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qmqmqm 07-05-2013 10:17 PM

metal wire near cold water pipe
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Hi everyone

In my house, I see this metal wire wrapped around the cold water pipe (where city water comes into the house.) One end of the wire goes into the ground, and the other end is secures onto the pipe, as shown in the picture. Sorry the picture is sideways, I don't know how to fix it. The yellow paint is the floor.

(As you can see, I have wrapped this section of the water pipe with rubber insulation.)

What is this metal wire for? Grounding the pipes?

Does wrapping the pipe with insulation affect whatever this wire is used for?

Thanks in advance!


inspectorD 07-06-2013 06:38 AM

Yes you can wrap the pipe and wire in insulation. :)
The wire could be for 2 things actaully, since local departments sometimes do their own thing. It could be used as a ground for your water with the electrical system, and it should be connected to the metal pipe somewhere. Or it could just be a tracer wire for when the water company or "call before you dig"wants to find the burried pipe underground.
My guess is tracer wire. But it can be covered.

speedy petey 07-06-2013 06:40 AM

This is your water bond/grounding electrode conductor. It serves a double purpose; to bond your water piping in the house and since it is a copper pipe going into the ground it also serves as a grounding electrode.

It's a bit long, but IMO the extra slack is a good thing. You may need it someday.

qmqmqm 07-07-2013 07:27 PM

Thanks Gentlemen!

Can someone please explain why water pipes need to be grounded?



kok328 07-08-2013 07:58 AM

because they are made of metal and are attached to metal objects that you touch inside the home. Also, in some situations, a copper water pipe is the only thing in site to ground to.

qmqmqm 07-08-2013 06:43 PM

Thanks Kok328!

nealtw 07-08-2013 08:02 PM

Anything metal in the house should be grounded, so if a pipe comes in contact with power, the cercuit breaker will kick instead of the pipe just being live.

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