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Ground Rod Question...


blazenut
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Do you guys report that a ground rod should be installed if the only source of grounding for the electrical system is to city water (since renovations often compromise the grounding system by adding plastic piping)? And if so, who would istall the ground rod, an electrician, that you would have to pay, or the electric company that would do it their expense? Thanks in advance.

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Has plastic pipe been installed?

Newer code requires the GEC within 6' of the service entrance. I'd say any plumber should notice the ground, but I just had one last week where the metal pipe was cut out, and a new PVC pipe was run in-- that WAS the only GEC and pipe bond.

If everything is original, the answer to your original question is that I do not recommend a ground rod in the report.

On newer homes, there will probably be a UFER ground, and then the ground wire on the water pipes is just a ground bond.

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How can you not report the elctric service not grounded??

I have never seen where a new service or a upgrade service has gotten inspected without being grounded either by rod or by #4 solid copper installed in a trench.

There is no utility company around here that will install the meter without a TPF inspection, which requires a ground,

Any electricians out there that can clarify?

Have a great day

Tim

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Do you guys report that a ground rod should be installed if the only source of grounding for the electrical system is to city water (since renovations often compromise the grounding system by adding plastic piping)?

If renovations are planned, I mention it. If no renovations are planned, I don't mention it. A metal water pipe makes a fine grounding electrode.

And if so, who would istall the ground rod, an electrician, that you would have to pay, or the electric company that would do it their expense? Thanks in advance.

Around here, you'd hire an electrician to do that work. The utility would not do it for your house.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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It used to be the thinking that a cold water pipe ground was a good ground if it is all metal pipe and the water meter electrically connects to a metal pipe water main.

But lately cities are installing plastic water mains. The question is, what distance of buried metal water pipe would be considered a good ground?

You could have a N.Y. City type building where the basement wall is at the curb and there is only a few feet of metal pipe. And this then connects to a new plastic city water main.

Or elsewhere you could have a ranch style house and 50 feet of metal water pipe run to the water meter at the curb. (Or the same house where the pipe was replaced with plastic and ground rods not installed.)

What I would want to know as a potential homeowner is if there was *just* a cold water pipe ground. And is that ground still a good ground? Or was plastic pipe installed and this is no longer a good ground?

Or I suppose I would be happy as a potential homeowner that it was pointed out to me that there was *just* a cold water pipe ground, and I should have this checked to be sure it is still a good ground. And maybe that the current homeowner does not know if the pipe is metal all the way to the street or not.

As to checking this, I would NOT recommend that home inspectors test this. I suppose you could test with a length of wire and a continuity tester from the ground clamp at the meter to the water meter...

HOWEVER if there was an open ground because plastic pipe was installed and also a malfunctioning appliance leaking to ground, this would be a POTENTIAL ELECTROCUITION HAZARD to the person doing this testing. Like holding two live wires in your hands!

There is ground testing to actually measure how good a ground is, but this is quite involved and requires very expensive test equipment.

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