Section 250.104 of the NEC requires that metal water piping systems
be bonded to one of the following:
* Service Equipment enclosure (at service entrance)
* Grounded neutral service conductor (at service entrance)
* Grounding electrode conductor when sized per table 250.66
* One of the electrodes of the grounding electrode system.
The grounding conductor must be sized appropriately with respect
to the largest ungrounded service conductor (e.g. AWG2 for 4/0 service entrance).
This is for safety purposes, not to provide a grounding conductor for the
This _DOES NOT IMPLY THAT SUCH A BONDING CONDUCTOR MAY REPLACE A CODE COMPLIANT
GROUNDING ELECTRODE SYSTEM_.
In other words, the water pipe is bonded _to_ the real grounding means. The water pipe
may not _be_ the premises grounding means (as of the 1999 code, or possibly earlier).
I suspect this is the root of your disagreement.
FWIW, bonding CATV to a cold water line isn't done by most cable systems anymore,
as they have no assurance that the cold water line is actually bonded to the
premises grounding electrodes, particularly in regions of the country where
the water service lines were non-metallic or have been replaced by non-metallic
piping (per the local Comcast tech staff).
On Monday, October 28, 2013 3:06:05 PM UTC-4, Scott Lurndal wrote:
It may not be the *only* grounding electrode. The water service
pipe entering the house is however one of a number of permissible
grounding electrodes that can be part of the grounding system.
I agree, for new, recent contruction. But what was proposed was
to send the OP off on a search for things like CATV, phone,
and even the electric panel that are
connected to a water pipe and that such a connection is "no
longer code". That to me at least, implies that it's something
that is wrong and possibly the source of his shock problem.
In fact, there are millions of older homes where the cable
TV is bonded to a cold water pipe. Nothing wrong,
inherently unsafe, or that needs to be fixed. In fact, it's
still code compliant to ground a CATV cable to a water pipe,
under certain circumstances.
On 10-28-2013, 15:34, email@example.com wrote:
But it is also possible, if another ground is missing or inadequate, for
that pipe to be energized by a flaw in the device to be grounded.
I once worked on a TV for a while wondering why my butt was so itchy.
Finally realized some idiot had wired the power cord in backward.
The chassis was hot, and the insulation between me and the floor
was not quite adequate.
“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it
On 10/28/2013 1:34 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
A quibble - a metal water service pipe (10ft...) is not a "permissible"
electrode. It is a *required* electrode.
I know this is merely temporary insanity and you know better.
When there is a metal water service pipe (10ft...) it is always code
compliant to connect the entry protectors to the pipe, but now only
within 5 ft of entry to the house.
I am too lazy to look up rules for if the pipe is "bonded" (plastic
You are easily the "most right". I don''t understand why this is as
difficult as it seems to be.
On Monday, October 28, 2013 10:15:52 PM UTC-4, bud-- wrote:
Thanks Bud. Good to see we're back to agreeing on things again :)
The irony here of course is that most of the folks here don't
seem to understand what's code, proper, etc, yet someone suggested
the OP who is obviously a novice start looking at the ground wires
attached to his water pipes. The worst part was that suggesting that
it's "no longer code" to see a ground wire from the panel, CATV, phone,
etc going to a water pipe is wrong. To me, a novice would likely
infer from that if he finds such a thing, it needs to be corrected,
could be the cause of his shock problem, etc.
Robert later said that he meant the OP should go find those so
that he can point them out to the electrician. I don't have a
problem with that. But the "not code today" part as we agree is
wrong. Not just for older systems, either, but for code in new
As I said before, another thing the OP could do is trace out the
plumbing system to identify how the energized section is connected
back to the rest of it, eg if there is a plastic section in between
it and the rest of the plumbing, etc. He should of course do that
without touching the metal portion. But most important is to get
an electrician in there. That of course assuming this was a real post
and not a joke to get us all going.
If there is not a metal water service (10 ft...) the water pipe must be
bonded using 250.104.
If there is a metal water service (10ft...) the water pipe must be
connected as an earthing electrode, not the same as bonding. 250.50 and
If there is a metal water service pipe (10ft...) that is all wrong.
