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Old 03-10-2011, 11:40 AM   #1
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grounded gas pipe confusion


I just moved into my house last November and had the original electrical panel upgraded to a 200amp panel last month. Last week I called The gas company to check out the capacity on my gas meter so that I could replace my 15 year old water heater to a tankless water heater.

The Gas company field rep is saying they can not replace the gas meter until the grounding wire is removed from the gas pipe. Electrician says it should be grounded and that the grounding is to code. On the attached picture grounding wire comes from grounding rod to house side of gas pipe and connected to water pipe on other side of house.

I searched google and there seems to be similar confusion about grounding gas pipes. A gas company field supervisor will call me back and let me know what I should do.

what do you think, Who is right? gas company field rep or electrician?
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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grounded gas pipe confusion


gas pipe has to be grounded per code250.104(a)(b).by code needs to be bonded at main service not just a ground rod.

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Old 03-10-2011, 01:19 PM   #3
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grounded gas pipe confusion


I don't know what you have there but it isn't a legal grounding/bonding conductor. It looks like MC, AC, or flexible metallic conduit, none of which are acceptable for outside use due to it being a wet location.


there is no requirement to bond the gas line as it is attempted in your pic. The gas piping is considered to be grounded by the circtuit serving the appliance.

Having said that, the inspector in my area demands the gas pipe be bonded in the style yours is.

so, call the local electrical inspector and get his opinion. What the electrician says is meaningless (even if he is correct) in getting the gas provider to accept the situation. If the electrical inspector says it is not necessary, disconnect it and let them change the meter. If he says it is required, ask him to write a letter on "official letterhead" with some proof of his authority and present that to the gas folks.


edit: I did not mean to infer the gas line does not have to be bonded, just that the EGC of th circuit supplying the appliance the gas is for is considered to be acceptable. There is no need to bond it in the manner it is in your situation.

Last edited by nap; 03-10-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:23 PM   #4
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grounded gas pipe confusion


I don't know why the bonding of the gas pipe was brought outside the house, it could have stayed inside.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:25 PM   #5
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grounded gas pipe confusion


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
I don't know why the bonding of the gas pipe was brought outside the house, it could have stayed inside.
the inspector in my area demands it be bonded near the meter. Rather than argue with him, I just go ahead and bond it in similar fashion (of course, with an actual legal conductor though) as pictured.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:54 PM   #6
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grounded gas pipe confusion


That is likely armored ground. Its a 4 gauge copper wire in an armored sheath. Some areas require it as a local amendment. I thought it was only flexible gas pipe that had to be grounded. Its not required where I live.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:09 PM   #7
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grounded gas pipe confusion


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
I don't know what you have there but it isn't a legal grounding/bonding conductor. It looks like MC, AC, or flexible metallic conduit, none of which are acceptable for outside use due to it being a wet location.
There is a thick copper cable inside connected to a copper ground rod which has another cable going into electrical panel. The city inspected and approved electrical panel upgrade therefore I assume it must be legal.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #8
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grounded gas pipe confusion


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Originally Posted by what-do-i-do View Post
There is a thick copper cable inside connected to a copper ground rod which has another cable going into electrical panel. The city inspected and approved electrical panel upgrade therefore I assume it must be legal.


I'll have to research that cable. Never seen it before.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:52 PM   #9
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grounded gas pipe confusion


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Originally Posted by iminaquagmire View Post
That is likely armored ground. Its a 4 gauge copper wire in an armored sheath. Some areas require it as a local amendment. I thought it was only flexible gas pipe that had to be grounded. Its not required where I live.
code requires metal pipe to be grounded/bonded. In the code, it specifically states the gas pipe can be considered properly grounded by the egc of the circuit supplying the appliance the gas feeds. Obviously if the only gas appliance in the house is a stove or range and there is no electrical power to it, you would have to bond the gas pipe in some fashion similar to what we have here.

But bonding the gas pipe in some way is not an option in the NEC. It is a requirement.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:41 PM   #10
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grounded gas pipe confusion


The gas man probably thought that you were using the gas pipe as the (primary) grounding electrode which it should not be. But the gas piping system must be bonded to the grounding electrode system (with something else such as a ground rod as the grounding electrode) and the way it is done may resemble an attempt to use the gas pipe as a grounding electrode.

You may unhitch the bonding wire attached near the meter during the time the gas man is inspecting your gas piping and/or changing the meter. Assuming there is a grounding electrode elsewhere, the grounding electrode system is not compromised.

The ground wire from the panel should go non-stop to the "real" grounding electrode. If it passes the gas pipe first it should not be cut in two and spliced there.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-10-2011 at 04:47 PM.
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