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Old 06-09-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


Hello,

Excuse me in advance if I use the wrong terminology. Yesterday I had the cable guy in my furnace room doing some work and he pointed to a ground wire that was attached to a metal pipe that is part of the natural gas line. He said this was very dangerous as if the house was hit by lightening the house could explode. I called the builder of my house and told him what the cable guy said and he said flat out that he was wrong and that it was completely safe and had been inspected by the city inspectors when it was built.

Needless to say I am concerned by the suggesting of an explosion! Can anyone offer an opinion as to whether having a ground on the NG pipe is dangerous or not.

Thanks!

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Old 06-09-2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


The cable guy was right. It should be connected to a water pipe if anything. If it's part of your house's grounding system, then there are more specific requirements as to where it's connected (but never to a gas pipe, by code).

What does that wire connect to? Is it part of the electrical system, or phone, cable, etc?

I don't know that it would cause the house to explode.. There's not enough gas in the pipes in your house to cause a huge explosion, but I suppose it could start a fire. Probably not.

My concern would be that if it's a copper grounding clamp (or copper anything) on steel gas piping, you could get galvanic corrosion of your gas pipe, and then a gas leak.

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Old 06-09-2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


Thanks for your reply.

I'm not sure what the wire is connected to. It is a thick multi thread copper wire which is clamped to the metal gas pipe and then it ends.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


In this state and few others (mostly in the south) you have to bond the gas line to the grounding electrode system with a #6 if CSST pipe is being used.

It needs to be bonded before it enters the house though.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:58 PM   #5
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


Thanks for the feedback.

Who do you suggest I call, an electrician or a building inspector to advise me?
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Old 06-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #6
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


Can you follow to see the other end of this wire? Quite possibly it is just bonding the gas line to the water lines and the panel.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:33 PM   #7
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
The cable guy was right. It should be connected to a water pipe if anything. If it's part of your house's grounding system, then there are more specific requirements as to where it's connected (but never to a gas pipe, by code).

What does that wire connect to? Is it part of the electrical system, or phone, cable, etc?

I don't know that it would cause the house to explode.. There's not enough gas in the pipes in your house to cause a huge explosion, but I suppose it could start a fire. Probably not.

My concern would be that if it's a copper grounding clamp (or copper anything) on steel gas piping, you could get galvanic corrosion of your gas pipe, and then a gas leak.
The cable guy was wrong. Partially.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:46 PM   #8
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
The cable guy was wrong. Partially.
I thought you never bond to a gas pipe inside a house.. ?? When is it allowed/a good idea?
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #9
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


Quote:
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I thought you never bond to a gas pipe inside a house.. ?? When is it allowed/a good idea?
You never use a gas line as a grounding electrode. However, if it is metal it is required to be bonded. Some jurisdictions consider the gas line bonded by the physical connection it has with an appliance, such as a stove with electric ignitor. There is no harm in jumping a bonding wire to the metal gas pipe. I prefer this than actually relying on a plumbing connection to affect the bond.

A high voltage surge running along a gas line is not going to make it explode.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:27 PM   #10
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


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You never use a gas line as a grounding electrode. However, if it is metal it is required to be bonded.
OIC.. My mistake. I half-remembered the first part, and took it too far.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:59 PM   #11
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Grounding on Natural Gas Line


Cable guy was probably wrong.

All metal piping must be bonded to the electrical system.

If it was a stock installation and the wire goes to the panel or is jumpered to/from the water piping, it's a good installation. If someone just tapped it for a ground (like a cable guy ) it is wrong.

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