Bonding question for new water supply line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by phughes200, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    Not sure where to post this.

    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 “T”.

    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.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  2. liquidplumber

    liquidplumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Gastonia NC
    Sounds like a question for an electrician. You might consider posting this question on an electricans forum. I can tell you this, there was a plumber who was recently killed who was laying in water and grabbed a copper pipe. I dont remember all the ins and outs of the story but the bottom line was an incorrect grounding connection is what killed him. There was something wired wrong in the house panel and there were several sections of copper pipe missing so that the power being sent thru the pipes was never noticed until this poor plumber provided a method for the power to run to ground. Im not saying that you have this kind of problem, I truly have no idea... That being said, IMHO you should consult a local electrician for your best possible result.
  3. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    I will cross post to the electrical board. I usually try to never do that.
  4. liquidplumber

    liquidplumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Gastonia NC
    Im assuming you mean you usually try to never need a professional? lol.. I understand totally. I almost never hire anyone else to do anything I might be able to do myself. But sometimes its worth it to just get the right answer the first time and be done with it. I see your an engineer, and I have found that engineers are the THE WORST about paying someone else or needing someone elses advice. Its just goes against their nature somehow...lol
    My dad was a mechanical engineer and if you ask him, he knows more about plumbing than I do... lmao And to be fair, he can figure it out just fine, it just takes him all day to re invent everything, draw it all out, and test his theorys before he actually gets it done. Meanwhile, Ive plumbed the entire house :cool:

    All Im saying is that maybe its best to have an electrican look at your situation, he might have dealt with this exact issue 100 times before and have a 5 minute solution... Or maybe its all good as is... again, he would probably know. Good luck!
  5. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    I appreciate your response. I have to admit that you do sound a little like my wife. lol

    I agree with your post. Although I am more than willing to ask for and usually take advice. Part of being an engineer is having a strong desire to understand how things work and a strong desire to see things done right as oppose to good enough. If we ask too many questions, it is because we are trying to make sure we understand the issues. You are also right about the sheer amount of time it takes to research some of these issues. However, at the end of the day, I have learned a lot at this board and others because of the professionals like you. The most important thing I have learned is not to underestimate the complexity of code.

    The hard part is that I am still relatively new to NC. Finding good skilled professionals can be tough. Looking at the quality of work of the person that wired this house is scary at times. Overall it is not too bad but I have found quite a few code violations that I have since corrected. Some major and unsafe. Others minor. Granted some but not all of this I am sure was done by the homeowner and his “jack of all trades†handyman.

    The questions I am currently asking here are about how to fix the bonding issue that the professional well driller created. I am a little surprise, he didn't mention that the way he tied into the plumbing would eliminate the bonding and that I needed to get an electrician to correct it. I only stumbled on this issue because I decided to fix the electrical issues related to my Jacuzzi that was also not installed right (overload circuit and no bonding).
  6. liquidplumber

    liquidplumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Gastonia NC
    Concerning the well driller guy, Im not surprised that he didnt tell you. he either didnt care, or didnt know. Im going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he didnt know he created a problem for you. When I repipe houses and run into ground/bonding issues I ALWAYS tell the homeowner and even refer an electrician to help them, however, ill bet most of those folks never bother to get the issue looked at and/or corrected.

    I hope you understand that I meant no disrepect concerning my engineer comments. Like I said I grew up with an engineer for a father and I could never hope to understand all the things he knows and understands.... But I cant stand to watch him do plumbing Lmao
  7. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    I assumed/hoped that you were just posting a playful jab. I appreciate the time and effort that the professionals take to answer questions.

    The cross posting comment actually meant that I usually try not post the same question in multiple spots on the same board. I started here since I figured the issue probally comes up when a section of pipe is replaced with PEX.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If I understand the original question, and the description is somewhat convoluted, all you have to do is install a jumper wire across the tee. The Sharkbite uses metal components to grab the tubing so it should maintain a continuous electrical path.
  9. phughes200

    phughes200 Engineer

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NC
    Sorry about not being clear. Sometimes too much detail gets me in trouble. A simpler question would have been:

    I have a copper plumbing system that has a PEX supply to the shutoff valve in the crawlspace. Can I bond the copper pipes with a #4 jumper to the original buried (1 foot deep) copper supply pipe that is bonded to the electrical panel with a #6 copper wire or should I run a #4 back to the panel?

    Based on your answer and the answer from the electrical board, I need a #4 jumper to restore the bonding. It is still not clear why the original #6 bond was okay. Is it because the original water supply pipe was buried for about 15 feet?
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