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  1. #1
    Loren Sanders Sr.'s Avatar
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    Default Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Is it proper to ground to a gas line? A friend purchased a home in Carlsbad, CA and asked me to give him an opinion on a ground wire, maybe #8 size wire, that starts at the cold line above the water heater then connects to a clamp on the hot water feed line to the house, then down to the gas pipe for the gas connection for the Water Heater. I told him that I thought it was not a proper connection for a ground. Do I need to tell him I was wrong? Thanks for your help. Loren Sr.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    What you are calling a ground wire is actually a bond. Metallic piping systems are required to be bonded.

    A #8 would be too small even for a 100 amp service. It would need to be at least a #6.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Sanders Sr. View Post
    Is it proper to ground to a gas line? A friend purchased a home in Carlsbad, CA and asked me to give him an opinion on a ground wire, maybe #8 size wire, that starts at the cold line above the water heater then connects to a clamp on the hot water feed line to the house, then down to the gas pipe for the gas connection for the Water Heater. I told him that I thought it was not a proper connection for a ground. Do I need to tell him I was wrong? Thanks for your help. Loren Sr.
    That would be bonding. Metal piping (cold, hot and gas) are required to be bonded to the grounding electrode. If you search the electrical archives, you should be able to find it.

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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Hi,
    The link is to the city of Oceanside residential service guidelines. They allow the gas pipe to be bonded by a #8 copper bonding conductor. http://www.ci.oceanside.ca.us/civica...p?BlobID=22469

    Up here in Northern Cal the building inspectors have been allowing the method you described for service upgrades but not for new construction. I guess they figure if the cold water pipe is already bonded then a jumper to the hot water side and the gas is an easy way to bond that piping in an older house plus the bonds are accessible at the water heater. Somewhat Mickey Mouse but better than no bonds. If Carlsbad has it's own building department you can check to see if it is allowable.

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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    I am in Canada. It is requirement here also for the gas piping to be bonded to ground. The method described is what is used here and the minimum wire size is #8.

    It was added to the code some 15 or so years ago. So some older houses may not have it. My own house is 22 years old, and when I bought it 5 years ago I did the upgrade myself: short jumper of #8 wire from cold water piping to gas piping.

    Hope this helps.

    Michael.

    Mike Rodney
    Ontario, Canada

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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    That would be bonding. Metal piping (cold, hot and gas) are required to be bonded to the grounding electrode. If you search the electrical archives, you should be able to find it.

    This is only partially true according to the NEC. In fact, the bonding jumper could be as small as #14 copper--Table 250.122..

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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Metallic gas supply lines are allowed to be bonded by the appliance they are attached to in most cases. What this means is that the equipment grounding conductor for the furnace, for example, can be used as the means of bonding the gas lines simply by being connected to them through the furnace gas connection.

    Bonding gas lines in multiple places MAY cause current to flow through the gas lines if various problems are present in the electrical system and isn't a particularly good idea.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    A while back, I saw a bonding strap for a gas line was provided but not installed at the gas meter, new house. Naturally I called it out. Builder said no it was not needed and he was told to leave it off. The gas line is buried, so it is grounded.
    With PEX pipe for plumbing supply lines, different rules apply. There are plenty of grey areas too.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    A while back, I saw a bonding strap for a gas line was provided but not installed at the gas meter, new house. Naturally I called it out. Builder said no it was not needed and he was told to leave it off. The gas line is buried, so it is grounded.
    With PEX pipe for plumbing supply lines, different rules apply. There are plenty of grey areas too.
    What is the grounding requirement for PEX systems? Since many water services these days are PVC, I would think that the only possibility would be a Copper ground rod connected to the panel. As you might guess, I am not an electrician so thanks for your information. Loren Sr.


  10. #10
    Loren Sanders Sr.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Many new houses will not have ground rods either even with plastic water pipes. If the footing has 20' or more of 1/2" or larger rebar then a concrete electrode (CEE) is used in lieu of rods.
    Thanks for the quick reply. I have another friend that called me earlier today asking about installing PEX water lines in his attic. He will have to ground to a rod, I would assume. The home is over 30 years old. Thanks again. Loren Sr.


