Underground water pipe and GEC connection

hhsting

Senior Member
Attached sketch shows two Figure #1 left, Figure #2 right.

Figure #1 left shows grounding electrode conductor after the water meter that has bonding jumper around and Figure #2 right shows grounding electrode conductor before the water meter bonding jumper around it.

I am aware that supplement electrode is required but it’s not shown on diagram for clarity of the question being asked.


Question:

Does the NEC 2014 code have anything to say to make grounding electrode connection to water pipe as shown on Figure #1 after meter or shown on Figure #2 before meter?
 

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augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
As I read, either would be acceptable as long as the elecrtode conductor was connected within 5 ft of the pipes entry to the building.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I agree with Augie47.

A little room for argument that it must be unspliced GEC to the supply side of the water meter and I would ordinarily hit a clamp on both sides of meter with no splicing of the conductor but technically all you need is unspliced conductor to the electrode - which first 5 feet of pipe inside the building is considered part of the electrode.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
I am going to disagree and say that the metal underground water pipe ends at the street side of the meter and the GEC connection must be made at the street side.
 

hhsting

Senior Member
I am going to disagree and say that the metal underground water pipe ends at the street side of the meter and the GEC connection must be made at the street side.
I find GEC connection within 5 feet of entrance in NEC 2014 code but where is grounding electrode connection has to be at the street side of meter like you suggest?
 

Eddie702

Licensed Electrician
Location
Western Massachusetts
Occupation
Electrician
I always thought the GEC had to be attached to the street side of the water meter with a jumper around the meter (when using a metal water pipe as a GE) I used to hit the street side of the meter first and jump the meter with one continuous wire.

However as @hhsting pointed out I cant find this in the code book. It appears if you hit the pipe within 5' of it's entrance to the building (on either side of the filter/meter) and jump the meter or filter you are ok, maybe this was changed at some point
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I am going to disagree and say that the metal underground water pipe ends at the street side of the meter and the GEC connection must be made at the street side.
I will say that I generally install it like you mentioned and GEC connection will be on "street side" of water meter or will be a continuous GEC through a house side clamp and then end on a street side clamp, but I don't see anything that says the GEC ends at the meter, just that it must land on the first 5 feet of pipe that enters the building, and some wordage that says you need to bond around removable/and or insulating components, which the meter would fall under.

What if meter is in a pit outside the house but there is less than 10 feet of buried pipe to the house? Maybe a little unlikely but not impossible.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
I find GEC connection within 5 feet of entrance in NEC 2014 code but where is grounding electrode connection has to be at the street side of meter like you suggest?
The rule requires that the grounding electrode conductor be connected to the grounding electrode. It is my opinion that the grounding electrode ends at the street side connection to the water meter. On the other side of the meter, it is an interior metal water piping system..
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
As I read, either would be acceptable as long as the electrode conductor was connected within 5 ft of the pipes entry to the building.
I agree, the 5' dimension is there for a reason. I can see Don's point but know of no NEC language that would confirm that the meter is the point where the water pipe electrode ends.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Really depends on where the water meter is- mine is 25' from the house in a hand-hole near the curb. (There are lots of places where the meter is at the street.)
In those cases though you have 10 feet or more of pipe in the ground after it leaves the house - that is the electrode in accordance with 250.52(A)(1), it is where there is less than 10 feet in the ground that it doesn't meet the requirements to be considered an electrode.
In that case you do not have a metal underground water pipe electrode at the house.
Didn't give it much thought initially but that would be correct.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I would say less than 10' of metal pipe is not an electrode but you would have to bond to it
Less than 10 feet in the ground is not an electrode. If the interior piping system is metallic then it does need bonded even if not connected to a qualifying electrode. How much piping must you have before it is a metallic system? Might be debatable, and has been beaten like a dead horse on this site before.
 

hhsting

Senior Member
In my case the water meter is attached to the building wall outside. Water pipe comes out of ground into the water meter and then from water meter goes into the house.

The main service disconnect is on the other end of building which is commercial.

So Figure #2 is where GEC should be tied post #1?
 
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