+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    237

    Default Do I Need A Ground Rod

    My breaker box connects to ground by a wire connected to nearby copper piping. Do I need to install a new grounding rod or would I get any additional protection if I did?
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    Is the copper pipe connection a grounding electrode connection or just a bonding connection? To be a grounding electrode the connection should be made within 5' of where the metallic pipe enters the structure. And yes, there should be supplemental rods for the service.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,470

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    The last time I ask my electrician this question, he said yes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cressona, PA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    You need a minimum of 2 grounding electrodes. The water pipe counts as 1, so you need 1 more.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    You can't really have too many. The water service pipe is still the best ground because of it's depth underground. But I'd still want 2 near the box so that you have a localized ground right near the main service entrance. The ground potential can still vary over even a few feet. Additionally, you still want your plumbing grounded... especially if you have copper or galvanized pipes. Although those in old hoses often have a ground for their plumbing already since all the drain pipes are iron.

    Funny how a lot of the new and supposedly superior products can often create new issues. With all PVC and plastic pipes, you lose that ability to ground your plumbing. Perhaps it's not needed as much in that case. Personally, I still have doubts that PEX & PVC will last longer than the 86 y/o steel and 65 y/o copper that still in service. We'll see.
    1925 Two-Story Stucco Beaux Arts Neoclassical

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    You can't really have too many. The water service pipe is still the best ground because of it's depth underground. But I'd still want 2 near the box so that you have a localized ground right near the main service entrance. The ground potential can still vary over even a few feet. Additionally, you still want your plumbing grounded... especially if you have copper or galvanized pipes. Although those in old hoses often have a ground for their plumbing already since all the drain pipes are iron.

    Funny how a lot of the new and supposedly superior products can often create new issues. With all PVC and plastic pipes, you lose that ability to ground your plumbing. Perhaps it's not needed as much in that case. Personally, I still have doubts that PEX & PVC will last longer than the 86 y/o steel and 65 y/o copper that still in service. We'll see.
    Bonding the metallic piping systems has nothing to do with grounding. The purpose of bonding is to provide a low impedance path wihich will allow circuit breakers to trip in the event the piping becomes electrically energised.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    706

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    If your service entrance panel was connected to the metal water pipe within 5 ft of the point it enters the house and 10 ft of it is in contact with the soil you have one of the best grounding electrodes available.

    However, as was mentioned, you still need two more (spaced at least 6 ft apart from the each other), unless you measure you measure the effectiveness of the first rod and it measures at least 25 ohms.

    As was also mentioned metal piping and duct work should all be connected by at least #6 copper wire.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,589

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    As was also mentioned metal piping and duct work should all be connected by at least #6 copper wire.
    Besides water piping, this also includes gas piping and even metal building framing. If there are sections of metal piping separated by plastic, it's necessary to connect each section of metal piping as well.

    Maurice, what about dielectric unions? The purpose of them is to electrically separate copper and galvanized steel piping to prevent electrolysis, but it seems that doing an electrical bond as required by the electrical codes would defeat the purpose of the dielectric union (as required by plumbing codes). Are the different codes at odds with each other?
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    Good point about ductwork. While the case of the furnace or air handler is usually grounded, that's not a very large ground wire. Probably best to have a separate ground connected to any nearby copper water piping. Probably wouldn't hurt to do this in a couple places where convenient.

    I just added another thing to my to-do-list.
    1925 Two-Story Stucco Beaux Arts Neoclassical

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Do I Need A Ground Rod

    Please show me where the electrical code requires duct work to be bonded

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •