I'm not second-guessing my electrician, just gathering information for
We agreed to install 2 ground rods, per code, and then tie a second ground
to the water supply line, also code I am told. With that they are also
going to connect a ground between the hot and cold pipes at the water
My question, what does the ground at the water supply do that the 2 ground
second question, as I intend on replacing all of my hot water lines with
PEX, obviously the ground at the water heater will no longer exist - am I
creating a dangerous condition or can I safely remove the metal hot water
pipes and replace with PEX - so that I no longer have any metalic hot water
If you don't have a copper water line feeding the building , the two ground
rods, ground the electrical system, and if you do have a copper water line
it's bonded together with the ground rods to form a better ground. The
interior metal water pipes are bonded to the electrical grounding system to
prevent them from becoming electrically live, which they could do if
isolated from the grounding system. If you replace the metal with pex, it
can't become energized, so there is nothing to ground
advise your electrician of your upcoming pipe changes so he connects to
the metal cold pipe that supplies water near its entrance to your home.
have him check your wiring to see if any previous homeowner handymen
have used the water line for electrical grounding anywhere else inside
your building, perhaps at the older washing machine for example.
see Electrical Wiring FAQ for grounding info and more at:
They're aware that I will be replacing the pipes, however for the purposes
of the inspection and code requirements they're still going to install the
I know they tied the kitchen outlets to the cold water pipes for one. I'll
mention it to him when they come back to do the work. Today all they were
doing was inspecting the box to make sure it would accept a ground
connection and locate the utilities so that the ground rod wouldn't
penetrate the gas main or break my crawlspace drains. They are going to tie
the water line grounding to the cold water line just as it comes into the
house - about 10 feet from the water meter.
Alright, so when I finally replace the hot water galvanized with PEX I
simply remove the bonding and not worry about it.
Ensures that no matter what might ever go wrong in the electrical system, the
plumbing system will always be at electrical ground potential -- thus
eliminating the possibility of an electric shock hazard from touching a pipe,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
At the limit, how far should one go in "grounding" every piece of metal
someone might touch.
No question that a grounded sink is safer than a sink which is HOT because
of some accident of repair or construction. (E.g.: a screw or nail cuts
into a cable.)
But in electricity it takes TWO to tango and to kill you. If your sink is
HOT you still need another ground to get a serious shock. A nearby
grounded metal object is just a dangerous as the HOT sink!
Unless you live in the country you have a garbage disposal in your metal
sink. The disposal will ground your sink.
If you don't have a disposal, I suggest that you don't go out of your way to
ground your sink. Aside from everything else, there is no standard way of
bonding a sink with plastic drain and supply lines to the local ground.
Better that you have GFCI circuits to supply any non-grounded small
appliances you handle in the bath or kitchen. Many heating appliances don't
have a ground (toasters, coffee machines, irons).
Guessing you live in a dry rocky soil area. Since code only requires
one ground rod if a sufficient low ground resistance.
1. Meet the requirements of code, it is the first you connect to if
the metal piping has 10 or more exposure to earth.
2. It bonds the pipe back to the panel, so if a hot wire comes in
contact it creates a strong ground fault to allow for breaker
3. If the pipe is bonded to the panel, if you come in contact with
any neutral and a metal pipe, there will be a zero potential for
voltage and shock.
The water heater should be bonded ('grounded') via the electrial
supply and from the bonded ('grounded') gas piping. The bonding
jumper, from the hot to cold is to ensure 1. You maintain a bonding
('ground') back to the panel should your water heater becomes removed
for work. Also, just incase your water heater isn't good for low
impedance for ground fault current.
As for pex, you need to preplan all this. Talk to your building
inspectors as well as your electrical inspectors. I remember a
conversation with someone that pex wasn't allowed since it was believe
water applicances(garbage disposal, instant hot water heater), might
become engerized, and with no metal piping, a path for current would
be lost, and the situation could remain deadly.
Remember, do work per codes and inspector recommendations, not by
Newgroup posts. Be safe.
tom @ www.NoCostAds.com
The NEC only requires one rod, but if you don't have equipment to determine
the quality of the ground connection, you're required to drive a second rod
six feet apart. For most of us, it just means you drive two rods
I never perform repairs per newsgroup, you all could be a bunch of paranoid
schitzophrenics for all I know. However it does give me a good direction to
look. I do appreciate it.
Actually my soil is glacial till, hard clay with tons of rocks, but 2
grounds is the code here. As for code and inspection requirements, in my
city/county they are severe. The only thing I can do without a permit is
paint, replace interior doors, and vacuum. And I deeply resent this fact as
unnecessary, as time consuming, and costly.
You could move to the boonies where representatives of the "gv'ment" are
routinely shot when they poke around. Or, if you like large cities, consider
We have no zoning in Houston.
When I recently replaced the breaker box, no permit was required. I just had
to coordinate with the light company (private). They wanted 24 hours notice
to break the seal. Said to call when we were done and they would re-seal the
meter within two days after (it was up to us to actually unplug and re-plug
Somebody recently posted a link to the building regulations of some small
town (I think in Nebraska) regarding -- you're not going to believe this --
municipal requirements for stairway bannisters. How wide, how far from the
wall, how high from the risers, intimate detail on how to navigate corners
and curves in the stairway, material requirements, combustibility,
coefficient of friction, strength of attachement to the wall, on and on.
Many pages. Dealing with just the bannister!
I didn't see any prohibition, however, on whether you could coat the
bannister with lead-based paint....
Many places regulation is good, since it's percieved motive is safety,
but the truth is it puts more home owner money in other people's
Here is for crazy codes, I saw on some "this old house' show, pvc
isn't allowed for waste pipes any homes in San Fran? You need to use
tom @ www.FreelancingProjects.com
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