Grounding wire for house. Is this right?

Page 1 of 2  
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?)
Just curious Experienced advice appreciated. Thanks Theodore.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Dec 2015 21:34:32 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.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?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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 mandatory.
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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


No. Electricity is a subject on which the inexperienced and ill-informed should not attempt to offer advice, because taking it can be dangerous.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/8/2015 10:34 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com 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]
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What did he doe with the opposite end of the original wire attached to the well casing?

--
Using Opera's mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All, 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 n't?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hill,
Install the ground downstream from the softener.
Dave M.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 9 Dec 2015 04:44:34 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 5:42:51 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrot e:

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 uldn't?

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 em and NEC says "yes".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 9 Dec 2015 15:23:15 -0800 (PST), trader_4

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 6:49:25 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.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 shouldn't?

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 actual question.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 10 Dec 2015 13:18:12 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc 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".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 6:49:25 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

10 ga is plenty for lightning, the wave form is a damped sinusoid.
Now, a bolted fault from the power line would be a different story!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 9 Dec 2015 15:23:15 -0800 (PST), trader_4

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 continuous ground).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 8:25:17 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc 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 allowed. Gfre?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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
http://gfretwell.com/electrical/250%20exibit%2031.jpg
(extra credit if you catch the absurd thing in the code) ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.