There was an ancient (1950s) steel pipe bringing mains water into my
house under the front room and then up in the cup'd under the stairs.
There there was a stop cock and it went into copper pipe and onto the
copper a large sleeved earth wire was connected with a tag on saying "Do
The steel pipe was leaking so I have taken it all out and replaced with
blue plastic pipe. Was looking at the earth arrangement and wondering if
I need to earth the wiring in another way, into the ground or something,
or are we still earthed through the water in the plastic pipe out to the
On Thursday, 13 February 2020 22:35:57 UTC, TimW wrote:
is not safe.
It depends on your install. Maybe an earth rod plus RCDs/RCBOs on all circu
its. If your install uses the waterpipe as the main earth - which we can't
be sure of at this point - it may have no RCD protection. Recommend posting
a clear pic of the fusebox on here, plus the supplier's incomer.
As has been said it's also possible it's a modern install and the connectio
n is just an equipotential bond. We don't know yet. The seriousness of havi
ng no earth and an old fusebox means show us pics without delay. Yes there
may be earthing elsewhere too.
Although *if* it is a reasonably recent installation, the supplier's
main fuse or switch may bear the magic letters "PME".
That said, mine did when I moved in, but the earth was not in fact
connected to the neutral, but to a fairly feeble looking earth rod right
by the front door.
As someone else suggested, a photo of the fuse box and surrounds would
let us advise better.
Indeed the sticker alone is not solid evidence that the install is
actually using the PME earth.
My cutout has the PME sticker, but it would seem that the upgrade to a
PME capable supply occurred after the house was previously re-wired.
Hence the installation is TT (as would be typical for many rural
properties with overhead supplies).
I've often wondered what they do these days as people tell me you can see
the plastic pipes coming up for the services in new builds. Maybe they all
have some kind of local Earth spike or are they all joined together these
days and earthed at intervals down the road?
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
Typically the earth will be provided by the electrical supplier, using
their combined Protective Earth and Neutral conductor. Thus giving the
consumer a TN-C-S / PME earthing system.
If the pipework in the house is metal, then it still need equipotential
bonding since its capable of introducing a voltage into an equipotential
zone from elsewhere in the house even if it can't do it from external to
the property due to the plastic services.
If the pipework in the property is all the plastic, then the pipework
will not be included in the equipotential bonding.
 No need for EQ bonding in cases where the pipework is all plastic
but with only "show work" in copper.
That may have been just bonding of the incoming metal water pipe. If so
there may be no need for it *if* you've now got all plastic. If not best
to attach the wire to where copper water pipe starts again to maintain
equipotential bonding. See
OTOH it may be - if it's an old house - the water pipe was part of (or
even all of!) the earthing for all your wiring. If so you may need
something to take its place - and PDQ if it was all you had.
Best place to start is what sort of earthing you have
If you aren't sure post links to some pictures.
reply-to address is (intended to be) valid
You have several possibilities here, ranging from mostly all ok, not
much to worry about, to, you now have seriously defective electrical
installation that will be a potential danger to life.
Needless to say, working out which is the first priority. :-)
The links Robin posted should help you identify the type of earthing
system you have. If it turns out to be one of the TN variants, then you
have not much to worry about. If its TT and the rising main was your
main earth connection, you need to take some immediate steps to make it
On 15/02/2020 08:35, email@example.com wrote:
Meanwhile what might help Tim is to know that the relevant function of
"Electricity Boards" was transferred as part of the privatisation of the
industry to distribution network operators (DNOs). As John has already
pointed out they can and do deal with earthing - although they may
charge (and will require main bonding to be up to current requirements
before they supply PME).
reply-to address is (intended to be) valid
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