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#203128 - 09/09/11 09:31 AM Panel Upgrade grounding requirments?  
mr_electrician  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 106
London, Ontario
I will probably ask my local inspector this but I get alot of panel upgrade request. I have not done any since I was an apprentice since I have spent most of my career in commercial and industrial.
I have looked at one panel so far and noticed that they ground the neutral to the copper water lines in the house. (Not the main coming in but the 1/2" cold water line)
Do you residential guys establish a new ground with a plate or rod when upgrading old fuse panels or is it even required since it is existing?

James


Never trust an electrician with no eyebrows!!

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#203129 - 09/09/11 12:00 PM Re: Panel Upgrade grounding requirments? [Re: mr_electrician]  
jay8  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 183
Vancouver, BC
if you replace a panel you would need to ensure the grounding and bonding is code compliant. There is no exemption because it is existing when the scope of work is panel replacement. You may be required to upgrade other things in the panel if there are some obvious violations, as you cannot connect up something unsafe. The inspector may also request some branch circuit upgrades if the panel is really old, such as some additional kitchen circuits.

Definitely a good idea to chat with the inspector before pricing out the job so that there are no unpleasant surprises.


#203183 - 09/13/11 01:57 PM Re: Panel Upgrade grounding requirments? [Re: mr_electrician]  
mikesh  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
Victoria, BC, Canada
Mr. electrician
The wire you described is the bonding wire and all continuously metallic piping must be bonded. Cold and hot water Waste water and gas. Remember the bonding requirement is for continuous metal piping. there is a lot of plastic in newer houses. Bond wires may terminate on the enclosure but not on the neutral block. that is for the ground wire which goes to an electrode.
The current ground rules will probably require a new electrode or electrodes depending on the type. Older services used 6 foot rods and newer grounds are to use 10 foot rods. Older electrodes are likely only a couple of feet long if they have been in the ground long enough to corrode. Older houses often used the water supply as the ground electrode. If the water service has not been chaged to plastic you may use it again but the local inspector may ask you to prove it.
Ground wires must terminate on the neutral block and may do bonding duty along the way. IE your ground wire can also bond the water, gas, waste and the service raceway bonding bushing along the way as long as it is not cut and spliced.


#203322 - 09/21/11 04:51 PM Re: Panel Upgrade grounding requirments? [Re: mikesh]  
mr_electrician  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 106
London, Ontario
Originally Posted by mikesh
Mr. electrician
The wire you described is the bonding wire and all continuously metallic piping must be bonded. Cold and hot water Waste water and gas. Remember the bonding requirement is for continuous metal piping. there is a lot of plastic in newer houses. Bond wires may terminate on the enclosure but not on the neutral block. that is for the ground wire which goes to an electrode.
The current ground rules will probably require a new electrode or electrodes depending on the type. Older services used 6 foot rods and newer grounds are to use 10 foot rods. Older electrodes are likely only a couple of feet long if they have been in the ground long enough to corrode. Older houses often used the water supply as the ground electrode. If the water service has not been chaged to plastic you may use it again but the local inspector may ask you to prove it.
Ground wires must terminate on the neutral block and may do bonding duty along the way. IE your ground wire can also bond the water, gas, waste and the service raceway bonding bushing along the way as long as it is not cut and spliced.


Thanks for your reply. This wire is not the bonding wire, nor are any gaslines or water lines bonded to ground. This wire is a #2 going from the main neutral connection in the fuse panel to a 1/2" cold water line.


Never trust an electrician with no eyebrows!!

#203389 - 09/26/11 06:55 PM Re: Panel Upgrade grounding requirments? [Re: mr_electrician]  
mikesh  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
Victoria, BC, Canada
Well the current rule for a 200 amp panel using an artificial electrode is #6. The fact that the ground is connected to the water pipe could require a ground wire upgrade under T-17. I would dig in a plate with #6 and call it done or add 2 - 3 meter rods. Use the existing ground wire to bond the internal water piping as long as it is at least #6 copper.
In any house where they used a ground rod more than a couple of years ago I would think it reasonable for an inspector to get you to prove the electrodes are not rusty spikes.



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