How do I splice a "Grounding Electrode Conductor" from the breaker panel?

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Am I the only one here wondering how the wire for the earth ground winds up running up into the attic? Can't you get a direct route to a nearby ground rod? It apparently was connected to the water service pipe, but why does it have to go up to an attic first?
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wrote:

Seems to me that the original grounding routing was somewhat strange all right, but maybe done by someone who wasn't too bright or familiar with electricity and surge curents due to lightning and/or faults on the power lines as well as faults within the dwelling itself.
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On Wed, 29 May 2013 17:34:55 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

from the electrical service. I would punch in a couple of rods next to the service entrance, just for that purpose. (lightning) You also want to bond the phone and cable there if that is where they come in.
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On 5/29/2013 8:03 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

There's a doorway between the water pipe and the breaker box. All the power goes thru the attic anyway. And there's no easy access from the box to outside. The wire is already in the attic, I'm gonna use it. And the inspector says it's ok to do so.
And it gets worse. Back in '72 when the house was built, they put the service entrance/meter on the side of the garage and ran a wire thru the attic and down the wall to the breaker box where resides the first place there's any current limiting.
I'm just thankful they don't make me rewire the whole house. ;-(
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On 5/29/2013 9:19 PM, mike wrote:

An important point for surge protection.

When the GEC went through the attic to the water service pipe, which was an earthing electrode, you could attach the ground rod wire to the GEC in the attic. The attachment could be an 'ordinary' splice, like a split bolt. What you will have isn't very different.
The length of the wire to the rods is undesirable, but rods suck to start with.
My impression is that inspectors these days are more likely to make reasonable accommodations and less likely to enforce their own electrical code. Nice that you checked and it worked out.

I expect you are referring to the service disconnect (and current limiting) is to be "outside ... or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors."

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You know it might be a good idea to have a couple of licensed electricians stop by separately and give you their opinion about this.
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On 5/30/2013 11:22 PM, Guv Bob wrote:

Second opinion is not required. The system sucks.
Back in the day, the whole city was done this way. There really is no service disconnect. You have to pull the meter to disconnect the power.
I've got five breakers hooked directly to the grid. And a bunch of breakers downstream of one (pair) of them for the circuits/outlets in the house.
AFAIK, the first current limit is on the other side of the utility transformer.
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replace the meter can with one that includes a main breaker....
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It's hard to imagine such a thing could have been installed and passed inspection in 72. What kind of breaker panel is this that has no main disconnect breaker?

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On Fri, 31 May 2013 05:58:08 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

As long as you only had 6 or fewer breakers it met the code.
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On 5/31/2013 3:33 AM, mike wrote:

That used to be a fairly common scheme called a "split bus" panel. There can be up to 6 service disconnects grouped together. You have 5. A split bus panel had a bus connected to the service wires for the service disconnects and a bus connected to one of the service disconnects. To disconnect the power with a split bus panel you have to switch up to 6 disconnects instead of one.

Which as you know doesn't provide much protection for you. But that is the way all services work. What is uncommon with your service is that the service wires go a significant distance inside the house. The code allows them to run outside but wants minimal distance inside.
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On 5/31/2013 3:33 AM, mike wrote:

That used to be a fairly common scheme called a "split bus" panel. There can be up to 6 service disconnects grouped together. You have 5. A split bus panel had a bus connected to the service wires for the service disconnects and a bus connected to one of the service disconnects. To disconnect the power with a split bus panel you have to switch up to 6 disconnects instead of one.

Which as you know doesn't provide much protection for you. But that is the way all services work. What is uncommon with your service is that the service wires go a significant distance inside the house. The code allows them to run outside but wants minimal distance inside.
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On 05/27/2013 12:16 PM, HeyBub wrote:

That is true according to current NEC. However a metal water service entrance used to be acceptable as a grounding electrode under previous versions and there are plenty of houses out there with the panel bonded to the water service and no grounding rods.
If you mess with any pieces of this system, by the book ground rods ought to be added to be compliant with current codes...
nate
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wrote:

would be the source of the electrical shock that the plumber might receive?
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On Mon, 27 May 2013 12:37:39 -0500, pilgrim wrote:

An incidental short to an ungrounded conductor or perhaps a bad water heater element.
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On Mon, 27 May 2013 13:55:53 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Do they call you "Walking Eagle?" You are too full of shit to fly.
pilgrim
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pilgrim wrote in

pipes. Sometimes, insulation wears through...
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Any electrical appliance can have a short from a "hot" wire to its metal case, and in-turn to ground. Like a furnace, washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, garbage disposal, dish washer, electric water heater, etc.
Shorts of this nature I have personally seen...
-An electrical wire is connected to an appliance through a metal hole with sharp sides and no "wire clamp" is used. The sharp edges of the metal cut into the wire.
-An electric range had defective insulation on its internal wiring. High heat caused the insulation to shrink back several inches and thus expose bare electrical wire which then touched the metal frame of the range.
-High heat in a bathroom light fixture - just from the light bulbs - caused the old wiring insulation to become brittle, crumble and fall off, then the bare electrical wire touched the metal light fixture frame and its attached metal medicine cabinet.
-An electric water heater heating element had an internal short to ground.
-A garage door opener had a short to ground which energized the opener and via that the metal garage door.
Just one strand of a stranded electrical wire can stick out and touch a metal case. And electric motors are notorious for leaking electricity to ground - they are many times open at the ends for ventilation and crud can get in there which will cause a short to ground.
A modern "to code" grounding system will protect you and your family from being electrocuted should any of the above happen. Thus do it right and have the work inspected to be sure it is done right.
That is how these electrical codes come to be in the first place... Someone gets electrocuted, then they come up with methods of wiring which will keep that from happening again (if you follow the codes).
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crimping tool to do it. If you look at the wires coming down a power pole you will frequently see one of these splices but it is also like the one up at your service head. Th trick is finding a guy with that crimping tool. You might be able to rent one. You are still going to need another electrode in addition to the water pipe, even if it is metal.
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Best to do this right and take your time. Take plenty of pictures of your main electrical service panel and that area. This is usually located where the main wires come into the house. There is usually a main panel there or main shutoff.
And take pictures of that area standing way back so you can see the wires going to the house, the main panel, and the ground in that area.
Also pictures of the plumbing work. Take a picture where the current ground connects to the water pipe.
See what size main breaker you have like it may say 200 on it for example (200 amps).
Go to a store and see what different sizes of ground rods they have and what sizes of bare copper ground wire they have. Ask what sizes are used in your area. (Don't buy anything yet, just take notes of what sizes they have.)
Then take those pictures to the electrical inspectors office. Confirm that you can install two ground rods spaced 6 foot apart. Tell them what size ground wire and what size ground rods you are going to use. Show them on the pictures where you are going to drive those into the ground. Ask if that will be ok and if there is anything else you need to do.
Note: Be DARN sure there are no underground lines (like natural gas) running in that area. If you do not know, call the utility locate service ("Call before you dig" number).
Then get an electrical permit. They will inspect your work to be sure it is ok.
If you are not comfortable doing this work, hire an electrician. And in either case get the work inspected.
If you do this work yourself, turn off the main power to the house and use rubber gloves when connecting / disconnecting the bare copper ground wire to the main electric panel or with connections to the water pipes. Sometimes there can be electricity present on a ground - from your house or even from a neighbor's house! (Everything is connected via neutral lines and metal water pipes.)
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