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Old 08-26-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
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ground from panel to water pipes


just want to make sure I have this right, working on helping friend on new construction of a house and there is a grounding conductor coming out of the panel with a long tail and I think this will go to any and all copper or metal pipes in the basement from the water and or gas pipe coming in to house, to ground and bond everything to panel, and in the panel there is only one grounding bus so would all neutral and ground conductors go on this bus and does it matter where they go on this bus and can you put one white and one ground under same lug, thanks

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Old 08-26-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
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ground from panel to water pipes


Panels aren't installed with a ground already coming from them. But if this is new construction it likely is for a ufer ground. Look around for a stub out of rebar coming from the foundation concrete. If this is available you must run a grounding conductor to it from the panel. You must also have a grounding conductor ran to any metal water piping that is in contact with the earth before entering the house of at least 10 feet. That connection must be made within 5 feet of where the water pipe enters the house. some local codes want it with 12 inches so make it close as feasible. Any water meters located in the piping in that area need to have a jumper across them to the piping to mantain continuity.

If a ufer was available you are finished at this point. If not then the normal practice is to drive 2 ground rods 8 feet in length vertically into the ground and below grade about a foot or so then a grounding conductor to the panel from those rods. This grounding conductor should not be broken from panel to the electode...no splice. Use #6 minimum to the grounding electrode. #4 solid copper uninsulated grounding wire is the norm for 200 amp services so I'd just use that for everything unless the service is larger.

As for the panel ground bar. If the main disconnect is located in that panel for the dwelling in the form of a main breaker then neutrals and ground can go to the same terminal bar. Grounds can be doubled or tripled in the same hole if they are the same size. Do not mix sizes.

Neutrals must go to an individual terminal hole and cannot share that hole with other neutrals or grounds.

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Old 08-26-2009, 11:23 AM   #3
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ground from panel to water pipes


You cannot put neutrals and grounds under the same lug, but you can put them on the same bar provided this is the panel where the main disconnect is located. If you have an outdoor means of service disconnect or if this is a subpanel there's quite a bit more to it.
Multiple grounds of the same size under the same lug are usually just fine. Your panel's installation data sheet/sticker will give that information, as it is dependent on the listing.

The water service must be utilized as a ground if it is available. If the water service is copper, hook to it. If it is PEX or PVC, don't bother because it won't work. You'll usua right where it comes through the foundation or floor. You'll probably be required to drive an 8' ground rod as well. Better talk to the electrical inspector to verify local requirements.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:24 AM   #4
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ground from panel to water pipes


Good call Stubbie, we're still in the pre-ufer dark ages here and I failed to think about that!
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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ground from panel to water pipes


I should also add that the ground rods need to be 6' apart and you can run one grounding conductor that catches both rods. There are special clamps that must be direct bury rated to connect the grounding conductor to the rods. You may put two clamps on the first rod and run a grounding conductor bonding wire to the second rod if that is more to your liking.

Two images to help you .....the first is the water pipe grounding conductor (sometimes we call it the water pipe bond) coming down the side of the foundation protected in EMT over to a water pipe clamp. If no meter is involved your done. The image shows a water meter and the grounding conductor continuing on to the water pipe on the other side of the meter to jump it.

The second is a ufer ground (this is a link it may be inside or outside)and the third image is ground rods if needed because no ufer available.




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Old 08-26-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
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ground from panel to water pipes


thanks for the great info and quick responce, I will have to look and see but I think there are ground rods aready in and they are already grounded to panel and there is a tail coming from panel aready run over to be connected to the water pipes, the service was put in already by electrical contractor so I have to take it from there.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:59 PM   #7
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ground from panel to water pipes


Most likely the water wasn't plumbed and the contractor ran the wire to the grounding location. Just get a water pipe clamp and connect the grounding conductor to the metal water pipe as close as you can to where it enters..jump any meters.. You need to protect it if needed with a sleeve of emt or pvc if it is easily accessible and subject to physical damage.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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ground from panel to water pipes


Most likely the water wasn't plumbed and the contractor ran the wire to the grounding location. Just get a water pipe clamp and connect the grounding conductor to the metal water pipe as close as you can to where it enters. You need to protect it if needed with a sleeve of emt or pvc if it is easily accessible and subject to physical damage.

If ground rods are installed I doubt there is a ufer or concrete encased electrode.

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