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Old 01-15-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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Question about main panel grounding


Hello all,

I noticed the other day that there is a bare copper wire coming out of the panel and is bonded to the copper cold water pipe. I am concerned that this is not the best idea. After chasing the water pipe back to the main water service I discovered that the pipe going out to the street is plastic. So, the main shutoff in the house is copper on one side but plastic on the other side. There is no wire jumping across the shutoff. There is no wire affixed to the plastic pipe. Is the house properly grounded?

Out side, the main service to the house comes from underground. The service comes into the house via a metal pipe that disappears into the ground. There is also a grounding rod driven into the ground in the same vicinity with a bare copper wire connected to it. Off that wire others go to the cable junction box, the telephone junction box and into the house into the main panel.

The main service, out by the street, comes down the pole and disappears into the ground. From the ground back up the pole, cross our lane (street) to a pole right across the lane and then out to the main pole on the main street.

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Old 01-15-2012, 07:49 PM   #2
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Question about main panel grounding


The ground to your water pipe must also be connected to the ground rod outside. The connection between the two could be inside of your panel. The panel must also be connected to this ground wire.

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Old 01-15-2012, 07:51 PM   #3
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The ground to your water pipe must also be connected to the ground rod outside.
What size wire should it be? I will get right on that. I was just concerned about causing what I think is called a reverse ground loop?
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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Question about main panel grounding


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What size wire should it be? I will get right on that. I was just concerned about causing what I think is called a reverse ground loop?
I don't know sizes very well, maybe #6. Someone else will need to chime in for that info.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:48 PM   #5
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Question about main panel grounding


Since your incoming water service is plastic it does not provide a grounding electrode source. The conductor attached to the copper pipes is a bonding jumper. It is there to provid a low impedance path to clear the circuit breaker should the piping become energized. It should be connected to the panel neutral/grounding buss.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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Since your incoming water service is plastic it does not provide a grounding electrode source. The conductor attached to the copper pipes is a bonding jumper. It is there to provid a low impedance path to clear the circuit breaker should the piping become energized. It should be connected to the panel neutral/grounding buss.
So do I need to make sure the pipe is bonded to the outside or because it is coming back to the panel and the panel is grounded we are all good?

Thanks,
Fred
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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Question about main panel grounding


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So do I need to make sure the pipe is bonded to the outside or because it is coming back to the panel and the panel is grounded we are all good?
Bonding specifically means that it is connected back to the neutral bus in the panel. I believe that needs to be a #4 conductor. The connection from the panel to the ground rod serves a different purpose and I believe it only needs to be a #6.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:55 PM   #8
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Bonding specifically means that it is connected back to the neutral bus in the panel. I believe that needs to be a #4 conductor. The connection from the panel to the ground rod serves a different purpose and I believe it only needs to be a #6.
Oh boy. Now I am confused. I am going to have an electrician in to look at the way the heat pump installers hooked up my heat pump. I will have them look at this too.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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Question about main panel grounding


It should be pretty easy to see if it's done right. Does the wire from the water pipe go to the neutral bar in the panel? Is it pretty stiff and heavy duty looking? Then you're good.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
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Oh boy. Now I am confused. I am going to have an electrician in to look at the way the heat pump installers hooked up my heat pump. I will have them look at this too.
I'm sorry that you have become a victim of "post overload". If you look at my original answer and the wire size advice from mpoulton everything should fall into place. By all means, have an electrician look it over while he is there.

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