Up here I guarantee you that anytime a service gets replaced part of the job will include and require a continuous ground conductor that is usually bare copper run along your water pipes to jumper across anything non metallic.......In my house I have a well pump and some filters......that cable is continuous and clamped on either side of any filter all the way to the base of the water tank........and I have jumpers on 2 water heaters. My service drop was replaced a few years ago. The work was done by a licensed contractor and I met the inspector and let him look at the work that was done. He paid particular attention to all the grounding components and those jumpers. We also had a new service entrance panel and a new Automatic Transfer Switch installed at my workplace. We use a trailer mounted generator that is connected via twist lock cable ends and lugs. That is the business we are in....backup power and anything and everything to do with it in buildings thruout our area. The service work was done by a company we do business with quite a bit.....Commercial and Residential licensed electrical contractor. The work was permitted and inspected and in that town it is a full time inspector. I watched him do the inspection......he paid particular attention to all the grounding and it was a very difficult job to run a continuous ground cable from the service entrance across the top of the building inside and over to where the water meter is located inside a bathroom. They also installed the jumper on the water heater we have that supplies the building......I just replaced the heater and we redid that bathroom and made sure to reinstall the jumper on the heater......Don't know why or how you can argue so much about something as simple as a jumper across a heater.....it is a simple thing.....and as far as I was told was there to insure a ground connection across your water pipes even if the water heater was missing or the connection was broken due to the loss of continuity where the pipes enter the heater.......
North Carolina must be in some sort of special zone where codes are so strictly enforced nothing gets done......and everyone sits around argueing about details and wording....
I can site a lot of other issues I read on here that have to do with generators and transfer switches and how it is done up here but will leave that alone.....
All I will say is there are a heck of a lot of people with generators and transfer switches up here and when the power fails they are usually pretty happy they have them.....
You should not need to depend on a water heater for proper electrical bonding.
As long as you have a good ground, then you are good to go.
To learn more about water heater heater electrical bonding, Read the Install manual.
No need to bond or ground a missing water heater.
Have fun, Everyone.
New Jersey has some confused inspectors and people that are too lazy to study and know the codes that mandate the installation of electrical systems. Like many other places within this great nation the electricians just blindly follow what the code enforcement official tells them instead of being the professional that any good electrician should be.
Surely the members of this forum have the ability to read and understand the codes that mandate the installations they are trying to achieve without having to ask if this will be alright or if that will be alright.
In North Carolina an electrical contractor is bound by law to make a code compliant installation even if the inspector is asking for something that is non-code compliant. With the NC licensing board there is not statute of limitations on a non-compliant installation. In other words an installation made 20 years ago even if inspected and passed must be code compliant with the code in affect at the time of the installation.
Should an inspector request the contractor to make an installation that is non-compliant the contractor is liable not the inspector. In other words just because an inspector passes an installation in no way relieves the contractor from liability.
This silly bonding of hot to cold comes from years gone by. In past code cycles the code mandated that all metal piping systems be made and kept electrically continuous. This rule included metal gas pipes.
During this same code cycle period it was allowed to replace two wire receptacles with three wire receptacles and land the equipment grounding conductors on a metal water pipe.
This has been removed from the NEC and has been removed for almost 50 years. The rule now found in 250.130(C) no longer allows the metal water pipe for the EGC.
(C) Nongrounding Receptacle Replacement or Branch Circuit Extensions. The equipment grounding conductor of a grounding-type receptacle or a branch-circuit extension shall be permitted to be connected to any of the following:
(1) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode system as described in 250.50
(2) Any accessible point on the grounding electrode conductor
(3) The equipment grounding terminal bar within the enclosure where the branch circuit for the receptacle or branch circuit originates
(4) For grounded systems, the grounded service conductor within the service equipment enclosure
(5) For ungrounded systems, the grounding terminal bar within the service equipment enclosure
Informational Note: See 406.4(D) for the use of a ground-fault circuit-interrupting type of receptacle.
