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Thread: Bonding ground rod to water pipe to nuetral bus

  1. #1
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Default Bonding ground rod to water pipe to nuetral bus

    Good morning,
    Does anything prevent me from splicing (with a split bolt) a #6 grounding conductor (outside of an electrical box) that bonds the incoming cold water pipe with the nuetral/ground bus in the main service panel?
    Can I bond the conductor going to the ground rod to the conductor mentioned above outside of the electrical panel and using a split bolt?

    Thanks,
    Jason

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    While I don't know the answer...I am curious as to why you want to do this.

    Does the ground rod wire go to the panel or is it broken or something else?

  3. #3
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Because that is how it is currently done and when I put in my new panel, I think the existing conductors will be too short and I do not know if they need to be replaced.

    Thanks,
    Jason

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Lets see if I understand...you have 2 wires, a ground rod wire and water pipe ground wire both going from the panel box to their respective termination spots but they are bonded / connected together somewhere inbetween with a split bolt.

    Is this correct.

  5. #5

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    If you have already met your earthling (grounding) requirements then I think you could ifÖ
    Call it bonding the water lines.
    The ground rod wire would have to be one peace.
    I would think it would have to be in a box but I donít know.

    You could use a ground rod clam and clamp it to the ground rod instead. But it sounds like you came up short on the wire so that might not work. You have to bond the water pipe within 5 feet of the entrance of the water pipe if it is metal on the outside of the house. You might be able to slide it down a few feet. If the water pipe is not metal out side of the house you should be able to bond it anywhere.

    I canít think of any thing in the NEC that would not let you do that.

    Remember Iím a plumber but did deal with some electrical stuff and at one point I did know most of the 2005 but never understood it all.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakee911 View Post
    Good morning,
    Does anything prevent me from splicing (with a split bolt) a #6 grounding conductor (outside of an electrical box) that bonds the incoming cold water pipe with the nuetral/ground bus in the main service panel?
    Can I bond the conductor going to the ground rod to the conductor mentioned above outside of the electrical panel and using a split bolt?

    Thanks,
    Jason
    The metal incoming cold water pipe, if at least 10 ft long in contact with the earth, is a Grounding Electrode per 250.52.

    Any additional ground rod is a Supplemental electrode per 250.53(D)(2).

    The conductor connecting the Grounding Electrode to the grounded conductor at the service panel is a Grounding Electrode Conductor per 250.24(D).

    The size of the Grounding Electrode Conductor must meet the requirements of Table 250.66. A #6 copper GEC may be used if the incoming ungrounded (hot) conductor is not greater than 1/0 copper or 3/0 aluminum, which are the minimum sizes for a 175 Amp service. If the service is 200 Amps you need larger supply conductors and larger GEC.

    250.64 Grounding Electroed Conductor Installation.
    250.64(C) requires that the GEC be continuous, or spliced with irreversible connectors or welded.

    250.53(D)(2) permits the supplemental electrodes to be bonded to the GEC, so connecting the bonding jumper from the supplemental electrode to the GEC with a split bolt, outside a box, is permitted.

  7. #7
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Armed with my copy of the 2005 NEC, let's see if I can follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    The metal incoming cold water pipe, if at least 10 ft long in contact with the earth, is a Grounding Electrode per 250.52.

    Any additional ground rod is a Supplemental electrode per 250.53(D)(2).
    Per 250.50 these become my grounding electrode system. 250.53(E) states that the connection to my supplemental system shall be #6 copper. I don't know if 250.53(D)(2) has to apply if I consider the ground rod to be the grounding electrode and the water pipe supplemental.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    The conductor connecting the Grounding Electrode to the grounded conductor at the service panel is a Grounding Electrode Conductor per 250.24(D).
    I'm not sure how this applies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    The size of the Grounding Electrode Conductor must meet the requirements of Table 250.66. A #6 copper GEC may be used if the incoming ungrounded (hot) conductor is not greater than 1/0 copper or 3/0 aluminum, which are the minimum sizes for a 175 Amp service. If the service is 200 Amps you need larger supply conductors and larger GEC.
    That doesn't seem right for residential service. If you see 250.66(A), it says that it need not be larger than #6 Cu if connected to the ground rod.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    250.64 Grounding Electroed Conductor Installation.
    250.64(C) requires that the GEC be continuous, or spliced with irreversible connectors or welded.
    Yes, I see that. Maybe I can solder the connections (with a torch). Would crimp be irreversible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    250.53(D)(2) permits the supplemental electrodes to be bonded to the GEC, so connecting the bonding jumper from the supplemental electrode to the GEC with a split bolt, outside a box, is permitted.
    I see how it says that it needs to be bonded, but I don't know where you get that it's ok out of a box w/ a split bolt.

