I am getting ready to pull an 220V/80A branch circuit to my new inside
heat pump. I am upgrading my 100A service to 200A locating the new
meter right next to the old one; and putting a new 200A load center,
then two branches; one to the existing 100A breaker box and another
branch circuit off the new 200A load center to the heat pump.
THE QUESTION IS:
I was advised to run a solid copper ground to my hot water heater, but
my water heater connects to everything with plastic pipe. I don't see
the point of running the wire to it.
I will be grounding the new meter; new load center, and existing load
centers to two existing ground electrodes right near the existing
meter. Since I already bought the 50' of #4 solid for the water heater
ground; I'll use that wire for this purpose
Well S'Cuse meee girls
Why do I have to sift through all this filth to get one lgitimate
i guess I omitted that the water heater is existing, and electric.
it has its own fused disconnect adjacent to it, and the branch circuit
wired to it had a ground to the load center.
The well pump is similarly wired with a cutoff and a ground.
I think my friend (a master electrician) who advised me to run a
ground to the water heater was thinking I could get a clamp onto a
cold water pipe going into the water heater, but there is no metal
pipe in my system except small spans between the well tank and the
filter, then a piece for the cutoff valve. Nothing going to ground;
and as I am trying to say; it is not city water; it an underground
pump which connects to the house with non-metallic 'hose'.
It's a small old house in a rural area in the South.
I bet it had cast iron pipes originally, and they had to replace it as
And they used the cheapest materials they could.
I would get clarification as to what the "adviser" was talking about. If
it's an electric water heater, it needs an equipment ground. I think they
may have meant use a #4 ground conductor to the "water meter", which is
typical if you have metal piping feeding the meter
You don't see the point now, so let me make it clear enough for even you
I'll assume that your water heater is electric, though you seemed to
feel that we'd all be able to define whether it's gas or electric just
by closing our eyes and thinking about it.
If an electric heating element in you water heater corrodes through it
can connect a potential of up to 120 vac with respect to ground into the
water in the tank.
Unless your place is supplied with perfectly distilled water, the water
will have some degree of electrical conductivity and thus carry that
potential throughout the plumbing system.
Now picture what happens when some kid is standing barefoot on a wet
lawn outside and somebody decides to squirt him with the garden hose,
using water carrying 120 vac with respect to ground.
If it's a gas fired water heater with its own ignition system not
requiring a connection to a 120 volt source, the above argument isn't
appropriate, but there may be other reasons for grounding it.
Hi Tim. I'm glad to hear that you've been continuing to do your homework
with planning out this job and will soon be doing it. I'm thinking that the
advice that you received about grounding the water heater was for the
installation of a bonding jumper. This is usually done at the water heater
to bond the metal hot water, cold water, and gas pipes together. The code
calls for all interior metal piping to be bonded together, but does not
specify that it must be at the water heater. If your water pipes are
non-metallic then there is no need for the bonding jumper.
With regards to the existing ground rods, they must be a minimum of 6' apart
however 16' or more is optimum. Also you should know that copper plated
ground rods have a rated life of 40 years. Non-copper are much less. So
you might want to consider driving new ground rods if the existing ones are
Neither John or the OP are referring to an "equipment ground" for the water
heater. The way the OP phrased his questions, makes that hard to determine.
They are referring to bonding interior metallic water piping to the service
grounding system, which is often done at the water heater location
Jeff, the original poster's second post clarified that there already is an
equipment ground to the electric water heater. I said it appears that he
does not need the bonding jumper between pipes which I am presuming someone
told him to do. These are two different things that do-it-yourselfers can
get confused about.
Lighten up on the guy. He has posted here several times already seeking
quality information before he starts the job. Too often I have seen people
post questions after they have started the project without knowing all that
they need to know.
Agreed, but his clarification was made about an hour after I'd posted my
reply. (If I believe the times of day on newsgroup posts, which I freely
confess sometimes confuse me.)
I said it appears that he
Agreed, I posted while I was waiting for my morning coffee to brew, and
I really shouldn't communicate with any other living thing, including
our cat Lard Ass, until I've had my first cup of java of the day.
It might help to think as follows: The purpose of a "ground" connection to
the water system is not to protect you from the electrical distribution
network, it is to protect you from the water system. In other words, you are
grounding the pipes, not the wires.
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