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  1. #1
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    Default Whats the point of this?

    There are no other conductors here, just what you see. Just wondering what the point is.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    They felt that the copper water pipe did not have sufficient ground contact so added ground rod.


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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    They felt that the copper water pipe did not have sufficient ground contact so added ground rod.

    The world of no harm no foul.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    The one on the left looks like copper water pipe to me. The one on the right a ground rod. Maybe CA has a requirement for water pipe on the exterior to be grounded verifiably. Is that cement collar for a catch basin?

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    If the incoming water line (the part you can't see) is plastic then the ground rod makes sense.

    Eric Barker, ACI
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Good answers...thanks.
    FYI, The supply from the street is copper and the supply throughout the house is also copper. I though they started something and didnt finish.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Marc,

    My SWAG is that is a copper pipe to the hose spigot and other, which are downstream from the meter, upstream from the entrance to the slab/building, and downstream from a check/backflow to prevent contamination, and upstream from the underground water sprinkler system on a timer, or a pool, hot tub, and/or fountain.

    How old is the building? How close is what we see to the pool, hot tub and/or fountain?


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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Marc,

    My SWAG is that is a copper pipe to the hose spigot and other, which are downstream from the meter, upstream from the entrance to the slab/building, and downstream from a check/backflow to prevent contamination, and upstream from the underground water sprinkler system on a timer, or a pool, hot tub, and/or fountain.

    How old is the building? How close is what we see to the pool, hot tub and/or fountain?
    Its a 1957 builiding. No spa-pool-fountain or sprinklers.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    Its a 1957 builiding. No spa-pool-fountain or sprinklers.
    Now there's a clue for some "possible point".

    1957 pre-dates requirements for grounded-type 3-wire convienence receptacles, etc. post-dates polarized receptacles. Also pre-dates type CTL panels and GFCIs and alternative methods, options, and requirements that followed suit.

    Multi-generations of possible modifications (including later incomplete investigation and correction) by those with questionable qualifications or thoroughness.

    "Boot-leg grounds" through mid-80s cycles. Undersized grounds in mid-range cable systems. Obviously the pipe clamp on the rod is less-than-qualified as well.

    I'll SWAG an outlet somewhere and/or former antenae cable entered home from above.

    The copper pipe on the left is supplying a spigot yes?


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Now there's a clue for some "possible point".

    1957 pre-dates requirements for grounded-type 3-wire convienence receptacles, etc. post-dates polarized receptacles. Also pre-dates type CTL panels and GFCIs and alternative methods, options, and requirements that followed suit.

    Multi-generations of possible modifications (including later incomplete investigation and correction) by those with questionable qualifications or thoroughness.

    "Boot-leg grounds" through mid-80s cycles. Undersized grounds in mid-range cable systems. Obviously the pipe clamp on the rod is less-than-qualified as well.

    I'll SWAG an outlet somewhere and/or former antenae cable entered home from above.

    The copper pipe on the left is supplying a spigot yes?
    Yes sir H.G., it is.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Just a handy way to ground the water pipes? That water supply would be coming out of the basement or crawlspace, so grounding it there grounds the pipes inside, no?

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Just a handy way to ground the water pipes? That water supply would be coming out of the basement or crawlspace, so grounding it there grounds the pipes inside, no?
    I suppose..but isnt the pipe considered grounded because it is over 10' & buried?

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Using the water lines for a ground was always a sorry method. I have written up so many homes where I either found no ground or just a ground hooked to the water lines used as a ground. In any case I could not tell you how many times I have seen a ground rod driven and the water lines bonded to it. The receptacles boxes thru the home are more than likely hooked to the water lines thru a grounding loop and to semi correct this they drove a rod. Now if anyone ever changes out the main water line the water lines being used as a ground will still be a ground. I am kind of surprised that there is not another rod somewhere and the panel grounded to it and this is where they bonded the pipes.

    Shouldn't there be some protection for that water line for a few reasons?


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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Marc, Are you assuming that the pipe out to the street is all copper? Things do get changed, replaced and upgraded - especially for an older home. It sounds like all you can do is speculate.

    Eric Barker, ACI
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Using the water lines for a ground was always a sorry method. I have written up so many homes where I either found no ground or just a ground hooked to the water lines used as a ground. In any case I could not tell you how many times I have seen a ground rod driven and the water lines bonded to it. The receptacles boxes thru the home are more than likely hooked to the water lines thru a grounding loop and to semi correct this they drove a rod. Now if anyone ever changes out the main water line the water lines being used as a ground will still be a ground. I am kind of surprised that there is not another rod somewhere and the panel grounded to it and this is where they bonded the pipes.

