Copper line for refrigerator being used as a ground...
The old owners of my house ran a 1/4" copper pipe from the utility room, through the attic, down to the kitchen in order to supply the refrigerator with water for the icemaker. This pipe has become kinked and offers very little water flow so I'd like to replace it. I had planned on replacing it with a length of PEX since it's much cheaper than copper. When I went up into the attic to investigate however, I found what looks like an electrical wire affixed to the copper pipe. I can only assume that this is a ground wire, and that they used this pipe as a ground for something, possibly overhead lighting in the kitchen. Does this mean I'm forced to replace the pipe with copper so it can still use it as a ground, or is there an alternative that would allow me to use the cheaper PEX line?
You need to find out exactly what that wire is from, disconnect it, and if it is ground to an electrical device, and the device has no ground, you need to disconnect it to, and pull new wire and provide a ground as required.
This sounds really wrong, if you are not capable of sorting this out, you might want to have an electrician at least have a look at it.
Once that is resolved, pex or poly line would be the way to go.
When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
Receptacles retrofitted with a ground wire must have that wire go all the way to the breaker panel (or to the fat ground wire connecting the panel to a ground rod or the main water pipe exiting the house).
An informal ground, say, daisy chained from one piece of stereo equipment to another, may be connected to this copper tube provided that the plumbing is all metal down to a clamped on ground wire to the breaker panel.
Tornado victims: Do not rush to rebuild. Take your time and look for and get a good contractor. Or consider selling the property and moving to a home that is ready to live in.