Grounding wire close to water heater

Hi Everyone,

I got a question. In a 20flat I inspected yesterday, I saw a grounding wire being bonded to a cold water pipe supplying a water heater. The wire was attached about 3.5 feet away. First of all, is it OK? Second, should hot, cold and gas piping at the water heater be bonded together. Is jumper necessary? It’s just I’ve never seen this kind of grounding to a water pipe.

What you likely saw was “bonding”, and it’s both required and a good idea. In the event that something should energize the pipework in each unit, there will be a good ground fault path back to the panel to allow the breaker to trip (mitigating the hazard). As long as one pipe (either hot or cold) is bonded, the other one is likely bonded as well via the water heater and various mixing valves like on the kitchen sink, bath lav, and shower valve. Gas pipe bonding is usually accomplished by factory connections that already exist in gas appliance that utilize both gas and electricity such as warm air furnaces. No extra bonding is normally required for gas piping, but doesn’t hurt a thing if a guy adds some.

Technically, anything that could energize any metal piping, should be properly grounded by the eqc that feeds that circuit. However, some inspectors want to see the water piping on the water heater bonded as well. Just one weird thing, you said the cold water side was bonded? That doesn’t make sense, at a minimum it should be the hot water side, since that would be the broken side if the water heater is removed.


Why, you inspect units that don’t have kitchen, bath, and shower faucets?

Not home inspectors! Like myself.

Talking about municipal electrical inspectors. I still do electrical work, for free. We AHJ that want over kill.


The problem with that idea is the plastic supply line from the faucet to the angle stop.

Never saw a shower done that way. :mrgreen:

To be honest I haven’t seen any metal pipe in new construction since the Carter administration. It is all PVC and CPVC around here.