On 10/28/2013 09:50 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Not exactly. It useta be the case that a copper or steel water service
could be used as the grounding means for an electrical panel. Today, it
functionally can work that way, but it is not code compliant to rely on
the water service for the ground. However, you are still required to
*bond* the panel ground bus to the water service, assuming that it's
metal. So it still looks the same, but the reasoning behind that
identical connection is very different.
A new construction house would require an additional ground wire at the
electrical panel and that would go outside and be connected to a network
of several ground rods driven into the ground, *that* being the primary
means of grounding.
The phone, CATV, etc. *should* be grounded back to the electrical panel,
although functionally if they are connected to the water service, and
that in turn is bonded to the panel, which is connected to a network of
ground rods, that will in effect be a more roundabout way of
accomplishing the same thing.
Agreed, but like I said above, current code does not recognize a metal
water service as being a grounding means anymore but as something that
needs to be bonded to an accepted ground.
It would appear from the OP's message that his house is one of those
special cases that illustrates just *why* this change in code was made;
clearly he does not have a modern code compliant grounding network
and/or the water pipes inside the house are not bonded to same, and the
water service is not providing a good ground either because a jumper
over an insulating element like a meter is missing/corroded or a metal
service has been replaced by ABS or some nonconductive material.
We can always learn. But this is one of those things that needs to be
approached with caution...
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
On Monday, October 28, 2013 10:16:23 AM UTC-4, Nate Nagel wrote:
It's not code compliant for the water service pipe to be the
*only* grounding electrode, but it is code compliant for the
water service pipe to be used as one of the grounding electrodes.
However, you are still required to
No it's not, because per code the water pipe may serve as
a grounding electrode. It's not just a bonding issue.
I don't believe NEC distinguishes and calls any one method
the primary ground. And there are other and better methods
of grounding in new constructions, Ufer being an example.
They do require that a water pipe can't be the only grounding
Agree, in new installs today they usually bring everything in
where the electrical panel is and ground everything there.
And that is the best way.
But Robert was telling the guy if he has a phone, CATV, etc
grounded to a water pipe that it's not code compliant. The
OP has an old house and if was done that way, then what he
has is still perfectly fine. There are millions of houses
out there with CATV, phone, etc grounded that way. There is
nothing in today's
code that says he has to change it, etc. Sending the OP
who doesn't have much in the way of electrical skills on
a wild goose chase based on incorrect info isn't productive.
On 10/28/2013 12:05 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
*If* you have a 10' long or longer metal underground water service, it
must be part of the grounding electrode system. However, you *must*
provide supplemental grounding in that case, and that has been the case
for quite a while. However, there are plenty of houses out there where
the ground/neutral bus in the main panel is bonded to the water piping
where it enters the house, and to no other supplemental ground, as that
was accepted practice in the 1970s and earlier. Those would have been
code compliant when built, but would not be code compliant today.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
On Monday, October 28, 2013 1:49:20 PM UTC-4, Nate Nagel wrote:
I agree. And I'm sure you agree that "not code compliant today"
doesn't mean that those older systems are now unsafe, have to
be upgraded, etc. As long as you're not replacing them, etc,
they can stay that way.
My main point was that Robert suggested that the
OP go look for anything like a CATV, Phone, electric panel, etc that
has a ground wire attached to the water service and that
it's no longer code. I believe we agree that to
have the panel grounded to the water service is part of
the current code, so that part of what was posted is 100% wrong.
And it's not unusual to find CATV, phone etc grounded to
a cold water pipe at various points where they come in to
an older house. That's how it was done in years gone by.
Even today you can do it as long as it's within 5 ft
of where the water service enters the house.
I had visions of the OP finding his CATV grounded to
a cold water pipe, or the panel connected to the incoming
water service and saying "Oh, there's the source of
my shocks or there's something that's wrong that needs
to be fixed because it's not code, etc".
Robert has since stated that he meant that the OP should
go find those ground points so that he can tell the electrician
where they are. Had he said that to begin with, I would not have
An even more direct idea would be to map out the portion of the
water system that is energized, follow it as much as
possible, see if anything is connected to THAT portion.
And see if that portion is seperated by some plastic
piping etc from the rest of the water system. If he finds
it has a PVC section separating it from the rest of the
metal piping, then the search can proceed for what's
energizing that section.
On 10/28/2013 02:19 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Agreed. I would, however, were it my house, consider adding some
supplemental ground rods if it was convenient to do so, just for peace
of mind. I probably wouldn't bother to rework any grounds to water pipe
however unless I had a good reason to do so. Also, would consider
adding GFCI receps definitely in the bathrooms if the house is old
enough to have dodged that requirement, additionally for clothes washer
etc. just for extra safety.
I'd say priority one is figuring out *what* is energizing the pipe; can
be done by unplugging equipment and/or turning off breakers. And the
most important point, if turning off the main breaker does not make the
issue go away, call in the pros and the power company TDS.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
If there is a metal water service pipe (10 ft...) it is *required* to be
used as an earthing electrode.
For over 50 years you needed a "supplemental" electrode if the water
service pipe might be replaced with plastic. More recently you need a
"supplemental" electrode in any case.
If you have a plastic water service, interior metal water piping must be
"bonded" to the electrical ground.
If there is a metal water service (10ft...) it is *required* to be
connected as an earthing electrode.
Earthing electrodes form a system.
A metal municipal water system will have a lower resistance to earth
than any other electrode available at a house.
Ground rods are close to a joke.
In new construction with a concrete footing or foundation a "concrete
encased electrode" must be created. It is a good electrode (and ground
rods are not required).
For quite a while entry protectors, if they are connected to the water
pipe (metal water service) must be connected within 5 ft of the entry to
the house. The earthing electrode connection must be connected in the
same 5 feet. (and of course, bonded water meter.)
