Bonding a new water supply line

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by phughes200, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    When my new well was drilled, the new PEX water supply line enters the crawlspace at the other end of the house than the old copper supply. This line was connected to the existing plumbing by installing a “T†in the existing supply line about 10' from where the old supply line entered the crawlspace. One side of the T has the new PEX supply line and valve. The other side has a PEX line to a valve then to the old supply line. The third leg connects directly to the copper line leading to the interior shut off valve. All of the existing plumbing is copper.

    Originally, I had a jet pump and tank in a closet in my carport, the copper water supply line exits the closet to the outside and runs outside below ground along the exterior carport wall about 15 feet and enters the crawlspace. The copper ground wire from my 200A main panel (mounted on the exterior carport wall) measured .158†(#6). The wire goes into the ground about 9†and is connected to a bonding clamp on the original water supply line. From there, it is connected to a ground rod buried 4†below grade. The wire is all one piece.

    I need to reestablish the bond connection that was broken by installing the “Tâ€.

    1) Can I just add a copper wire from the old supply line to the copper line with the interior shutoff valve to restore the ground bond? What size wire is needed?

    2) Do I need a jumper wire to connect my hot and cold pipes together? Right now, my system does not appear to have this. Can this be done anywhere?

    3) Does a Sharkbite connector that joins two copper pipes interrupts the ground bond?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Yes and use a #4 copper. The hot and cold does not need anything as this will take place through your shower mixing valve
  3. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks. So I can I jumper with the #4 or do I need to run the #4 back to the grounding bar in the 200A panel? I only ask because the bond from the panel to the old supply pipe and then the ground rod is a #6 solid copper.

    Also does the Sharkbite/Gatorbite Connector (in another part of the house) cause any bonding issues?
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The Code Making Panel has said many times that if the metal water pipes are not complete metal that the equipment grounding conductor included in the circuit that is supplying any piece of equipment that is connected to the pipe is all the grounding that is required. See 250.104 for more information.

    What you are doing is bonding the metal water pipe as the underground part is not metal therefore it is not an electrode. If there is no electrode then there is no grounding taking place it is only bonding.
  5. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks.

    One other quick question. I have a bathroom that has a 20A circuit which feeds the lights (3A max) and the GFI outlet. Can I and a second outlet to plug my Jacuzzi into? The Jacuzzi has a 3/4 hp motor that draws 6-7 amps. I understand that a hair dryer or curling iron could not be used at the same time. The 1500W heater for the Jacuzzi is on a seperate 15A circuit.
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    No the tub needs its own circuit and the 15 amp circuit for the heater is not big enough. You will end up having problems with that circuit if not losing your home to it.
  7. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    Could you explain your reasoning? I am not doubting you but I would like to understand the issues/risks.

    The manufacturer installation instructions call for a dedicated 15A, 125V circuit for the heater. Why do you feel I could lose my home (I assume you mean from fire)? What am I missing. If this is a issue, I will contact the manufacturer (Jacuzzi).

    Is adding the 3/4 hp motor load of 6A to a 20A circuit that much of an issue? What is the concern? I recognize with the lights on, I would draw about 9A so using a hair dryer would overload the circuit. Since this all in one bathroom, the sink outlet would never be used when the tub is being used.

    If this was new construction, I would definitely run a separate circuit. Unfortunately, I am trying to correct a flawed installation from the previous owner. I am trying to work with what I have. However, I will not compromise safety!
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The heater could be on for quite a while so therefore it is a continuous load as with most resistive loads. This requires a demand factor of 125%.
    At 1500 watts and 120 volts the amperage of the heater is 12.5. Now add the 125% demand to the heater and we have what?

    The NEC requires that the receptacle in a bathroom supply no other loads. You have answered the why yourself.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  9. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    Thank you.

    So the only issue with the motor is code and not current draw. There is a slight possibility that I could tie into another circuit for the motor. Currently that circuit appears only to have a kitchen light (13w cfl) on it. Otherwise, I am dealing with a maxed out panel. The other option is to remove the heater. I only plan on using this maybe 6 times a year for 30 minutes each time. In my mind these thing are a waste of water and space.
  10. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    As you have already said the instructions call for a dedicated circuit. This is what should be done, not grabbing a nearby circuit.

    Adding a small subpanel would allow breaker space to be added.
  11. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Nothing erps me more than someone asks how to do something and then when they are told they strat trying to do something else.
    Here is the only correct way to install this tub. Now it is up to you to decide if this is what you are going to do or if you are going to just jury rig it up.

    680.71 Protection. Hydromassage bathtubs and their associated electrical components shall be on an individual branch circuit(s) and protected by a readily accessible ground-fault circuit interrupter. All 125-volt, single-phase receptacles not exceeding 30 amperes and located within 1.83 m (6 ft) measured horizontally of the inside walls of a hydromassage tub shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.
  12. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    So put the kitchen light on another circuit that has room.
  13. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    jwelectric,

    Sorry, I was not trying to annoy you. I was trying to figure out what my options if any were for the motor. The code you referenced in your last post clearly states that I have only one option. I was only trying to understand the reasoning behind the answer so I can learn. Thanks. I did not realize there was this section under pools which clearly states I can't do this. I though this issue was covered under 210. If I can't achieve this by rewiring my other circuit, I will cut the heater cord to permanently disable it.
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