    Shouldn't there be some protection for that water line for a few reasons?
    I agree on all points. There wasnt another rod anywhere. There will be when he upgrades the panel, however.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Marc, Are you assuming that the pipe out to the street is all copper? Things do get changed, replaced and upgraded - especially for an older home. It sounds like all you can do is speculate.
    I guess it would be speculation, except that the plumber was there who installed it.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Using the water lines for a ground was always a sorry method. I have written up so many homes where I either found no ground or just a ground hooked to the water lines used as a ground.
    The NEC considers a metallic water line that is 10' or more in direct contact with the earth to be the primary electrode. It gets supplemented with rods. I doubt the code would require its use as an electrode if it was so sorry.

    In any case I could not tell you how many times I have seen a ground rod driven and the water lines bonded to it.
    The water lines should be bonded to the ground rod. Typically this connection will take place in the service panel on the neutral buss.

    The receptacles boxes thru the home are more than likely hooked to the water lines thru a grounding loop and to semi correct this they drove a rod. Now if anyone ever changes out the main water line the water lines being used as a ground will still be a ground.
    Ground rods have nothing to due with properly grounding a 3 prong receptacle. You can have a properly wired and grounded receptacle without a ground rod.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Marc,

    Is this a detached structure from where the service equipment is located and possibly otherwise supplying or tapped? Such as a guest house or garage/office, or is the service equipment on a pedestal for example, elsewhere such as an exterior light post, etc., nearer the right-of-way, alley, street, or easement?


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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Marc,

    Is this a detached structure from where the service equipment is located and possibly otherwise supplying or tapped? Such as a guest house or garage/office, or is the service equipment on a pedestal for example, elsewhere such as an exterior light post, etc., nearer the right-of-way, alley, street, or easement?
    Hey H.G,
    no Sir, its not a detached structure.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Ground rods have nothing to due with properly grounding a 3 prong receptacle. You can have a properly wired and grounded receptacle without a ground rod.
    Without even a "ground" as the 3 prong receptacle is "grounded" back at the service equipment, even though the service equipment itself may not be "grounded" to earth.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Without even a "ground" as the 3 prong receptacle is "grounded" back at the service equipment, even though the service equipment itself may not be "grounded" to earth.
    I think that that was what I was trying to say. I think we agree?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I think that that was what I was trying to say. I think we agree?
    Jim,

    Correct, I just re-worded what you said for clarity. Hope that was okay.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    No problem, I thought we were saying the same thing, just different wording.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post


    Ground rods have nothing to due with properly grounding a 3 prong receptacle. You can have a properly wired and grounded receptacle without a ground rod.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Without even a "ground" as the 3 prong receptacle is "grounded" back at the service equipment, even though the service equipment itself may not be "grounded" to earth.
    Right. That is what I had in that home with the plastic water line. There is no ground rod, no grounding to the service panel. The 3-wire receptacles appear to be grounded. I believe in that case it is because the neutral service conductor is bonded to the meter can.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 04-27-2011 at 07:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I believe in that case it is because the neutral service conductor is bonded to the meter can, ...
    At the meter can or at the service equipment? Where is the neutral bonded to ground 'up there'?

    ... and grounded up at the transformer.
    This part does not even matter.

    When you are testing receptacles (and anything else for that matter) for ground on a grounded neutral service (neutral is bonded to ground), all you are really doing throughout the house is checking that the 'ground' is continuous back to the service where it is bonded to the neutral.

    This may help visualize it better: a car with an inverter in it - the car is definitely not grounded, yet the receptacles will check as 'grounded' in relation to the circuitry of the receptacles and the power which feeds them.

    The inverter is fed from a 'ground' (chassis ground, but not earth ground) and a 'hot' conductor, the inverter creates its own 120 volt circuit with a 'ground' terminal, a 'neutral' terminal', and a 'hot' terminal, and ... all works well, whatever is plugged in does not know the difference between that and a receptacle in a house which is actually grounded to earth.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Your "testers" have no way to differentiate between a legit "ground", bonded where it should be at the service equipment, and a bootleg bond path direct to earth or other equipment outside of the EGC system.

    All should be at the same "potential" but rarely are.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Without even a "ground" as the 3 prong receptacle is "grounded" back at the service equipment, even though the service equipment itself may not be "grounded" to earth.
    Are you guys talking about grounding the receptacle to the (metal) box then back to the panel via Flexible metallic conduit?

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Are you sure the wire attached to the ground rod doesn't continue underground to another rod or to the meter? This could be the end of the line and just a bond to the water. In the picture it looks like the wire goes through the clamp and into the dirt, clear away the mulch and see!


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Whats the point of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Romano View Post
    Are you sure the wire attached to the ground rod doesn't continue underground to another rod or to the meter? This could be the end of the line and just a bond to the water. In the picture it looks like the wire goes through the clamp and into the dirt, clear away the mulch and see!
    No, it doesnt.

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