Educate me

To America’s finest. I recently came across a nice fat copper gound which exited the main panel and clamped neatly onto a copper water line within about three feet. I traced that pipe back best I could (much of the basement was finished) and I pretty much thought that it went back to the water entry point, which turned into plastic about three feet over the floor. So I said that I ‘could not verify an earth ground’ Correct rhetoric? are there magic tricks along the way I’m not aware of.? The panel had three inspector stickers on it so I feel half way suspect at saying I see something I’m not sure of. Input from the more experienced please. (no pic included since the description is simple)

I just write it up as no electric ground found. Please locate .

thanks roy

#1 your inspecting something you cannot see.

What does the standards of inspection say about inspecting things you cannot see?

There is a good probability that the people that put those inspection stickers know more than you do about the installation.

Unless you can come up with a way to document a deficiency, there is no reason to call out “your suspicions”.

There is a whole lot of free training on this website and there are gigabytes of information about electrical stuff that you can search. Recommend you research and become familiar with this information so you can come up with the correct readily available answers.

Do you know the difference between bonding and grounding? Do you know what a UFFER is?

When you have trouble with the documentation that you have read, there’s a lot of people here that can help you out with that.

If you continue to come here and ask questions that you have not researched, you are expecting us to be writing your report for you.

They say there’s no stupid question, but the question is stupid if you can easily look up the answer.

Your “simple” description is not as simple as you think. A photograph of the main electric service would be very handy if anyone is to comment on what you’re looking at. We can’t inspect from here.

David, if you have kids and they come to you for advice or help, I hope you dont answer them this way.

There is a difference in kids and Home Inspectors that are being relied upon for their knowledge by someone investing in the biggest purchase of their life…

Roy in Red…

Since the buried pipe is plastic there is no water pipe electrode but there is still a metallic water piping system. That means that the system must be bonded to the service neutral, hence the copper bonding jumper you’ve mentioned. Before I would go reporting this as ungrounded I would take a closer look. Given that there are multiple inspections stickers I would guess that the one required electrode does exist. Certainly a few photo’s would help.

Boy, I sure am glad that I know everything! (or at least sense enough to duck after I ask a question here)

Btw. I have found three separate services this year that were ungrounded. They all involved poly water mains, waterpipe connections, no driven rods, all from the late 80’s-early 90’s and ALL had white stickers on the panel covers.:shock:

I think we should just give up doing home inspections and just rely on the AHJ’s who come in and the first question (and sometimes the only question) they ask is “who did this job” and if its one of the boys, they say “Well, you can’t get better than that, here’s your sticker”. :roll:

If I can not see it I will not ignore it .
I do not want to put my head in the noose .
Ground Not Found please locate it.
I can not open walls to confirm!!!

I am with you Roy. My sarcasm is directed at the poster that says the people who put those sticker on know more… I say only sometimes.

Why would you need to open walls to find an GEC? Shouldn’t removing the panel cover be enough?

How about the other end that is the one we need to see too.

Here is another one for you ROY! Don’t throw your pearls before swine. Mathew 7:6

With a few exceptions, the connection should be accessible.

UFER’s will often be covered with a simple wall plate. Pipe electrodes should have an accessible clamp, which is generally visible.

If you cannot verify the connection, simply report; “We were unable to verify proper grounding of the system, which should be verified or established by a qualified electrician.”

Same goes with the bonding to the gas line. If you can’t find it it may be accessible up above all the ceiling tiles.
Not your job if you have to go too far to look for it.

Exactly and that is what I said on Grounding at post #2

I just write it up as no electric ground found. Please locate .

The local authority in Jefferson City, Missouri does not even require the panel to be earth bonded. I asked the local city inspector why, and he did not even know what earth bonded meant. Sad but true.

The NEC would allow the EGC from the furnace circuit to bond the gas line.

Thanks for input again…all great advice, I feel confident I did the right thing.
mike in MN