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O.K. to use well pipe as ground?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by slipping into darkness, Apr 20, 2012.

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  1. slipping into darkness

    slipping into darkness TS Member

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    > new cable company wants to use well pipe for ground before bring line into house! The problem I have with this is the old company had 3 lighting hits in 20 years and each one took out the answering equipment and blew the electric plug socket right out of the wall. don't want lighting hit taking out well pump. is that a possibility? or can I get a written statement from the installer they will be responsible for any and all damages from a lighting strike.
     
  2. scooterbum

    scooterbum Active Member

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    Use proper grounds/grounding according to code.
     
  3. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Good question SID. I always thought the well casing was a good ground. Why not a seperate grounding rod driven into the ground near their POI.
     
  4. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to pick up a grounding rod at Home Depot or Lowes...

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_70860-28781-70860_0__?productId=3446270&Ntt=grounding+rod&pl=1┬ĄtURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dgrounding%2Brod&facetInfo=

    Eight foot copper coated rod you drive into the ground - about $11.

    -

    Your issue isn't if the well casing is a good ground or not (it is), but what will happen in a lightening strike.

    A strike will be carried to earth through the grounding wire - where it will dissipate. This dissipation can cover a vast area.

    Problem - If the wires for your pump are there they may take a good shot of power - either frying the pump or the wires themselves, or both - If the wires go how do you pull the now useless pump out of the well (chances are the plastic water pipe will melt too)? Also, there is a risk that it could back-feed into the main pannel as well.

    Just NOT a good idea.

    Drive a new rod into the ground and place it as far from the well casing as you can comfortably do
     
  5. MDMike

    MDMike Well-Known Member

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    Get a dedicated ground rod and be done with it.
     
  6. slipping into darkness

    slipping into darkness TS Member

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    Thanks all for the response, will inform company to install there own ground or to supply written guaranty they will cover cost of any and all damages to well.
     
  7. Straight99

    Straight99 Member

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    I have lived in the same house for the past 30 years. For the first 20 years I would burn out something electrical every other year from lighting. I ran extra grounds rods and have 4 without any help. About 10 years ago I ran a #6 wire from my well casing to the fuse box. I have not had one thing burn out since then. The local power company recomended the well casing ground.
     
  8. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    I am a retired electrical contractor: A well pipe is a very good grounding mechanism--the most important thing is how the wire is attached to the pipe--get an approved lug & have it welded to the casing.

    PHIL BERKOWITZ
     
  9. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Your well casing , or water pipe from a water service is to be connected to a proper ground. It's done that way in case the water line were to become energized.

    An isolated well may provide an adequate ground, if there is nothing remotely close to it, but to use a well or water pipe in an area that has been developed is suicide. Therefore the answer would be no, a well casing is not a proper ground, the incoming "waterline" must be connected,"bonded", to a proper ground.
     
  10. gun1357

    gun1357 Active Member

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    Question: How do you ground a pvc water line? Ron


    I was thinking like rosies dad a few posts below.
     
  11. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    LOL, I want to hear the answer to that one also
     
  12. MDMike

    MDMike Well-Known Member

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    Gun1357, I don't think you do.
     
  13. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    You don't,,,,,pretty hard to energize plastic. Somewhere in your building it should make a metallic connection, that's where you should bond to ground. Water meter in basement, etc,etc,
     
  14. quartering

    quartering Active Member

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    the well bore is lined with steel pipe to keep the walls from collapsing. a submersible well pump is then inserted into the well and water is pumped out through a flexible plastic pipe attached to the pump. the steel liner pipe is the ground, not the plastic water pipe. anyway, isn't it interesting that the same grounding rod on your 220 volt home system is the same one they use on a 220 million volt lightening rod system? also, the reason why a grounding rod is 10 feet long is so it's sure to get into moist soil: dry soil is not a ground! a well pipe is probably an excellent ground but i can see how it might void the warranty on your well pump. good luck with it
     
  15. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    Properly linked, a well casing should be the ultimate ground - unless you just like spending a whole bunch of money......

    Mike
     
  16. rosies dad

    rosies dad Member

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    Retired from Phone Co after 32.5 yrs. Up till I retired in 03, we were to bond our (network interface) ground with the Electrical Ground. (at that time per NEC) Water ground wasnt accepted anymore because of the constant changing of customer pipe and conversion to Plastic home pipe/plastic well pipe. Gas pipe was never legal to ground to.
    A seperate ground rod is a joke, bonding everyone to the same (potential-electrical ground grid) is the best. (telco, cable, electrical) We also had a minimum size of Nr 10,with our own connectors.
     
  17. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    For the most of the country...the USA that is...there is no such thing as an "Electrical ground", per se.... IE..a ground supplied with your service....nope. Your service only has current conductors and a neutral...NO ground. Your ground is individual to your home, business, farm , whatever. There may be some isolated contradictions to this but there is no ground grid. Thinking there is can get you killed.
     
  18. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    SID and all:

    The wires installed by an electric utility (those connecting someone's home to the utility's system) include a neutral. Some people consider neutral conductors to have zero voltage potential. That is NOT correct. A neutral may be energized at any voltage from zero to the full potential of the other conductors. Neutrals should ALWAYS be handled as if they are fully energized because sometimes they are.

    A utility company's distribution system has driven ground rods (copper clad steel rods) at the base of most - if not all their poles. The utility's neutral conductors, transformer cases, lightning arrestors, fused disconnects and various other pole mounted distribution hardware is connected to those ground rods via "pole ground" conductors.

    Utilities also have extensive grounding grids under their substations. The bigger the sub, the bigger and more complex the grounding grid gets. But I digress...

    If properly installed, a customer's service entrance includes a driven ground rod at the metering point. The homeowner's meter enclosure and metal conduits are bonded to it. So is the breaker box and neutral conductors of the homeowner's internal wiring.

    IMO, properly installed ground rods are the only way to go.

    As an aside... When lightning strikes, anything can happen. The only thing predictable about a lightning strike is that the results probably won't be good. Btw, lightning rods installed at the top of buildings and other tall structures are connected to (you guessed it) driven ground rods.

    sissy






    ir
     
  19. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    221, you need to go inside your electrical panel.

    You will see the neutrals are all connected to the "neutral bus", and the stranded copper from the ground rod outside is also connected there.

    If you had a floating neutral you might get a nasty surprise in the shower one day.

    At least a dozen GI's in Iraq were electrocuted by faulty wiring when power washing vehicles or showering.

    Mashy linky

    HM
     
  20. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    HM, 221 in now the resident expert, he knows all about all

    Actually he's the biggest phoney I have ever seen
     
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