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#3169099 - 02/18/13 07:58 PM Copper Tubing For Ground Wire
OldFart
8 Point


Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 1035
Loc: Aurora, CO 80012 USA

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Was looking at and pricing copper pipe (tubing), both 1/4 in and 1/2 in. The price of the 1/2 in was only very slightly more than #6 copper wire and much less than #4 wire. Would this tubing, 1/2 or 1/4, work well as a substitute for a ground wire? I'm not talking about a ground rod but a ground wire, like what I would use from my MFJ entrance panel ground rod to the electrical main panel.
Also, I need to make two right angle bends. Could I use a copper right angle "coupler"? Would that be too short a radius? There would be no danger of kinking as with wire. I would have to join sections of the 10 ft length 1/2 inch tubing together. Would "straight couplers" work here? I realize soldering would melt and I don't know about the conductivity of plumbing solder either?? However, plumbing grounds are sometimes used (as in my home) as a grouind and quite often, prob more often than not, are soldered. BTW the 1/4 in tubing comes in 25 ft rolls.
Thanks Ray

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#3169126 - 02/18/13 08:18 PM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: OldFart]
KPH
10 Point


Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 4032
Loc: Hendersonville Tenn

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Todays codes will not let you use water pipes(plumbing ground). Your house has probably been grand fathered in although it has been many a year sence you could do that. Use the proper size ground wire for the job
_________________________
"No I am not a good shot, but I shoot often" Teddy Roosevelt

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#3169151 - 02/18/13 08:33 PM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: KPH]
OldFart
8 Point


Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 1035
Loc: Aurora, CO 80012 USA

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I was talking about substituting the tubing for ground wire, not specifically about a plumbing ground. Sorry if I was not clear.
I realize that a lot of modern plumbing uses plastic or other non conducting connectors and/or pipes and that is the reason. Otherwise I would think that a plumbing ground would actually be better. I am, however, thinking of sinking an 8 ft ground rod just inside my garage and attaching the electric box ground to it (just on the other side of the wall between my patio where electric box is and the garage). Due to the proximity of the buried electric lines, I can't safely go down right under my electric main box. I will look again and see if I can determine exactly where the lines come in. It would prob not be a good idea to bring the ground wire into the garage even if it would just be a few inches inside. Also, all utilities are buried so that should give a good ground (wires are buried about 3 ft deep with no poles or overhead lines at all)
Thanks and Sorry For Possible Confusion Ray


Edited by OldFart (02/18/13 08:36 PM)

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#3169292 - 02/18/13 11:10 PM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: OldFart]
ROUGH COUNTRY HUNTER
16 Point


Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 12924
Loc: FRANKLIN COUNTY

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use the proper size copper wire.to much to risk
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#3169354 - 02/19/13 05:22 AM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: ROUGH COUNTRY HUNTER]
BlackBelt
10 Point


Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 3296
Loc: SouthWest TN

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If the copper tubing and plumbing solder failed to ground and for some reason caused a fire, I would think your insurance company might balk at making any payments for something that wasnt up to code.
Not saying it wouldnt work, just that I would personally make sure it was up to code for insurance reasons.

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#3169366 - 02/19/13 06:16 AM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: BlackBelt]
KPH
10 Point


Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 4032
Loc: Hendersonville Tenn

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There are reasons for codes your safty or others.
_________________________
"No I am not a good shot, but I shoot often" Teddy Roosevelt

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#3169473 - 02/19/13 08:06 AM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: KPH]
fishboy1
16 Point


Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 10574
Loc: Warren Co

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Its my understanding that they went away from using plumbing as a ground to prevent the possibility of energizing your plumbing system in the event of a malfunction.

True story..... Had one of 2 transmission lines to my house burn out. Called power company and they put a "power pack" on the house to get our Ac running (Florida in August)

Taking a shower I touched the metal handle and had my foot on the metal drain screen. Zapped the snot outta me, and I had to make an effort to get my hand off the handle.

I have never seen the power company show up at a guys house so fast. That was one unhappy phone call.
_________________________
If you can't trust people with freedom, how can you trust them with power ?




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#3170374 - 02/19/13 11:34 PM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: ]
OldFart
8 Point


Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 1035
Loc: Aurora, CO 80012 USA

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I am wanting to use either wire or tubing(?) for lightning protection to take as much current to ground as possible and to have all ckts at the same potential (thus the line from the 8 ft rod all ready in place and connected to my MFJ coax entrance panel to the electrical box) (Just asking about tubing, 1/4 in tubing has the same area as #6 wire and if I used 1/2 in tubing?). I have no choice, if I run from my ground rod to the electrical house box, I would have to make two right angle turns. The only other possibility is to run under my dining room in the crawl space and many discourage that. I'll shop around some more for wire, however, many electrical supply houses will not sell to individuals, only wholesale. Thanks Ray
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#3171257 - 02/20/13 08:22 PM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: OldFart]
OldFart
8 Point


Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 1035
Loc: Aurora, CO 80012 USA

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I may be causing some confusion, so maybe this will help clarify.

The only line currently in place is a 4 ft one going from 8 ft ground rod to the MFJ entrance panel. I would think that a very short line such as this one would be necessary to ground coax shields. I do wish to tie the electrical main box and this rod together.
Most commentators believe that it is necessary for me to go around my dining room addition rather than under the dining room in the crawl space, close to a 50 ft run w/two right angle bends rather than a 16 ft straight run under the dining room, but I can see the danger of carrying that much curent close to dining room floor.
I seem to be getting mixed answers as to using tubing or not.
How much radius would I need for my right angle turns using wire? Thanks Ray

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#3171294 - 02/20/13 08:41 PM Re: Copper Tubing For Ground Wire [Re: OldFart]
KPH
10 Point


Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 4032
Loc: Hendersonville Tenn

Offline
Don't use copper tubeing, use ground wire. I am not to sure what you mean about the radius. Probley one of the best thing is to call your local code person and let them help.
_________________________
"No I am not a good shot, but I shoot often" Teddy Roosevelt

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