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<< Back to: Electrical Wiring FAQ (Part 1 of 2)

Question by TJ
Submitted on 7/20/2003
Related FAQ: Electrical Wiring FAQ (Part 1 of 2)
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Answer by riptorn
Submitted on 7/26/2003
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Check your water line.  I doubt that it is a good ground.


Answer by jaggerds
Submitted on 10/30/2003
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check the grounding wire outside by the service to make sure it still hooked up and see if ground is bond in the service


Answer by terry452000
Submitted on 1/25/2004
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Check for a short to ground. A bad water heater element will do this everytime but there are other possibilities.


Answer by COMIT
Submitted on 7/13/2004
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#1 make sure you have a good ground rod and it is connected to the meter, sometimes the ground rod clamp and grounding conductor {wire}is lose or broken. #2 water piping must be bonded {connected} to the grounding circuit. #3 water heater must be grounded so if the heating element opens the electric will be shorted to the ground on the heater. The breaker or fuse should trip or blow. #3 If you have a well pump this also must be grounded. If the pump motor wires short to the pump and it is not grounded the electric will travel Thu the water it will not trip the breaker . NOW for the fun in troubleshooting  Check all your 2 prong plugs and make sure the are plug in properly small prong in the small hole, if not the hot power will be on the wrong side. Old appliances use to connect the metal to the neutral and with the plug rev the appliance be comes HOT and you will get a shock when you tuch the appliance and turn on the water. Now if any houses around you has a problem with there water heater or well it will travel Thu the water and get you. Have a electrician check out if you are getting voltage from the earth to your grounding circuit. ALSO if the electric company has wires under ground and the insulation breaks down it will allow electric to flow tru the earth. Hope this helps. CHECK WITH THE BUILDING DEPT ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR .


Answer by BIG AL
Submitted on 1/25/2005
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Today a lot of homes have plastic pipe.  Also plastic pipe is used to replace leaky metal pipe.  Current code tells us to ground within 5' of the water line were it comes into the house.  Some few have wells and or city water pipes that are plastic.  You can not successfully ground plastic.  I assume that the water pipes that you get the shock off of are metal.  You could have a length of pipe in series with the cold and hot pipes that isolates them from ground.  Remember that pure water (less than 10 micro mhos) is a good insulator.  If your city water has a low minaral content it will tend to be an insulator.
You should always BOND the water heater directly to ground.


Answer by syngyn
Submitted on 4/11/2005
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every thing above is 100% right just wanted to add the when grounding your pipes make sure that the meter has a jumper over it. Also make sure that the only ground in your house is not you water pipes.


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