I need a new water pipe to the street.
They wanna replace steel with plastic.
Home built in 1972 uses the water pipe as the
"Grounding Electrode", which will be severed at the
other end of the house.
Everybody tells me a different story, but the common
result is that you just can't bridge the cut pipes
with a wire. Of course, this happened on a holiday
weekend, so I can't go to the source. With all the budget
cutbacks and hour reductions, I'm not sure I can still access
the inspector before he comes out to inspect.
If I understand NEC 250.64C correctly, the "Grounding
Electrode Conductor" must be continuous with NO Splices!!...
EXCEPT that you do have four options to splice it...
"Irreversible Compression Connector" (listed for that application)
seems to be what I want.
What the heck is that? Is that anything like a butt splice?
The guy at Home Depot shows me to the Electricos aisle,
but has no more than a dumb look for help.
You can't believe everything you read on the interweb, but there's
discussion of using a standard compression clamp with the bolt head
cut off to make it irreversible????...except if you cut off the
"green" head, does that make it not approved?
I have limited experience with the electrical inspector,
but it seems that what he had for breakfast affects the pass/fail
decision more than what the code says.
When I go get the permit, I'd like to take one along and show
it to the inspector..."Is this gonna pass???"
What do I look for in a splice (listed for the application)?
While the topic is open, I'll broaden the question.
Current "Grounding Electrode Conductor" goes from the breaker panel up
to the attic, over and down to hook to the water heater cold pipe.
That pipe goes down the wall and connects to a 22' pipe in or under the
concrete, not sure which, to the outside spigot.
But either should be a better ground than two ground rods 25 feet away.
There is some verbiage in the NEC about being able to use a water
pipe as the "Grounding Electrode" as long is you hook to it < 5' from where
it hits the dirt. Not sure if that applies to this situation...
I've got about 7 feet. I could easily extend
the wire with the above-mentioned splice to the place where the
same pipe enters the concrete. Makes the actual
electrical performance worse, but maybe meets code if I do it?
And if I bridge the cut pipe at the other end of the house, I'm still
no worse off than I was before I started. Yes, I understand
that the electrical code doesn't care about where I started 40
The alternative seems to be to add 20' to the wire, run it down
the outside wall and use the two ground rods.
Every option hinges on the splice issue. IF I could just connect a
new wire to the middle of the existing wire, I'd be good to go.
Installing two ground rods is probably easier than trying to interpret
the electrical code.
I don't want to replace the Grounding Electrode Conductor. I watched an
electrician snake wires
down the wall past the input wires to the breaker box, but I'm not
willing to risk arc-fault == death to try that myself. I could run
the grounding electrode conductor out the bottom of the box and along
the garage wall, but I'd rather not do that either, if I can just splice
the wire in the attic.
I'm an electronic engineer, so I understand volts and amps and impedance.
What I don't understand is what it takes to predict inspector approval
based on an NEC that says you can't do that except that you have four
options to do exactly that...as long as you use items approved for
The easy option is that the plumber has an electrical guy who will
make it work for a mere $400 more. I dislike that option!
I'm in Washington County, Oregon, USA