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How should this home be properly grounded? The home was built in the late 1990's. There is a ground clamp on the main water pipe after the meter. Before the meter there is a few inches of copper then the main shut off valve. Out of the valve is a barbed fitting because the water line in to the house is all plastic. I believe it is well water tubing. The Plastic tubing comes out of the foundation a few inches. The way I see it, the water main ground does absolutely nothing since it is 100 percent plastic. Have not opened the panel yet to see if there is a ground rod yet. Can someone please advise the proper way to ground this home.
 

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Since the on set of plastic water services and systems (inside) any metal piping must be BONDED to the electrical service. Bonding is equal potential not a ground source.

You should have either a Ufer ground, 20 feet of #4 buried in the footing. Or a pair of ground rods. Opening up the electrical service and looking at the bare copper wires may tell you which you have.

Best get a local pro to do an inspection.
 

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The bonding of the water pipe is just so if a wire comes off somewhere it does not energize the whole water system, it has nothing to do with a return to ground path for fault currents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am a licensed electrician but not in this area. Everything I have seen has a metal water line coming in to the dwelling. The water line is used as a grounding electrode. So, the water line in this case is just bonded? Then two ground rods are needed? Is this correct? Thank you to everyone for the help.
 

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I am a licensed electrician but not in this area. Everything I have seen has a metal water line coming in to the dwelling. The water line is used as a grounding electrode. So, the water line in this case is just bonded? Then two ground rods are needed? Is this correct? Thank you to everyone for the help.
What area are you an electrician?
 

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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I am a licensed electrician but not in this area. Everything I have seen has a metal water line coming in to the dwelling. The water line is used as a grounding electrode. So, the water line in this case is just bonded? Then two ground rods are needed? Is this correct? Thank you to everyone for the help.
I have been licensed since 1981 and the first time I ever saw or heard about a lead pipe as the water main was two years ago. We learn something every day. I had the same question as you did on grounding a lead water main. I still do not know how to do it.
 

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Municipalities that have lots of old homes with lead water supply lines often add a chemical to the water which deposits on the inside of the line, creating a coating that prevents the lead from wearing off into the water.

If there is no other ground wire that runs into the slab or outside into the ground I would add a rod, or dig a plate in outside by the meter.
 

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who cares how it's grounded - if the water main is made of lead, the occasional shock is the least of your worries.
Not true, lead pipes pose no health risk unless the ph of the water goes off causing the lead to dissolve.
 
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Not true, lead pipes pose no health risk unless the ph of the water goes off causing the lead to dissolve.
The problem is some water companies add chemicals that hinder a scale build up. That scale coats the inside of the pipes so that the lead is not exposed to the water. If the scale coating is disturbed then the lead can leach into the water. I was also concerned about if there is ever current on the GEC, will electrolysis take place with the lead.
 

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The problem is some water companies add chemicals that hinder a scale build up. That scale coats the inside of the pipes so that the lead is not exposed to the water. If the scale coating is disturbed then the lead can leach into the water. I was also concerned about if there is ever current on the GEC, will electrolysis take place with the lead.
A/C current will not cause electrolysis due to the constantly changing polarity. DC current will cause electrolysis of any type of metallic piping and dissolve it into the water. Works just as well on metal gas lines. Putting a dielectric union on the piping at the water service can cause electrolysis to be even worse, with DC.

Once the piping metallic connection is isolated, the DC current is forced to flow through the water itself, and that increases the rate of the electrolysis (dissolving of the piping).
 

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A/C current will not cause electrolysis due to the constantly changing polarity. DC current will cause electrolysis of any type of metallic piping and dissolve it into the water. Works just as well on metal gas lines. Putting a dielectric union on the piping at the water service can cause electrolysis to be even worse, with DC.

Once the piping metallic connection is isolated, the DC current is forced to flow through the water itself, and that increases the rate of the electrolysis (dissolving of the piping).
Unfortunately I forgot most of my chemistry and physics. It use to be around here some areas had the underground copper water pipes deteriorate so the water company was requiring the dielectric union or a plastic piece between the house water and the supply side.
 

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Not true, lead pipes pose no health risk unless the ph of the water goes off causing the lead to dissolve.
@LGLS Che Gevara was a physician - he would not like you to use his face while stating your irresponsible claim about lead pipes.
This is a preposterous suggestion showing a total lack of understanding of safety or what lead does!
It is not ph - it is pH. Learn that words matter. It is not only pH that cause lead to get into the water. Low mineralization of water, lead flaking does it too.
If water pH creates a hazard - that is a natural unsafe condition. If pH needs to be measured, and treatment added - this is a safety hazard. Things and people do fail. The first effect of lead getting into a human body is BRAIN DAMAGE. Have you spent your childhood in a lead piped house with lead-painted windows and doors? Maybe this is the result of your insane claim, but it does not excuse it.
 

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Piping can be damaged by internal or external action. Just because pipe is deteriorating does not mean that it can only be erroded by electrical current on the pipe. There is a pipe and tank protection method called cathodic protection that uses DC current to provide free electrons to the surronding environment, by providing free electrons from a controlled power source in the correct polarity, it prevents the piping material from sacrificing it’s own electrons, causing the pipe to deteriorate. This method is commonly used to protect petroleum lines that run long distances.

I have a fair bit of experience and study on this subject, due to having an electroplater in my area that had multiple plating rectifiers that were defective, causing water and gas line in the area to dissolve.
 
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