Moving ground wire connected to water pipe

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Moving ground wire connected to water pipe

Post by kemqual » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:24 am

I would like to move the ground wire connection to the water pipe where the water enters the house.
Right now, it is against the concrete foundation wall and I want to add foam board insulation.
So, I would like to move the ground to about 3" from the concrete wall.

I know there shouldn't be any current running through the ground, but how can I check for this?
If there is no current, then do I still need to cut the power to the whole house?

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Re: Moving ground wire connected to water pipe

Post by Shannon » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:38 am

You will be fine to move it, don't take it off and move it later, move it as soon as you take it off. Be careful to install it snugly but beware if your pipe is lead to not squeeze the pipe to much. I believe that cable has to be with-in the first 5' of the water line where it enters the home. You can use a multi meter to check for current between the pipe and ground wire . It would not hurt to flip off the main breaker while doing this job.
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Re: Moving ground wire connected to water pipe

Post by Aaron » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:03 pm

If you really want a guaranteed non-interrupted ground, install a new jumper BEFORE you remove the old jumper. But of course this will cost more money with additional materials. I also like to use sandpaper and scuff up the copper pipe before I install the clamp, this removes any surface corrosion for a good low-resistant electrical bond.

The house SHOULD be grounded with grounding electrode rods buried outside the house, that is the primary source of ground. The water pipes are secondary. So even if you do remove the jumper from the water pipes, it should not affect the ground system throughout the house at all. But you still must have the jumper around the meter because that is certainly code.

Older homes with 60A service panels panels may still rely on the water pipe from the street. Most of those panels were upgraded in the 1960s through the early 1980s. When that happened, electrode rods should have been installed for the primary ground.

Interestingly, in some new developments around here, I've seen the water utility run one-inch PE or PEX pipe into the house instead of copper! So that renders the water line completely useless as a grounding source.

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