It became common place to allow the plumber to make repairs in metal piping systems using non-metallic repairs. To keep this metal pipe system electrically continuous would entail hiring an electrician every time a plumber was called. This was a undue expense on the homeowner would end up paying two different contractors when it was unnecessary simply because maintaining electrical continuity of a metal piping system is unnecessary.
I canít help but wonder if the New Jersey inspector ensures that metal stubs installed with plex piping systems are also bonded with a continuous bonding jumper? If they do then I must say that they have left being silly and entered being stupid. Is the brass clamping rings on the nonmetallic pipes also required to be bonded?
We are code enforcement officials not "I want to see" officials. Just like law enforcement officials we must site code that is in violation just like the police will put down the GS that is broken when citing someone for breaking the law. We both took an oath to enforce the adopted laws not to enforce something we would like to see.
Well you better get in your horse and buggy and ride up here to NJ and go on a campaign to educate all of our lazy contractors and mis-informed inspectors about this issue.
They are wasting a fortune in bare copper wire and clamps.
You are correct on both issues they do need some education and our natural resources are being wasted by a bunch of uneducated people.
As I said earlier in this thread I am in NJ and I replaced my mothers 150 amp panel with a 200 amp service (homeowners can pull electrical permits in NJ on single family homes) and removed the ground from the cold water pipe and installed 2 ground rods and used only those rods.
Inspector said put the ground back to the cold water pipe.
I asked why, I thought the NEC said 2 rods were adequate and I plan to replace the water service when we elevate the house with plastic so its pointless to ground back to it that's why I removed it.
He said well its still copper now and I want you to ground to it and also jumper the water meter out by the street if it isn't already.
I said I have to do that? Isn't that the water companies equipment on their side of the meter?
He said I will come back to inspect again that this was done and left.
Unless there is at least 10 feet of metal water pipe in contact with earth then the water pipe is not a ground. Bonding at a water meter at the street is doing nothing but insuring any fault current carried by the utility water pipes will be on your service.
Ask where this requirement can be found in writing, it sure isn’t to be found in the NEC. If it can’t be shown in writing then it is just the whelms of the inspector.
This goes back to a good installer will know the rules involved with the installation they are making instead of just blindly following what the inspector wants to see. Unless the inspector can back his requirement with an adopted code in your area then you are not required to just do as he says.
The problem is most don’t know their codes and rely on an inspector to train them. If the inspector is not on top of his/her game then we have the blind leading the blind.
I ask anyone to show me the requirement in the NEC to make such a silly installation but thus far no one has been able to do so. I have shown where the requirement can be found and even posted the requirement here in this thread to no avail.
I agree with you jw.
NJ is on the NEC 2011 and that is the code they have to enforce, period, and they should not add their own requirements, thanks for your code references and explanations.
After watching this thread for a while, I still don't see anything in the code (or JW's quotes) that forbids a continuous, non-spliced wire going from a proper bonding point being used to bond several isolated sections of pipe... Just because something was removed from the code as a requirement does not make it illegal, unless actually stated so. I can run the same wire for a GEC to as many grounding rods/whatever as I want as long it is unspliced, but cannot bond pipes in the same way? I just don't see the words "shall not", "forbidden", or similar...
JW's story is (beat me up if I'm wrong) that the NEC "committee" retracted a requirement for making metallic, plumbing "electrically continuous", because they felt it was outside the scope of the NEC, but now, due to lack of any wording at all about the practice, it is forbidden? What is the NEC definition of separate piping systems anyway?
All that said, JW's (and North Carolina's) interpretation of the code is valid for enforcement purposes, just not the only interpretation. Is it safer? Maybe. If my jurisdiction said individually bond sections of pipe, I would, without argument...
