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10.03.2016
This document discusses procedures the inspection of the grounding system components of a building electrical system when performed by trained building inspection professionals, home inspectors, electrical inspectors, and electricians.
Also see DEFINITIONS of ELECTRICAL GROUND, Grounding Electrode, Grounding Conductor, Grounded Conductor, Ground Wire, Neutral Wire, Ground Rod, for definitions of these confusing electrical terms. The grounding system at a building provides an easy path for electricity to flow to earth should a problem, such as a short circuit, occur.
Allowing current to flow to earth through the ground system helps assure that a circuit breaker will trip or fuse will blow should a problem occur. Should an electrical fault occur where no ground path is present, the electrical potential is just sitting there waiting for a person to come along, touch some component of the system, and by accidentally providing a path to earth through their body, receive a burn or potentially fatal shock.
Details of why we need grounding, and definitions of electrical grounding and electrical bonding (what's the difference between these two terms) can be read at Why Grounding is Needed. Carson Dunlop's sketch shows how the electrical current in a building can find its way to earth by way of the electrical grounding system. As Carson Dunlop's sketch shows, the grounding equipment includes wires which bond the ground and neutral bus in the main electrical panel with an outdoor component that conducts electricity to the earth (ground). The outdoor component may be grounding electrodes (ground rods), or in some jurisdictions a metal water pipe or possibly other metal components. The reason we ground in-building plumbing is not to provide an additional grounding conductor in a building but to ground the plumbing.
Picture someone knocking a toaster into a stainless steel sink or into any sink with a metal drain and drain piping. In a properly-wired building, the grounding conductor and bonding system do not normally carry current, and would not be blamed for copper pipe pinholing etc. In some communities, as Carson Dunlop's sketch shows, the metal gas piping in a building must be bonded to the electrical ground system. Bonding anything to the ground system, including metal gas piping, helps prevent an electrical spark that might otherwise result in an explosion in the case of a gas piping system. The bonding of the gas piping to the building ground system is not the same thing as attempting to use the metal gas piping as the primary or only connection to earth in a building. See Definitions of Electrical Ground, Grounding Electrode, Grounding Conductor, Grounded Conductor, Ground Wire, Neutral Wire, Ground Rod, for definitions of these confusing electrical terms. At ALUMINUM GROUND WIRES we discuss proper repair of aluminum ground wires found in solid conductor branch circuit wiring.
Carson Dunlop's sketch at page top shows where the electrical inspection starts at a residential property. More about the galvanic scale and corrosion between dissimilar metals is at GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION. Jumper wires to ground plumbing: As Carson Dunlop's sketch shows at (A), if the building plumbing includes DIELECTRIC FITTINGS or non-conductive sections of piping (such as plastic piping) then the building plumbing system may not be safely grounded. Spelling note that may help some web searches: it's not dialectic pipe fittings, but dielectric pipe fittings. A jumper wire is installed to assure that the building metal plumbing pipes are safely grounded to earth. The purpose of the ground jumper is to ground the building plumbing, not to use the building plumbing as a grounding system.
That is to say, we're making the plumbing safe, we're not using it to provide a ground for the electrical system. A dielectric separates two electrically conducting materials so that they can be at two different potentials, more formally an electric di-pole. Grounding system jumper wire around the water meter: as the same sketch shows at (B), if the building water main piping is being used as a source to provide a ground for the electrical system, then the main ground wire between the electrical panel and the water piping should be clamped on both sides of the water meter. In this case the building water supply piping is being used as part of the electrical grounding system, and we need to be sure that that connection to earth is not interrupted by non-conductive components of the water meter itself.
In our photo you can see that the meter bypass jumper has become disconnected (where our flashlight is shining) and that the system ground wire was also spliced.
We bond the building water pipe to the grounding wire on the street side of the water meter to be sure that the building electrical system is grounded to earth. We bond the building water pipe to the grounding wire on the building-side of the water meter to be sure that the building water piping is safely grounded too. This grounding wire should be continuous, through both pipe clamps securing it to the water piping before and after the water meter, and continuing into the main electrical panel where it joins the ground bus and neutral bus. You may have to look closely even to find the grounding electrode, but following the ground wire should lead to it if an electrode is present.
Corroded aluminum electrical ground wire - aluminum ground wires corrode through and ground can be lost. We've seen this happen, as shown in our picture at left, leading to loss of the local building ground connection when the bare aluminum ground wire was touching the edge of a masonry block foundation. Moisture in the foundation wall and probably the chemistry of the masonry block, mineral salts left by water entry, and the aluminum wire itself led to through-corrosion of the ground wire. Loose or missing ground connections securing the ground wire to a water pipe or to a grounding electrode. As you can see in our photo, someone just skipped the clamp intended to secure the copper ground wire to the incoming water pipe, and left it wrapped around the pipe quite loosely. Often we find this condition when someone needed to temporarily disconnect the ground wire, perhaps during a plumbing repair. The plumber may not have taken seriously the need to re-connect the building ground system. No one may notice this problem because even if this ground connection is totally ineffective, the building may be still grounded through the service entry ground wire.
