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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    11

    Default Copper line for refrigerator being used as a ground...

    The old owners of my house ran a 1/4" copper pipe from the utility room, through the attic, down to the kitchen in order to supply the refrigerator with water for the icemaker. This pipe has become kinked and offers very little water flow so I'd like to replace it. I had planned on replacing it with a length of PEX since it's much cheaper than copper. When I went up into the attic to investigate however, I found what looks like an electrical wire affixed to the copper pipe. I can only assume that this is a ground wire, and that they used this pipe as a ground for something, possibly overhead lighting in the kitchen. Does this mean I'm forced to replace the pipe with copper so it can still use it as a ground, or is there an alternative that would allow me to use the cheaper PEX line?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Copper line for refrigerator being used as a ground...

    Howdy using that line as a ground is a huge no no it becomes energized and someone contacts the refrig and shock- death ....
    Running water lines threw attics is a lousy idea . Freeze damage or wear leaks then run down into the house . When you re run the line consider running it up to the refrig instead from the basement.

    With no other information about your electrical service or type of wiring- you need to determine what is grounded to the water line and why. Also how to properly run the ground, if it is needed, to begin with. Great time to have an electrician out to determine if the electrical panel is properly grounded and if the water main line needs grounding at the water entry point in the basement....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Copper line for refrigerator being used as a ground...

    House is on a slab, which is why it has to go through the attic. The line is underneath the insulation that is up there, which I would think would protect against freezing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Copper line for refrigerator being used as a ground...

    Hi , not knowing what zone your in an how much insulation..... where is your water meter or the main water supply coming into the home in relation to the refrig? if close - there are ways to run the line not going threw attic....
    I have handled several insurance claims from pipes in attic freezing and breaking or simply wearing and breaking. So personally i will never have pipes in my attics.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Copper line for refrigerator being used as a ground...

    Whether or not to use copper or pex to supply water to the fridge isn't the issue, you have a bigger issue to worry about. That grounding connection isn't proper or safe, period. Sounds to me you may have opened a can of worms with that discovery.
    Not only do you have to repair plumbing but now you have electrical to repair.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Copper line for refrigerator being used as a ground...

    It is a common practise to run ref. lines through attics in areas of warm climates, when the home is built on a slab. As far as the ground wire how large is it? It could be from a phone line.

    John
    Last edited by johnjh2o; 02-15-2011 at 07:08 PM.

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