and so on, all should be grounded too. Even metal siding should be.
I have worked on a trailer house (mobile home), and that came equipped
with #6 copper wire from the main breaker box, which was clamped to the
steel beam frame under the trailer. The siding was also connected to
that steel frame, as well as the phone connection box, and gas pipes,
furnace ducts, and so on. Under the trailer there were a lot of ground
wires and all of them went to that steel frame. All of this was
original, and part of the trailer when it was built in the factory
(except for the phone line ground, which was probably added by the phone
company) (this was a USED trailer). When I got the trailer, intended to
be a guest house, I ran power to it, and put in 2 ground rods, then ran
#6 copper from those rods directly to the breaker box. There was already
the wire that went to the steel frame, from the box, but rather than
clamp these wires together, I had plenty of wire to just go direct to
the box. Trailer houses are not always built as well as regular houses,
but they surely did a good job of grounding this one. (Probably required
by code when they built it).
To the OP, your electrician should have put a jumper across that hose.
You could call him back, but for the cost of 2 clamps and a foot of
wire, why bother. If you add a softener, be sure to put a jumper wire
there too. (if there are non-metal pieces that would break the
On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 8:25:17 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
I think to meet code what actually needs to happen is he needs an
uninterrupted wire from the grounding system he already has to the
pipe going to the well. As it exists now, he has a ground system
of 2 or 3 rods and that is bonded to the house water system on the
house side of a plastic pipe that separates it from the well. If
he just jumpers across that, then he doesn't have a continuous wire
to the well pipe, it's in two segements, which I don't believe is
On Thu, 10 Dec 2015 04:37:17 -0800 (PST), trader_4
You only need a continuous conductor to the primary grounding
electrode. You can connect "bonding jumpers" with any listed method as
long as each path is using the required size wire.
This is from the NEC handbook
(extra credit if you catch the absurd thing in the code) ;-)
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