Like I said earlier, "tradition" plays an important part in the inspection process. For arguments sake, there could be 10 ways to do something that were all technically allowed under the code, but 9 of them could be rejected as "non-compliant" in a particular jurisdiction, just to simplify the inspection process.
The non-spliced rule only applies to the part of the conductor from the service equipment to the first rod. From the first rod to the second, third, fourth, fifth, and so forth can be spliced as many times as one would want to splice it.
The reason you canít run one conductor from the end of s metal water pipe to the service equipment and hit the piping systems in several different places is not because of the words shall not or forbidden but because it gives direct mandatory information on just how this jumper is to be installed. It clearly states that the conductor shall be bonded to one of four places.
The rule on bonding of metal water pipes is clear and concise on the proper manner in which to make this bond.
The NEC does not define the different piping systems but the plumbing and gas codes do. In the plumbing codes it clearly states that the only water we use to drink, cook, and bathe with is potable water. We also will have waste water piping in our dwelling units. We could possibly have gray water also or even water to heat with that could also be part of the potable water.
In the evolving codes the 2011 cycle mandates that there be a neutral present in that switch box. Should the switch leg from the fixture to the switch be a two conductor cable then we would have a code violation although "traditionally" this method has been used for decades.
In code cycles gone by one could change a two wire receptacle to a three wire receptacle and install the equipment grounding conductor to the nearest metal pipe be it water or gas. During this same time period a metal piping system was required to be electrically continuous but the NEC does not mandate the installation of piping systems and someone pointed this out in a proposal and the rule was changed. In the 2011 code cycle this three wire receptacle with a new ECG must land at one of the four places that the water pipe bond must land.
Now letís open our minds and play out a scenario without any discussion but on the subject in this little project. In June finishing my new home and the electrician has installed a bond between the hot and cold at the water heater in the crawl space of my new home. I wake up on Christmas morning with a present of a busted pipe and the pipe that is open is just above the bonding jumper. I call a plumber out and he repairs the pipe using CPVC which is legal by the plumbing code. Now explain just what that bonding jumper is doing other than taking up space. It is because of this legal plumbing repair that the landing of the EGC for a three wire receptacle was removed from the NEC in the late 1970s. Should the plumber repair the metal water pipe with this legal manner then the EGC path would be lost just as that silly bond would be lost.
One of these days people will learn the dangers of bonding metal piping systems in their homes. In older cities where the water utility has metal underground water piping systems and we bond the pipes in our homes we are setting up a death trap for anyone working on those metal water pipes.
Letís take another scenario and one which any plumber on this site will validate, where the water utility has metal water pipes that are supplying homes in a development. One of these homes has lost their neutral at the service transformer and all the homes has copper water piping system that are bonded to their service equipment and served by this same transformer.
If this was the only home on this transformer then part of the lights would get real dim and the others would be real bright but if the service is bonded to the metal water pipes then that neutral current will find itself traveling down the bonding conductor to the metal water pipe, through that pipe over to the neighborís house through his metal water pipe up the bonding jumper to the neutral and back to the transformer. With the chemicals that are added to public water the water itself becomes conductive.
I think what we should do is ensure that the entire piping system is part of this conductive path so we can hurt more plumbers. Man sitting on the ground which is connected to the electrical system via the grounding electrode and grabs a metal pipe completes the path or the bonding at a water heater and he is working somewhere between the point of entrance and the water heater and grabs both pipes at the same time which would complete the path from the pipe and the bonding jumper.
ANY PLUMBERS ON THIS SITE HAD THIS EXPERIENCE?
Those charged with writing the codes are far more versed than most electrical installers. They donít use a tradition or standard of practice when writing the codes but instead they use facts, proven facts not myth.
I had no idea that my post would generate so much discussion, but FWIW, I am on a well and not city water. Both are conductive, but maybe the city a little more. This thread is fascinating and giving me a nice overlook on this subject. Your story of the Christmas water pipe sounds too true. I hope not! Thanks guys!