Definitely not. You've got a serious issue and the shower could very likely
kill you since the supply pipe seems to be hot and the drain pipe is likely
still a very good ground. If you can't get a "sparky" out sooner than
Wednesday I would suggest calling the power company just to see what they
would recommend although there's a risk that if they send someone out,
they'll cut your power off until you can prove it's repaired.
As I said before call power company the problem is not inside your house it
is before your watt meter now you will pay for electrician and possible
may need to get power company anywhere.
Possible power reversal neutral became hot and hot became neutral,
which I had on several places on industrial equipment but not on house.
On Tuesday, October 29, 2013 12:09:21 PM UTC-4, Tony944 wrote:
How can you possibly tell that the problem is before the meter?
It seems almost a certainty that something is very wrong in
the house, because the water system should be bonded/grounded to the
electrical system at the panel.
With the neutral properly grounded at the panel, what do
you think would happen if you reversed hot and neutral
outside the house?
Time to call the pros. What else were you touching when you touched the
shut-off valve? To feel a shock, the current has to be flowing from the
valve, through your body to somewhere else to complete the circuit.
Okay, I see that you did answer the questions better elsewhere -- you get a
constant buzz feeling when touching the fixture/valve/etc., and there is no
So, I guess you are not "just messing with us".
I assume that the electrician will look for grounding issues to make sure
all of the plumbing is grounded -- jumpers across the hot water heater,
across the water meter, no loose clamps where a grounding wire is connected
to any plumbing, maybe the presence of PVC or PEX plumbing that may be
interrupting the plumbing fixtures from being grounded.
And, after that, trying to find where the source of current is coming from
that is apparently leaking to the valves etc. that are causing you to feel a
current/shock when you touch it.
Let us know what you find out.
Fred do not call any local electrician they will not know anything no
disrespect to them Call you electrical supply company that could be
problem with transformer outside I run in similar problem few years back
where electrical company screwed up left transformer ground floating
I would be very careful.
On Sunday, October 27, 2013 1:59:29 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:
I'd say you have to be an idiot not to be
familiar with static shocks and to mistake
that for being shocked by your faucet. But
the Bobby has that ground covered. The most
obvious thing is that it would *not* be just
the faucet that you get a static shock from.
Usedta be grounded. Now there is PEX and PVC and whatnot.
Its all the fault of them PEX nuts on this newsgroup.
I agree the OP should figure out what is going on.
Not stated - what the other 'contact' is, like a concrete floor.
No carpet in basement. There's a constant tingling, and the pipes are
copper. This happens all the time, in fact, I just got shocked off the
kitchen faucet, which is a first! The water heater is gas. The problem
appears to be getting worse.
< If the water feed to the house is non metallic, you need to install or
verify that you have a properly sized bonding conductor going from a 3/4"
cold water pipe to your electric service neutral/ground bar. Also be sure
you have proper grounding electrodes on the service.>
Is it likely that's the cause of a problem that seems to have suddenly
occurred? How would your typical poster even know if he had a metallic or
non-metallic supply line? AFAIK, they're often underground and invisible.
This certainly strikes me as something a professional needs to examine
because there are so many different ways the pipes could have become
energized, including some that are external the house wiring.
It's a question of skill sets and experience. Adding new circuits or
replacing a breaker is child's play compared to determining what would
suddenly cause the house faucets to become (perhaps lethally) energized. A
situation like this is not really amenable to a newbie screwing around
looking for possible causes while his wife dies taking a shower. The
numerous technical answers given probably should have been phrased "When the
electrician arrives, some of the things he might look for are . . . "
Unless the OP is *very* skilled electrically speaking, and that's doubtful
from the little information he presented, he needs to consult a
professional because the worst case scenarios could be very bad. Fatally
As my grandma used to say, you have to determine what things in life are
real tragedies and which are just burned potatoes. This could be a real
tragedy if not handled correctly.
If you're getting "buzzed" you need to be very careful around your
piping and get it checked out ASAP. You've got at least two problems,
one, the water piping system is (surprisingly) not properly grounded,
two, it's getting AC voltage applied to it from somewhere. If it were
properly grounded, the breaker would have tripped for the voltage source.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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