Bonding wire for hot / cold pipes on a water heater NJ

Not sure if most states require this but it is required here in NJ. Came across some what looked like 14 awg wire used. This is normally 6 awg or greater but im having trouble finding out if this is an issue or not. Thanks for the input on this

Where was the green wire going?

Between the hot an cold pipes above the water heater

That looks like a ground wire that would be used for CATV, Telco, etc. The system bonding should be #6AWG min (look for it near the WH).


You might be onto something. That little tail on the right goes no where it was disconnected I just thought this was the bonding wire they installed for the W/H. This was up after the first 90 degree bend over the water heater. Its usually right above it though. Would CATV normally be bonded to both the hot and cold?

An unknown continuous low resistance path back to other home electrical equipment with the required awg ampacity.

No where. it just hung over the pipe on the other side. I didnt see the other end any where

No. But that doesn’t mean it’s not or wasn’t.

Could be company policy for low voltage wiring - bond to both and installer mistake on hot/cold line is out of the picture.

Here in NJ the bonding jumper is required {NEC Table 250.102©(1)}. It should be sized equal to the size of the GEC for the service, so typically using copper conductors you would have:
#8 for 100 amps
#6 for 150 amps
#4 for 200 amps.

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Since not required by NEC, do you believe it is a good practice, even in areas where the local code doesn’t call for it?

It’s arguable as to whether or not it is actually required. IMO it is not but NJ has taken the stance that it is so it’s enforced here as a requirement.

A few code cycles ago I wrote a PI (public input) to the NEC to get it clarified that is to whether not it is required at the HWH but the CMP punted. Here’s the PI if anyone is interested. I found their comment in bold to be rather worthless.

Public Input No. 4314-NFPA 70-2014 [ Section No. 250.104(A)(1) ]
(1) General.
Metal water piping system(s) installed in or attached to a building or structure shall be bonded to the service equipment enclosure, the grounded conductor at the service, the grounding electrode conductor where of sufficient size, or to the one or more grounding electrodes used. The bonding jumper(s) shall be sized in accordance with Table 250.66 except as permitted in 250.104(A)(2) and (A)(3). Bonding jumpers shall not be required between the hot and cold water piping systems at hot water heaters to maintain the continuity of the piping system.

Statement of Problem and Substantiation for Public Input
Substantiation: There seems to be some confusion as to when applying 250.104(A)(1) that a hot water heater requires that the continuity between the hot and cold piping be maintained by the use of a bonding jumper, similar to the ones required by 250.68(B) around water meters, etc. Sections 250.104(A)(1) and 250.68(B) are different in that bonding jumpers required by 250.68(B) are to maintain the continuity of grounding electrode, the same continuity requirement does not apply to the bonding of piping systems. This additional wording will clarify that bonding jumpers are not required around hot water heaters to comply with 250.104(A)(1).
Submitter Information Verification
Submitter Full Name:robert meier
Organization: NA
Street Address:
Submittal Date: Thu Nov 06 19:02:22 EST 2014
Committee Statement
Resolution: Plumbing fittings and fixtures may not always provide reliable bonding between hot and cold water

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Thanks Robert

Rob and I strongly disagree

Yes Mich, but Robert knows what he’s talking about.

From “INTERNACHI” residential electrical inspection course pdf file” was written this: (Under the topic of …

“Bonding of Components:

The purpose of bonding is to ensure the electrical continuity of the fault current path, provide the capacity and ability to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed, and to aid in the operation of the over-current protection device. As discussed in the section on panel enclosures, they need to be bonded to the grounding system. But there is also a very long list of other components that need to be connected to ground, since they have the potential to become energized to electrical faults. These components include: • interior water piping; • water heaters; • around water meters; • gas lines; • electrical enclosures; • electrical raceways; • electric outlets or junction boxes; • CSST gas piping (manufacturer’s compliance); and • telephone and cable TV systems.” —It may help to give us hint, why it was like that.

If this is the case, the rule on bonding the components is universal not just on the particular places.

I respect Rob’s opinions. I just believe that he is wrong.

“Where hot and cold water pipes are electrically connected, you need only one bonding jumper — to either the cold- or hot-water pipe. Otherwise, use a single bonding jumper sized per 250.104(A)(1) to bond the hot- and cold-water piping together.” - Mike Holt

Fixtures are not UL listed bonding devices nor are water tanks, etc.

You place a jumper over a water meter because it can be removed.

The idea behind it is that when the hot and cold water pipes enter the tank there is a separation between the 2. The bonding wire between the hot and cold eliminates this separation. Atleast that’s what they teach us in school.

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Neither is the actual metal water pipe itself or the solder and fittings used to connect the sections together. :grinning:

I do agree that the cold and hot systems need to be connected together but the NEC fails to give us real direction on what is or isn’t required. Mike failed to give a code section that would require the jumper at the HWH. A home with a shower will have to two systems connected.

I just checked my water mate near my furnace and there is continuity between the hot and the cold water pipes, so why would I need a jumper.
Just curious.