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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    You do not bond Pex. It is nonconductive.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    A while back, I saw a bonding strap for a gas line was provided but not installed at the gas meter, new house. Naturally I called it out. Builder said no it was not needed and he was told to leave it off. The gas line is buried, so it is grounded.
    With PEX pipe for plumbing supply lines, different rules apply. There are plenty of grey areas too.
    As far as I know, that is completely wrong. Around here, gas supply piping from the utility is plastic. If metal gas supply line is buried, it should be protected from corrosion (in my area, typically a yellow, factory-applied, PVC coating), which effectively isolates it from ground. In addition, I believe there is an isolation between the household gas piping and the meter (similar to a dielectric union), which prevents any current from going down the gas supply pipe.

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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Here in Virginia, we bond CSST, Coragated Stainless Steel Tubing, because the manufacture requires it. CSST is a very thin gas pipe and when hit by lightning it will burn very small holes in the pipe. We had a house hit by lightning and the CSST had not been hooked to the gas meter yet. I saw the tiny holes, the size of a needle prick in the pipe. The contractor swares by the bonding now. The electrical contractor attached a #6 copper Wire to the hard pipe and connects the other end to the grounding rod or the 20 foot minimum enbedment steel rebar in the footing that exposed in the garage.


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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    As far as I know, that is completely wrong. Around here, gas supply piping from the utility is plastic. If metal gas supply line is buried, it should be protected from corrosion (in my area, typically a yellow, factory-applied, PVC coating), which effectively isolates it from ground. In addition, I believe there is an isolation between the household gas piping and the meter (similar to a dielectric union), which prevents any current from going down the gas supply pipe.
    Thanks, Gunnar. I know there is sometimes more to the story than what somebody told somebody else over the phone without even looking at it. We have to try to get these things checked out at least. That is a good point about isolation at the meter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Burkard View Post
    Here in Virginia, we bond CSST, Coragated Stainless Steel Tubing, because the manufacture requires it. CSST is a very thin gas pipe and when hit by lightning it will burn very small holes in the pipe.
    Luckily lightning strikes are rare in this area. But there should always be some means of bonding back to the panel or to a ground. I believe sometimes the connection of the line to the burner is considered a sufficient bond, thanks, Bill K.

    My area covers a wide mix of building officials and they all have their own twist on how it should be done, it seems.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Proper bonding of CSST depends on the type of CSST. The normal, everyday, yellow covered CSST is bonded by the equipment ground of the equipment it is connected too, but the manufacturers also require a separate additional bond, typically a minimum #6 AWG, and it is connected to the regular steel piping (galvanized or black iron) after the meter and before it enters the structure, the other end of the bonding conductor goes to the service where the grounding electrode is connected or most allow it to go to one of the grounding electrodes as all of the grounding electrodes are supposed to be bonded together anyway.

    The newer CSST which have outer coverings which provide dissipation for the lightning strike do not require additional bonding, only the equipment ground of the appliance the CSST is connected to. Few contractors are using this newer CSST, but it is available and almost all brands now have a version of it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Gas lines hot and cold water lines are to are to be electrically BONDED There is a difference between bonding and grounding If metal water pipes are present it must be used as part of the grounding system if within 5 ft of where it enters the building

    - - - Updated - - -

    Gas lines hot and cold water lines are to are to be electrically BONDED There is a difference between bonding and grounding If metal water pipes are present it must be used as part of the grounding system if within 5 ft of where it enters the building


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The gas line is buried, so it is grounded.
    Would the fact that it is buried affect bonding requirements?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    For an exsiting dwellings ground rods are the simplest choice. You would need two rods under the 2011 NEC or you can install one and provide the results from a ground test stating that the resistance is 25 ohms or less.
    It is important to note the second ground rod must be 6 feet or more from the first.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Ground wire from cold to hot water lines then to gas line

    Quote Originally Posted by frazier jeffery View Post
    If metal water pipes are present it must be used as part of the grounding system if within 5 ft of where it enters the building
    Incorrect statement as stated.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Mack View Post
    It is important to note the second ground rod must be 6 feet or more from the first.
    It is amazing how many electrical contractors try to put the ground rod at exactly 6 feet, and then miss it by a couple of inches short - had one yesterday which was 5' 9" ... contractor moved it and said "Lesson learned", had one today which was 5'10" ... contractor has not yet read the rejection sheet.

    My recommendation to contractors is to lay the second rod down next to the first rod, then tilt it up from the end near the first rod and drive it in where it stands up vertically on its point - that puts it 8 feet away.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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