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  1. #1
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    Default Missing umper at water meter

    As I have always understood it, if there is 10 feet or more of underground metallic water supply pipe it makes no difference if the grounding conductor from the service equipment is connected upstream or downstream of the meter, in either case the binding jumper must be installed at the meter to ensure that any potentially energized metal in the plumbing system will have a low resistance path to ground even if the meter is removed.

    Is my understanding correct?

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    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Missing jumper at water meter

    Michael,

    Sort of correct.

    Both the NEC and the IRC state: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - NEC
    - - (D) Metal Underground Water Pipe. Where used as a grounding electrode, metal underground water pipe shall meet the requirements of 250.53(D)(1) and (D)(2).
    - - - (1) Continuity. Continuity of the grounding path or the bonding connection to interior piping shall not rely on water meters or filtering devices and similar equipment.
    - IRC
    - - E3508.1.1.1 Installation. Continuity of the grounding path or the bonding connection to interior piping shall not rely on water meters, filtering devices and similar equipment. A metal underground water pipe shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in Sections E3508.1.2 through E3508.1.5. The supplemental electrode shall be bonded to the grounding electrode conductor, the grounded service entrance conductor, a nonflexible grounded service raceway or any grounded service enclosure.

    IF there is 10 feet or more of metal underground water piping (such as for the water service), IT SHALL BE used and connected to the grounding electrode system.

    If there is not 10 feet or more of metal underground water piping (such as for the water service) there is no requirement for that metal piping to be used.

    Thus, as there is no requirement for that metal pipe to be used, there is no requirement for the meter to have a bonding jumper installed around it for continuity.

    UNLESS the interior metal water piping system is being bonded by the same bond wire, in which case a bonding jumper around the meter for continuity is required.

    Now for some questions:
    - 1) Is there more than 10 feet of metal water piping underground in your photo?
    - 2) Is there another bond to the interior metal water piping someplace else?

    If the answer to 1) is 'yes' and the answer to 2) is also 'yes', then a bonding jumper really is not required - although it would definitely be a good idea.

    If the answer to either 1) or 2) is 'no', then a bonding jumper is almost certainly required ("almost certainly" allowing for a some other connection someplace you did not see but recognizing that if you did not see it, it probably does not exist).

    Is it a good idea to install a bonding jumper around a water meter? ABSOLUTELY!

    Especially with the bonding jumper laying there (looks like a short piece of bonding jumper is laying there). Looks like someone was ready to install the bonding jumper and did not have the clamps, then forgot to come back with the clamps and install it.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Missing umper at water meter

    Jerry,

    1) The water line is copper where it enters the foundation, in this AHJ (Skokie, IL) it is likely copper all the way to the street.

    2) I saw no other bond to the water system.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Missing jumper at water meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Jerry,

    1) The water line is copper where it enters the foundation, in this AHJ (Skokie, IL) it is likely copper all the way to the street.

    2) I saw no other bond to the water system.
    Then, yes, the bonding jumper would need to be installed across the water meter to maintain continuity for the interior metal water piping system bonding to work properly when the water meter is removed.

    Plumbers have been known to have been shocked, some seriously enough for hospitalization by removing a water meter without a bonding jumper around it ... there was current flowing through the ground path and, when the meter was removed, the current went through the plumber.

    Smart plumbers bring a jumper cable with them, a piece or wire about 3' to 6' long with large clamps on each end, kind of like jumper cable clamps for cars, then clamp one end on the pipe at each end of the water meter. Smart guys.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Talking Re: Missing umper at water meter

    Thanks for your comments.

    ------------------

    I need to be absolute certain I'm getting every detail on this one exactly right, this is turning into one of these nerve-racking inspections with a real estate attorney for a clientand extremely angry sellers and Realtors on the other side...

    ... a 7 hour inspection (and there's lots more I could have done, for example track down where the combustion air the second-floor utility closet is coming from - seems to be from a stud cavity that leads nowhere)

    ... my "flood the shower pans for 1/2 hour test" had water coming out of recessed lighting on two different floors ("You're destroying the owner's property!") and I'm willing to bet that if the client takes my advice and tests the third tiled shower it will be found to be leaking if the water is allowed to stand overnight, There's an SE coming tomorrow to look at problems with the two-story "atrium" entryway and a bunch of other stuff.

    ... all this on a five-year-old previously $1.4M house, now on the market for around $800K - the sellers are taking a bath, and to judge but by what I hear from the Realtors they are very unhappy about where things seem to be headed.

    ... plus, this morning we discovered that my wife's company just got acquired by IBM

    ... I tell you Jerry.... this stuff keeps up and I'm gonna' have to figure out how to charge at least half of what you did , or I'm going to shoot myself in sheer frustration .

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 07-28-2009 at 06:47 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Missing jumper at water meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    ... a 7 hour inspection (and there's lots more I could have done, for example track down where the combustion air the second-floor utility closet is coming from - seems to be from a stud cavity that leads nowhere)

    Does that mean you are now beginning to understand how and why I could easily spend 1-2-3-4 days and more at an inspection?

    ... I tell you Jerry.... this stuff keeps up and I'm gonna' have to figure out how to charge at least half of what you did , or I'm going to shoot myself in sheer frustration .
    Well, you are on a good start ... being there nearing the half-way point in my typical small house inspections.

    'Course, though, there is that little matter of the next step ... charging for it.

    Yep, nothing like standing in a downstairs room with water running down through the recessed lights in a $5+ mil house ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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