What is that devide in my water supply line?

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wrote:

If you look outside around your house you may find a small box with an "odometer" attached someplace. That's what's at the other end of the curly wire for reading the meter externally.

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There might be a major problem in that installation. The 'device' is a water meter. Leave it alone. The #4 or whatever, solid copper wire probably goes to an external ground rod, or should. However, meter installations are almost always required to have a braided #4 copper bypass around the water meter to keep the house plumbing grounded if the meter is removed for service. I don't see anything like that in your photo. Given your situation, I would buy the clamps and wire and install it before any electrical inspection might occur. This is code required almost universally.
Joe
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wrote:

There might be a major problem in that installation. The 'device' is a water meter. Leave it alone. The #4 or whatever, solid copper wire probably goes to an external ground rod, or should. However, meter installations are almost always required to have a braided #4 copper bypass around the water meter to keep the house plumbing grounded if the meter is removed for service. I don't see anything like that in your photo. Given your situation, I would buy the clamps and wire and install it before any electrical inspection might occur. This is code required almost universally.
Joe
The meter bonding jumper does not go to an outdoor ground rod, and shouldn't. The metal underground water pipe is part of the grounding electrode system of the service. Ground rods are an additional part of the same system and are run independent of the water pipe. The bonding jumper, which can be #8 copper or larger depending upon the service size, is protecting anyone that may remove the meter. What is seen in his picture looks fine and NEC legal
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Joe wrote:

I would leave it alone. But there is enough slack in that solid ground wire to clamp it to the water line on the other side of the meter (leave the existing connection alone, and do not cut that wire)
Bob
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Aaron Fude wrote:

I agree it's ugly. On the theory it's something important, you could build a box to cover it. Or do like architechts do: plant ivy.
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Arron, You've had a lot of comments and suggestions already. Here is a description of the parts in your picture. Starting from the left:
The valve - that is apparently what you are planning to replace. Any reason? It doesn't appear to be leaking and seams fairly new. Is it a case that it doesn't shut off completely?
Ground wire / clamp - In older homes (as mine is) they use to ground the entire electric system to the cold water supply. Look for this: somewhere near your electric panel is there a similar wire coming out of the panel and connecting to a cold water pipe? If so, that is the main ground for your electric. That's not code today, but may be "grandfathered" in as long as you don't upgrade the electric which would require you bring it up to code. Regardless, as another poster has mentioned, it is also necessary to ground the plumbing system. It should connect on the other side of the meter. It was mentioned that this was in case the meter was removed, but it is also necessary in many cases, and yours looks to be one of them, the meter is largely plastic and therefore doesn't provide an adequate ground.
The Blue cap - that is a tamper device intended to prevent you from removing the meter, or more likely tell the water company that you might have done so. Less scrupulous people will try anything to save a buck and will pull the meter and put in a piece of pipe to get water for free. Note that if you are planning to remove the meter to do your valve replacement you may want to contact the water company. They will take a reading, want to put a tamper device back on afterwards.
The meter - Yup! That's what tells the water company how much you use. Lots of hi-tech comments on what the coiled wire is, but since your meter looks pretty much like mine, I'd bet you simply have a remote outside reader. Follow the wire up the wall to where it exits the house and probably somewhere near there on the outside you will see a small meter. The meter reader still walks the neighborhood, but only has to read the dials on this outside meter to tell your usage. However, these have been know to get out of sync with the inside meter, so it is a good idea to check them both occasionally and make sure the numbers match. A neighbor of mine had a case where theirs was way out of sync in the water company's favor and they got a $300 water bill.

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*Thank you* for such a detailed answer.
Two things.
Yes, I am trying to replace the valve because it does not shut of completely, nor does the valve outside of the picture on the other side of the meter (that would be on the right above the pressure reducing valve of which you can see a small part).
The #4 wire "jumps" the pressure reducing valve and the meter to make sure that the teflon tape in the pressure reducing valve and the meter do not interrupt the ground. That said. I did just have my electrical system upgraded and it was grounded to the cold water line. Can I get this up to code myself without calling an electrician?
Thanks again.
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*Thank you* for such a detailed answer.
Two things.
Yes, I am trying to replace the valve because it does not shut of completely, nor does the valve outside of the picture on the other side of the meter (that would be on the right above the pressure reducing valve of which you can see a small part).
The #4 wire "jumps" the pressure reducing valve and the meter to make sure that the teflon tape in the pressure reducing valve and the meter do not interrupt the ground. That said. I did just have my electrical system upgraded and it was grounded to the cold water line. Can I get this up to code myself without calling an electrician?
Thanks again.
What makes you think it's not up to code?
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just fyi, using copper supply line for a ground does indeed meet code as long as there's at least 15 feet of copper outside the foundation. In fact, in our jurisdiction, that is 'all' that is required. All the lines in our town are required to be copper from the house to the meter.
s

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Steve Barker wrote:

supplemental grounding electrodes for quite some time.
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ACTUALLY they don't. Read it closer.
s

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Steve Barker wrote:

is no other part of the code that waives that requirement.
Section 250.53(D)3) is clear, concise, specific and without ambiguity in this phrase:
"...a metal underground water pipe is required to be supplemented by an additional electrode of the type specified in 250.52(A)2)..."
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Any house, regardless of age, that has a metal water pipe feeding it, is required to have that pipe as part of the grounding electrode system. A new house will also be required to use at least one ground rod as part of the same system. Interior water piping located more than five feet from the point of entry are not allowed to be part of the grounding electrode system
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