Just wondering for now. Have an all copper plumbing. What happen to my ground if the pipes are replaced with PEX? Have two connections that I am aware of. One to the cold water pipe at water heater. The other one is ground rod by the meter.
So, what to do to the cold water ground? It is required by code here. Does that mean that PEX is not feasible?
On Wed, 30 Oct 2013 15:39:59 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Drive another rod 6 feet away from the existing one and connect them
together with a #6 solid copper wire.
That is all you need to be legal.
The ground represented by your copper pipe i the part outside
underground anyway. As long as that stays copper your grounding
electrode is still established.
On 10/30/2013 6:28 PM, email@example.com wrote:
We always used #4 from the single ground rod to the panel but are you
positing that #6 should be used to connect any ground rods together?
I seem to remember you stating that you were an electrical inspector at
one time and I'd like your opinion on the new flexible gas lines being
used in a lot of new construction and remodels. As I recall, it's a thin
corrugated stainless steel or copper alloy which makes it bendable by
hand and I'm guessing that an electrical arc such as one from a
lightning strike could punch a hole through it regardless of the plastic
jacket and I believe it could cause a fire. What can you tell me of code
requirements, if any, about grounding gas lines? ^_^
I use a 2 inch wide silver coated copper braid as gnd buss.(I swiped a
spool when I retire, LOL!)
When rod is driven put some charcoal powder in the hole for improved
If you want to test how good the ground is, try to light up a
bulb between gnd and hot wire. If it burns bright.... good gnd.
You don't need larger than #6 if it is "free from exposure to physical
damage". A ground rod can't sink all that much current.
I recently heard an electrical inspector talk about CSST. He did a lot
of reading about it because manufacturers now want it grounded. The
question is who does the bonding. His recommendation was for electrians
not to do it, then they won't be named in the lawsuit. And if you do
bond it, follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly. Manufacturers
have different instructions for how they want their CSST bonded. The NEC
doesn't required bonding. (The NEC does not allow gas pipe be used as an
earthing electrode. Any bonding required by the NEC is done by the
branch circuit ground wire at, for instance, a furnace.)
As you wrote, plumbers like CSST because it is so easy to run. It is
easy to run because the wall thickness is so thin, about the thickness
of 2 pieces of paper. Unfortunately the gas pipe may be at the potential
of the earth where the gas pipe enters the building. The electrical
system can be at a very different potential during an 'event'. As you
wrote, there can be an arc from the CSST to other metal. Because of the
thin wall that can burn a hole in the CSST. If you are lucky the arc
lights the escaping gas.
There have been many fires. For example there was a class-action lawsuit
filed in Arkansas that was settled in 2006. In a 2 year period in Iowa
there were 200 fires linked to CSST.
As a result, manufacturers now require the CSST be bonded to the
electrical system. This helps, but does not eliminate the problem. There
have been fires in houses where the CSST was bonded according to the
manufacturer's instructions. An example was a single 'near' lightning
strike (OH) where 5 houses caught fire. At least a couple were
On 10/30/2013 06:39 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I would assume that you would have to run a heavy gauge copper wire back
to the panel ground bus. An electric WH should already be grounded however.
If you replace any segments with PEX I would make sure that any
remaining copper segments are grounded. I don't know the actual code
requirements but it's just a common sense good idea. Really if you have
all copper it would make sense just to do any repairs in copper to
maintain ground path.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
The only thing grounded to the copper plumbing in my house (built '74)
was the telephone connection and it WASN'T grounded since the only part
of the plumbing system actually IN the ground was the plastic piping to
the well casing.<g>
Grounding of the electrical system was accomplished through a grounding
bar sunk into the ground and tied into the meter can at the service
As for your hot water heater being grounded... it is, but if properly
installed, it's grounded only through the electrical service connection
since the incoming cold piping and outgoing hot piping SHOULD be a
dielectric fitting that isolates the hot and cold piping from ground and
each other to prevent electrolysis.
On Thursday, October 31, 2013 5:38:16 AM UTC-4, Unquestionably Confused wrote:
The metal plumbing system of the house by code needs
to be bonded to the electrical system ground. The telephone
line installed used the metal piping of the house,
which in turn is bonded/grounded back to the electrical
system. That's how it should have been done, anyway, so
I doubt the telehone line is not grounded. And if it
isn't done as described above, it's dangerous and should
And there' no bonding over to the metal water pipes of the house?
I think whether code requires dielectric unions varies by
On 10/31/2013 05:38 AM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:
You're right of course, I forgot about that. But the cold would also be
grounded even if it's electrically insulated from the tank. And I've
even heard tell about some jurisdictions wanting the hot bonded to the
cold around the heater, which seems like a good idea from an electrical
safety standpoint (and probably happens anyway even without a bonding
wire, at least in a house where there's a metal faucet hooked to both
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
On 10/30/2013 3:39 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Go talk to the building code inspector in your jurisdiction.
Only they can give you advice that will pass THEIR inspection.
When I replaced my underground water service pipe with pex
I found that what the codebook said and what they'd pass
were not exactly the same.
For the reason that you raise here using water pipes as a ground is not
well thought of today. It may no longer be up to code where you are.
You have a ground rod by your meter. Most probably that is your ground.
It doesn't hurt to have the water pipes connected to the grounding system
whether they are serving as a ground also, or are separated from earth by
On Thursday, October 31, 2013 10:37:09 AM UTC-4, David L. Martel wrote:
As we just went through exhaustively in another thread,
that isn't true. If you have an incoming metal water pipe
to the house, not only is it a permissible grounding electrode,
it's required to be used as one of the grounding electrodes.
On the other hand, if you mean being able to use a cold water
pipe at just any place in a house as a ground to tie something to,
eg CATV, sat dish, etcto ground it, for new work, that I agree
is not acceptable.
It may no longer be up to code where you are.
Metal water pipes *must* be bonded to ground. It's not an option.
On Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:37:09 AM UTC-5, David L. Martel wrote:
I failed to mention (just remembered after reading other posts) that the ground to the water heater is ran/tied into the bus bar at the breaker. The bus ground is tied into a copper ground rod.
Reason I asked is I am thinking of having some of the main runs from just under the house (3/4") to some points closer to the 1/2" faucet pipes. I was thinking that PEX may be cheaper. However, I am not that comfortable in losing that secondary ground.
On Thursday, October 31, 2013 11:17:52 PM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
If I have it correct, it's not a secondary ground, whatever you mean
by that. You're talking about possibly removing a section of the existing metal water pipe serving part of the house and replacing it with PEX, correct?
Like replacing a section that goes to say the bathroom? If you do that you must run a bond wire to tie the sections back together again. It's not a secondary ground, it's almost always the only ground for those runs.
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