ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Potseal 11
Recent Posts
600 KW 120/208 3 Phase Y protection
by Yooperup. 07/24/17 12:20 PM
1913 American Electrician's Handbook
by gfretwell. 07/20/17 01:08 PM
Green House wiring
by ghost307. 07/20/17 09:10 AM
Permit Snafus...AHJs and Contractors Jump in
by HotLine1. 07/18/17 08:06 PM
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question
Popular Topics(Views)
239,282 Are you busy
174,744 Re: Forum
167,121 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 81 guests, and 9 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
#40597 - 07/28/04 11:02 PM Bonding Drain Pipes  
electrical dummy  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4
Do metal drain pipes need to be bonded to water supply pipes? What happens if a hot wire touches the metal drain pipe while I'm taking a shower? Because my water supply piping is grounded to my panel and ground rod, and the drain pipes are electrically isolated (rubber boot near point where it exits the house), couldn't I be electrocuted while taking a shower if current flows through the shower water, or would a breaker trip before I received a shock? Should I install bonding between the drain piping and the water supply piping? What does the NEC say about this? The drain pipe is connected to my tub with a rubber washer, and does not appear to be electrically connected to the water supply pipes. I've called two electricians who tell me this is nothing to worry about.
Thanks for any advice.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#40598 - 07/29/04 08:20 AM Re: Bonding Drain Pipes  
earlydean  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
Griswold, CT, USA
Unless murder was intended, just how could your metal drain pipes become energized? What appliances are metallicly connected to the drain? If any are, they would have a EGC to bond them anyway. So long as your home is wired to code, and your wife still loves you, you cannot be electrocuted in the shower.

However, if your water pipe is not grounded, then there may be some current flow through the water pipe, through the water flowing over your body, through your body, then into the drain pipe to ground. A pleasant sensation will creep all over your skin, making you glad to be alive. It will envigorate your whole day!

Maybe not.


#40599 - 07/29/04 09:02 AM Re: Bonding Drain Pipes  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,260
Fullerton, CA USA
My drain lines at home are all metallic. I've got brass tailpieces and traps, and cast iron (with old oakum & lead joints) waste piping. These are connected to a vitreous clay (read ungrounded) sewer lateral.

Contact on the system anywhere to an energized conductor would cause the drain system to become energized. The only saving grace that I've got is that the kitchen sink is made of cast iron, and might (or might not) have continuity to ground, either through contact with the garbage disposal, or contact with the water supply.

I think "electrical dummy" has a point...S

#40600 - 07/29/04 10:02 AM Re: Bonding Drain Pipes  
Ralpha494  Offline
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 73
In code class, we had a similar discussion concerning the hot water piping, with the isolation at the water heater, the use of plastic piping, and the use of non-metallic sinks. I have copper and cast iron drains in my house and rely heavily on the garbage disposal being grounded properly. Seems like the same principal of the proper grounding of the furnace circuit grounding the gas piping. Does this mean we're relying on the plumber and tinner to do our grounding? Are we supposed to check? Who pays? Stay tuned for the answers to these and other important questions.

#40601 - 07/29/04 07:36 PM Re: Bonding Drain Pipes  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
I suppose it centers around “interior metal piping likely to become energized”. Looks like the 2002 NEC includes it for separately-derived system bonding.

#40602 - 07/29/04 08:00 PM Re: Bonding Drain Pipes  
GA76JW  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 193
Suwanee, GA USA
I would be interested to know if anyone has heard or read of this before.
My motto is:
"If you can think of it, it has probably happened to someone before"

"If common sense was common, everyone would have it"-not sure, someone here

#40603 - 07/29/04 08:08 PM Re: Bonding Drain Pipes  
NORCAL  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 872
If you have cast iron soil piping useing "No-Hub" bands each section of pipe would be isolated /insulated from each other due to the rubber coupling and the way it is designed,that statement would not apply to the old lead and oakum joints. If One had copper DWV piping I would sleep better if it were bonded.

[This message has been edited by NORCAL (edited 07-29-2004).]

#40604 - 07/30/04 04:03 AM Re: Bonding Drain Pipes  
Lostazhell  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,431
Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
Ok... I have some first hand experience here...

I had a call from a customer that was having the wacky unbalanced voltage syndrome along with being "shocked in the shower"... early 60's home, everything looks normal for the era of build.. Panel grounding solely on the cold water.... So Cal Edison's neutral was loose up on the pole... All the unbalanced load was (trying) to shunt through the cold water system & thus the difference of potential between the fresh water system & the sewer system was shocking the bejeezus out of the homeowner! [Linked Image] Poco fixed their connection & the problems went away.. But I sunk 2 ground rods while I was there, just in case.....


#40605 - 07/30/04 07:26 AM Re: Bonding Drain Pipes  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,260
Fullerton, CA USA
Fiberglass tubs, porcelain lavatories, plastic kitchen sink.
Metal drains, nonmetallic lateral.
Flying splices, open j-boxes, romex chewing rats.

I don't think it's at all far-fetched.

Member Spotlight
Amish Country, PA
Posts: 46
Joined: March 2013
Show All Member Profiles 

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.017s Queries: 14 (0.003s) Memory: 0.8028 MB (Peak: 0.9680 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-07-24 18:28:36 UTC