In my old house, the box was near a water pipe. That's were ground was
attached. New box had ground wire going all the way to the water inlet
before meter. The water pipe might have provided a better ground, but
that's not code. Extra ground rods were also installed.
<Trader's signature boatload of triple spaced quotes snipped and cleaned
up> > >> If you want to do something before help arrives, I might *look* (but
Thanks, Philo, for pointing out what I actually said rather than what a very
angry Trader *claims* I said. This is precisely why it's mostly useless to
argue with him since he'll stuff words in your mouth and then berate you for
saying something you never said. <sigh>
It's too bad, too, because when he's not enslaved to his own anger, he's a
fairly astute diagnostician. That's the only reason I haven't yet plonked
him. He occasionally offers some valuable insights. If only he could learn
to control his anger . . .
Yep, that's one problem with human nature and Usenet.
Two people who probably agree on something making a simple
mis-interpretation then going ballistic with anger.
At any rate, this issue is something the OP should in no way be fooling
with. The worst advice was given by the guy who said ...try this and
then see if you still get a shock.
Also: Once the problem is fixed, the suggestion to install ground fault
outlets in laundry, bathroom and kitchen areas...is a good suggestion.
On Monday, October 28, 2013 10:39:31 AM UTC-4, philo wrote:
It wasn't a misinterpretation of anything. And before
agreeing with Robert that a CATV, phone line, electrical panel,
with a ground connection to the water supply line is
something that is wrong, not code compliant, something
the OP should look for, suggesting any of that is the
cause of his shock, you might want to check your facts.
On Monday, October 28, 2013 10:05:07 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:
Here for the record is what you said:
"If you want to do something before help arrives, I might *look* (but not
touch) for any clamps with wires that are attached to your water supply
lines. Incoming phone terminals, CATV lines, the circuit box area and the
furnace areas are places you might find a ground wire connection (no longer
What exactly is the purpose of that process? He looks around,
he sees that the cable tv service has a ground wire that runs
over to a cold water pipe? What exactly is wrong with that?
It's perfectly normal to see that. It exists in millions of
houses. Yet, you're apparently suggesting that it has something
to do with his problem and that it's a code violation.
He sees a ground wire running from his "circuit box" over to
a cold water service pipe. What exactly is wrong with that?
Where does NEC say that is not allowed?
What does that or anything else you posted above have to
do with his problem?
His problems as others have stated are:
A - Somehow at least part of his water system is getting
B - That part of the water system is not properly grounded.
If only you knew what you're talking about instead of sending
people off on wild goose chases.
On Monday, October 28, 2013 6:49:37 PM UTC-4, Wes Groleau wrote:
I agree it's not obvious what he meant. But when you tell
s novice who is having a problem to go look for something
and if you find it, it's
"no longer code", what do you think they might infer?
Seems reasonable to me that they would infer that it needs
to be corrected and that it has something to do with his
And then the statement itself that it's no longer code
is wrong, unless you think a wire going from the panel
to a metal cold water pipe
is a code violation. A metal water service line can
serve as one of the grounding electrodes and the metal
water system of the house has to be bonded to the panel.
So, seeing a wire connection from the panel to a water
pipe is permissible under current code.
It is also currently code compliant to ground an incoming CATV,
phone wire, etc to a water pipe provided it's within 5 ft
of where it enters the building.
On Monday, October 28, 2013 11:22:23 PM UTC-4, Wes Groleau wrote:
And once again, as I've pointed out about 6 times now, it's not
true that it's "not code" today to have a wire running from the
panel to a water pipe. It's not true that it's "not code" today
to under certain circumstances to have the CATV, phone grounded
to a water pipe. Not code means that you couldn't do that today,
when in fact code says you can. Good grief.
On Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:55:47 PM UTC-4, Wes Groleau wrote:
Is that like arguing about what the meaning of "is", "is"?
First, he didn't say "not code". He said it's
"no longer code". The only reasonable in context interpretation
of that is that it means you can't have a ground wire
going to a water pipe because the code has been updated
to disallow it. If you follow the thread, he even made
"At least Philo knew I was specifically talking about ground wire connections
made to water pipes at random places in the house. That's very clear to
anyone but a raging flamer like you. Is that still code in NJ? I doubt it.
They stopped approving such grounding methods *precisely* because of what's
happened in Fred's case. "
(note with regard to the above, that he specifically listed the
panel in his list of places to look for grounds to water pipes
that are "no longer code", then he tried to change it to random
"It's clear why grounding to water pipes isn't the great idea it used to be
even though in many old houses (like mine) you'll still find plenty of
clamps attached to supply lines. The mains could be PVC, repairs in the
house, even if it has copper plumbing could be plastic, etc. "
For the record, it's not only permissible to ground the panel
to the incoming water service, ie it's one of the listed
grounding electrodes, it's such a great idea, it's required. And the
metal water pipe system of the house has to be bonded/grounded to
the panel as well. You tried to claim he meant it's just
*not required*, so you obviously don't know what you're talking
about either, because that is still equally as wrong. There
will be ground wires running from the panel to metal water
pipes in new construction, following current code, today.
Why don't you get over the fact that he's wrong and
stop making excuses for him And it's not
an issue of speaking the dialect. "No longer code" is
clear... Even if it wasn't clear,
you think someone who can't speak the dialect is
qualified to give advice to someone on what is or
isn't a proper ground, current code, etc?
On Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:23:31 PM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Let me correct the above to say "code had been updated to disallow
it for new work. I think that's the most reasonable and
generous interpretation of what he said. It's what every other
person I can ever recall saying something is no longer code
If you follow the thread, he even made
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