Since the water lines are plastic Pex, in the electrical panel it states, “this panel is not bonded due to plastic pipes”.

So my question is, what protects these houses and is it as good as a copper pipe system.

The label is actually a warning that the piping system cannot be used as a means to electrically bond other equipment to the GEC (such as satellite systems or other components that would normally be bonded to the system). Without that warning, other trades may think that any exposed metallic piping could be used to bond their equipment (like an exterior spigot).

It has nothing to do with the “quality” or integrity of the bonding of the system or its components.

Very Nice Jeff.:slight_smile:

They are starting to make the Ufer ground the electrode of choice since copper plumbing is getting more rare.

When the GEC enters the meter box (which is not accessible) and no bonding wire enters the service panel, and… plastic conduit connects the meter/service panel, and… PEX water pipe is installed (house on slab). How do you know the system is grounded outside the grounding to the transformer?


The GE System has to be installed in one fashion or another. Be this Ground Rod, Plate or etc.....If the GEC is visible at the meter can outside to a GE....the NEC allows the Grounded Conductor to play that role into the dwelling to the actual panel....

 So even if their is not a Water Pipe Option....the NEC gives us other options and requirements that must be done, again the NEC allows the GEC to connect at the Meter Can, Panel or believe it or not the Messenger connection point at the service head....

 The main thing to keep in mind is that IF no waterpipe is available the dwelling has to provide the other available Greg said the UFER is getting more and more popular and in fact I have that in my house....tehehe...My Choice...:)

  Always look for the other signs for the you stated if it enters the Meter Box...then it is fine...just be sure it is sized right and that is about all you can do on that end......the NEC allows it as it is more a POCO choice I have seen.

Hope this helps....

There is actually a good reason to have that GEC land in the meter base. If lightning strikes it has a path to ground without actually entering the house.
That may actually make yoiur surge protection more effective.
In SW Florida the power company likes to see the GEC in their meter base. If I, as an electrical inspector, want to see it, it is only a phone call away. I call the PoCo and tell them I am cutting the seal, they say OK and send someone out to fix it later.

That make sense. However access to the meter can prevents verification. The use of plastic electrical conduit prevents a bond. Around here, service panel’s attach directly to the meter can. The messenger wire is the only connection “sight unseen” to a potential ground. I guess we have to depend on the AHJ for that inspection :slight_smile:

It became quite popualr here in the 1950’s;)

The reason ground rods will remain popular is the fact that the location of the lateral service to the meter can change during construction without splicing the GEC.

That is one reason why I like the “turned up rebar” type Ufer where the GEC connection remains accessible. You can replace it with a longer one if the service location changes.
You could always shoot a CadWeld but that may be beyond some resi electricians.

David there are 6 or 7 connections in the typical meter base, they are all important so in most places a licensed electrican can cut a seal with a phone call to the PoCo.

Hey Greg,

In my area…we are not allowed to cut a seal at all without POCO being at the location. As well as even if the NEC allows us to bring this GEC to (3) possibly locations…the POCO can simply say they do not want the connection to take place in their meter can …which we run into alot with Harrisonburg Electric so it has to take place in the panel in our cases.

I guess the lesson in that is remember it can take place at multiple potential locations and be aware of the fact this can happen.

In Collier county the PoCo wants the GEC in the meter can. I guess your mileage may vary on seals based on the amount of fraud they have. Some places have locking rings on meters. When I did my service upgrade they left my meter unsealed for a couple weeks. Then one day I noticed a seal on it.

lol…NOW that is a TRUSTING community…lol…in our are they SIT and wait to re-seal it…lol…

I suppose it all depends on the fraud rate in your area. They also have 23 years of old electric bills to compare my usage to. I suppose I could have set up a pot farm for the week or two the meter was unsealed but once it was sealed again they would see the spike. The meter cops are pretty good at finding illegal taps.