I need some help. I do mostly heavy industrial work so my resi knowledge is a little weak.A guy from the shop got into an argument about grounding the water pipe to the panel of a small building he was remodeling. The inspector had required it to be connected yet the water dept refused to connect his water service until this was removed. Then a contractor he was working with, who had moved here from Calif. stated that grounding the water pipe was illegal there! Can anyone here help me clear this up? I hate these conversations that always seem to come up when a Jack Of All Trades, Master of None starts running down the codes and rules we all have to follow. It makes it tough to defend why we do what we do!
In my neck of the woods, in new construction a Ufer electrode is required (20 feet of rebar or #4 copper on the footing). And you must bond to the interior metal water piping.
For remodels, etc w/no new concrete footing, it's two 8 foot ground rods, at least 6 feet apart and at least two feet away from the foundation.
I think that the ex-Calif contractor is mistaken, unless it's some weird part of a local code. The California Electrical Code is about 98 persent straight NEC (the current Calif Elec Code is 2001 and based on the 1999 NEC). The 2001 CEC requirements for grounding are the same as the 1999 NEC--use a Ufer, or if not avail, use a metallic water pipe in contact w/the earth for at least 20 feet, with ground rods, or if water pipe not avail, just the ground rods (and bond the interior metallic water pipe).
If at least 10' of metallic water pipe is in contact with the earth, it shall be bonded together with other available electrodes to form the Grounding Electrode System. California follows the NEC on this matter. This is for commercial or residential installations.
[This message has been edited by stamcon (edited 08-12-2003).]