    Thx
    Jason

  8. #8
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakee911 View Post
    Good morning,
    Does anything prevent me from splicing (with a split bolt) a #6 grounding conductor (outside of an electrical box) that bonds the incoming cold water pipe with the nuetral/ground bus in the main service panel?
    Can I bond the conductor going to the ground rod to the conductor mentioned above outside of the electrical panel and using a split bolt? Thanks,
    Jason
    250.64 mandates how the Grounding Electrode Conductor (GEC) is to be installed. It is also important to understand what a GEC is. Any conductor that originates in the panel or meter base and lands on an electrode is a GEC.
    To install a conductor from the meter base to a rod and then from the panel to a metal water pipe as described in 250.52(A)(1) would constitute two GECs.
    To install a conductor from the panel to a metal water pipe as described in 250.52(A)(1) and then go from the water pipe to the ground rod only one GEC conductor would be installed and the conductor from the water pipe to the rod would be a bonding jumper.

    250.64 mandates that a GEC be continuous and without splice and the use of a gas torch and solder would not work for a exothermic weld.
    250.53(C) mandates the installation of the bonding jumper. Here we are referred to 250.64(A),(B) & (E). There is no mention of 250.64(C) therefore the bonding jumper can be spliced.

    In the case you have described above the simple answer to the question is NO!

  9. #9

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    Do not solder any electrical installations. (Appliances, tools, etc. can be soldered. ) Code legal methods are crimp or exothermic welding. Some parts houses will sell you Crimp fittings and rent you a crimp tool with a huge cash deposit. Another method is exothermic welding. This is mixing chemicals in a crucible and then igniting them. Full face mask, gloves, and non-flammable clothing is required.
    Ask your inspector if you can use a barrel type compression connector or split bolt and them shrink wrap it so it cannot be taken apart without cutting (the shrink wrap). If there is no inspector.......

  10. #10
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info everyone.

  11. #11
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ked View Post
    Do not solder any electrical installations. Code legal methods are exothermic welding. .......
    See what welding looks like here


  12. #12
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Looks pretty slick!

  13. #13
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    "Cadwelding" is another term for that type of exothermic welding. (think 'thermite' but without the iron)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakee911 View Post
    Good morning,
    Does anything prevent me from splicing (with a split bolt) a #6 grounding conductor (outside of an electrical box) that bonds the incoming cold water pipe with the nuetral/ground bus in the main service panel?
    Can I bond the conductor going to the ground rod to the conductor mentioned above outside of the electrical panel and using a split bolt?

    Thanks,
    Jason

    You didn't explain this very well.

    If the GEC is continuous from the service to the ground rod it sounds like you can split bolt a bonding jumper and take it to your water pipe.

    If the water pipe bond wire is the one going to the panel you cannot splitbolt the GEC to it.

    It's so much easier when we have all the tools and materials to do the job "right" and not worry about a few feet of wire

  15. #15
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alectrician View Post
    If the GEC is continuous from the service to the ground rod it sounds like you can split bolt a bonding jumper and take it to your water pipe.

    If the water pipe bond wire is the one going to the panel you cannot splitbolt the GEC to it.
    If there is an underground water pipe with at least 10 ft in contact with earth, that IS the grounding electrode, and the ground rods are SUPPLEMENTAL ELECTRODES. See 250.53(D)(2). "The supplemental electrode shall be permitted to be bonded to the grounding electrode conductor, the grounded service conductor, the non-flexible grounded service raceway, or any grounded service enclosure." There is nothing that requires the supplemental electrodes to be connected in any enclosure. It may be split-bolted to the GEC or the grounded service conductor, or attached to the grounded service raceway or the grounded service enclosure.

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