Ground electrode at water meter

Status
Not open for further replies.

dirk

Member
A co-worker of mine has recently had an electrical inspector (in MA) fail his service installation because the grounding electrode conductor connected to the house side of the water meter first. Currently the electrode conductor hits the house side, jumps to the street side of the meter and then connects to the supplemental ground rod. Keep in mind that the conductor is continuous and is not cut. In order to replace this installation the conductor will need to be cut and jumpers installed rather than a continuous run. Although I agree it may be a good practice to hit the street side first, the fact that the conductor is continuous and will now have to be cut cancels out his reasoning. From what I understand the inspector has said that this sequence of street, house, then rod is a code requirement. I have been un-able to find this requirement. Does anybody have any helpful information?
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

What AWG is the GEC? What is the main breaker size?
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Dirk, Unless this is a local or MA code there is no requirement as to which side is connected first.

Iwire or someone else from MA will let you know if it's a MA code when one of them sees this.

awwt
What AWG is the GEC? What is the main breaker size?
he indicated that it was the routing, not the size, and even then, what does breaker size have to do with GEC size?

Roger
 

dereckbc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Plano, TX
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

DIRK, I see nothing wrong with the sequence as it relates to NEC. It could be his pesonnal preference or local code. Ask him to cite the code reference. He is obligated to put it in writing if he/she is going to fail an installation inspection.

AWWT, What? :confused:
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Dereck,
OK you asked me a question. I am taking it literally so here is my answer:

Personally, I like to have more details before I jump in with an answer. I would hate to say you can do this or that and then find out it was undersized in the first place. Maybe not an issue here, but I like to ask questions before giving answers-- if I have any questions.

I agree with all the answers above if the GEC is big enough to also be the water pipe ground. If not, even if re-routed it could still be in violation. I am playing my pieces a few moves ahead in this chess game :)

That's why I asked the questions. The OP can take our answers & comments and decide what to keep and what to throw out :)

Fortunately this time I asked my question before other answers were already posted :)

If there are any gaps left somebody will jump in to fill in the gaps so the OP gets the most helpful & safest answer. That's the beautiful thing about an open discussion forum :)
 

dirk

Member
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Thanks Guys,
Yes it was in fact a routing or sequence of connections issue with the inspector. The size was #4 Cu for 200A if you must know, but it is not relevant to the question. I also checked the Mass amendments and could not find verbiage. I have a feeling it must be a personal preference with the inspector. Or in other words, better to spring for some ground clamps and a jumper than stand your ground and take the heat in the finish. I do not believe that my co-worker asked him to cite the article.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

awwt, I must also ask, what? (kind of like here)


Roger

[ October 24, 2003, 02:41 PM: Message edited by: roger ]
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Dirk I have never run into this in MA I have always gone to which ever side was convenient and continued unbroken across the meter.

I also looked at our amendments and see nothing that changes the NEC requirements.

As always ask for a code article or just change it and move on. :roll:

Not everything is worth a fight.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Originally posted by awwt:
What AWG is the GEC? What is the main breaker size?
Wayne now you appear to be just trolling for trouble.

There is no reason to ask this question in regards to Dirks question other than to be a PITA. :roll:

You have some understanding of the electrical trade, can you explain why you would need to know the breaker and conductor size to answer a question about which side of the water meter you hit first.

Do not bother sending me a PM about it, tell me here.
 

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

When the question is clear why not just answer it? No need to make things far more difficult than they need to be. (As often happens here)Anyway. There is absolutely no reason for that to fail in that setup. I do this all the time with no problem, although with some of the things the inspectors come up with I am not surprised. I would challenge the inspector to cite a code article.
 

pierre

Senior Member
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Dirk
It sounds like you have referenced the code and did you homework.
First I say congrats on the effort. Then I say congrats again on asking about something you are not sure of, like all of the people on this forum we are here for answers, because most times someone here has the answer.
The cold water connection in 250.52(A)(1) does not require street side connection first, only to be within 5 feet of the point of entrance to the building. Also when 'jumping' the meter, you are bonding the 'joint' and it is not required to be a continuous run as stated in 250.52(A)(1).

I will say that in our Utilities jurisdiction, they require the street side connection first and the electrical inspector will make this violation call during his visit :) .

BTW- I myself will go the distance with an inspector who wants to write his own code and if need be go over his head. Some guys say this can create problems later, but my experience is it will generally cool his jets! Bully a Bully and he will take his fight elsewhere.

Pierre
 

brian john

Senior Member
Location
Leesburg, VA
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

The sad fact is if the inspector is wrong, as appears to be the case here, and you do not challenge him in a friendly manner he will continue to BE WRONG. It is our duty to stand up for what is correct, what is right and what is code.

In Washington DC I have tried this several times and lost all of the challenges. Their philosophy,
"Our inspector said it, that's that, change it or it won’t pass." No appeal process that works.
 

ryan_618

Senior Member
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

I enjoy being challenged by EC's. As an inspector, it is easy to get complacent in your studies once you have passed all of your exams.

I say keep the challenges coming, we need the challenge.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Many years ago a jurisdiction changed their permitting process so it was harder to get an over the counter permit. I was waiting weeks for a permit for a small job. Every time I called the plan checker told me, "asking me when you will get your permit is like asking me when you are going to die". It was agonizing. I waited a couple of weeks then I took it to the Chief Inspector and his reply was, "your permit will be ready soon enough". The plan checker kept repeating his mantra.

My next door neighbor happened to be on the City Council. I shared my situation with her. She was livid-- not about my delay-- but about the attitude that the plan checker was expressing. That afternoon I got a call for me to, "please come pick up your permit".

I don't like to rock the boat with the AHJ but you can always take your case to the City Council; the City Manager; the Mayor; the County Board of Supervisors; your Congressman; etc. If you are in the right, don't take no for the final answer if the effort is worth the end result.
 

brian john

Senior Member
Location
Leesburg, VA
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Ryan:

You appear confident in what you do and seem to keep abreast of the NEC and the trade with all the new products and changes in the Code. Inspection departments and the inspectors are like electricians and contractors some are good some aren't. What worries me is, it seems the not so good are winning, while this does boost my business, I'm not happy with what I see, IMO the trade as a whole suffers for this.
 

ryan_618

Senior Member
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

Brian,

Thanks for the compliment, inspectors rarely get those!!!

I agree, some inspectors are bad and some are good. That is one of the reasons that I am on the board of directors for our local IAEI chapter...to help teach. I also help train other cities inspectors and sit down over a few beers with them to help explain intent. I also contract with other cities for plan reviews.

As far as the bad contractors winning...sad but true. When I red-tag a job that was done by an obvious non-electrician I write my report so full of technical jargon that they can't understand it. I also write my number on the inspection report. When they call me I ask for their name and who they work for, politley. Then when they ask me what a grounded conductor is, I ask them what their license number is. Then I call the state investigator's office and get them fined.

People shouldn't win the bid because they are not qualified. I do what little I can to stop it.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Re: Ground electrode at water meter

I love inspectors. A good inspector is our ally, not our enemy; part of the team to get the job done right. Kudos to you Ryan! Gold stars for you!

 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top