The ground system wiring is for emergency-use only - it should never be wired so as to carry current during normal operation. We've found cases in which someone used the ground path to complete an electrical circuit because the neutral wire was broken somewhere that could not be found. As a result, the ground path was electrically live when it should not have been, leading to an electric shock. In our photo at left, someone used telephone wire to connect the neutral side of this electrical receptacle to the receptacle's steel mounting strap, knowing that that would in turn connect the neutral side of the receptacle to the steel junction box and through it, to the armored BX electrical cable, forming an electrical path back to the main electric panel. Ground rod cut off or short - don't assume that because you see a grounding electrode that it has been properly installed. Grounding electrodes in some locales have an embossed code on their upper end - if the rod was cut off the embossed letters will be missing.
As we and our inspection client discovered (photos above), the bent-over grounding electrode made us wonder what was happening. Readers should also see Definitions of Electrical Ground, Grounding Electrode, Grounding Conductor, Grounded Conductor, Ground Wire, Neutral Wire, Ground Rod, for definitions of these confusing electrical terms. Example of a potential shock waiting for someone: loose black wire in a metal junction box touches the side of the box. But if the electrical box is not grounded, current flows through a person when the electrical box or anything connected to it (electrically) is touched, if the person has the bad luck to also be herself grounded (say by touching building piping or standing on a wet floor).
I am replacing my service panel,in my condo, and the conduit running from the sub panel is being used as the earth ground. When the conduit is being used as the earth ground it must meet certain UFER specifications and impedence requirements. If a local ground is isolated from the electrical company's ground (neutral wire in the panel) and does not conduct electricity or shows high resistance (or more generally, high impedence) it is not safe. Watch out: this test needs to be performed by a trained electrician as there are shock and electrocution hazard risks.
Fluke Corporation describes a simplified grounding electrode test in which the technician drives additional spikes into the ground to permit several measurements fof impedence that are compared at different distances from the grounding electrode under test. Continue reading at ALUMINUM GROUND WIRES or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Rikio I'm not sure I correctly understand the question but in general, if you are measuring voltage leaking say to ground, you want to find and fix the wiring error. The water has been ruled out so it has to be something else the pin hole was from the inside out and my house water connections are green and blue. With just the info in your note I can only guess at some possible causes for the pinhole leak in copper water piping under your building slab. If you do nothing but fix the pipe and the problem never recurs I'd suspect the pipe itself. Yes, Anon, depending on the chemistry of the concrete and also moisture exposure there can be problems with corrosion - which is why for grounding conductor wiring the electricians I know use insulated grounding conductors. Indeed it's common to see the electrical panel bonded to a lead water main entering the building. Watch out: Lead conducts electricity but corrosion and unreliable connections within the piping make it an unreliable main electrical ground.
Good procedure would be to connect a ground to the lead water main but ALSO to install two (current NEC) driven ground rods at the property. I even seen it in one house but show the signs of trouble in a neighbors house because of a common city water pipe. The excessive solder flux corrosion problem is not one I'd realized -thanks for that tip.
You show a jumper wire across a dielectric plumbing connection (between copper & galvanized pipe). If we don't jump across a non-conductive dielectric fitting on water piping then the water piping is not grounded.
For protection from lightning and possibly leakage from a high voltage transformer, the current National Electrical Code (NEC) requires two grounding electrodes at a building. The reason people ground in-building plumbing is not to provide an additional grounding conductor in a building but to ground the plumbing. Incidentally, as we discuss pinholing and bad neutral connections, keep in mind that the return path for current in a building's electrical system is not intended to be primarily through the building's local grounding electrodes. See LOST NEUTRAL Shocks Homeowner for details of what can happen when this connection is not made or goes bad. A circuit tester should show that there is an open ground IF 3-prong grounded outlets are installed. In some such installations we find that the wiring is BX (armored cable) that along with metal junction boxes, actually provides an (improper, that is not to be relied-on) ground path from the metal electrical box, through the BX cable sheathing, back to the main electrical box, through a panel jumper or connection to the panel ground bus, to ground. In that (UNRELIABLE) "ground" path, current flows from the hot wire through the electrical receptacle hot tab or slot, through the neon tester, to the wall plate screw, to the metal strap on the face of the receptacle, through the receptacle mounting screws, to the metal electrical box, through the BX cable to ground.
Since this fall, after a smart meter was installed on our home, we have had a ringing noise in our electrical wiring, dimmer switches, water pipes. It can be confusing figuring out if your water piping is actually serving as an electrical ground (it would have to be continuous metal, into soil outdoors, for a suitable distance and depth) or if instead the connection you see is intended as a safety feature to ground the building piping. Certainly we wouldn't expect a workable ground connection for the electrical system to run through piping and the water heater. As you will read in this article series, current codes want two grounds at the home - via grounding electrodes, for safety reasons. I did not open the circuit box, but inspecting all the wires coming out of it, this one seemed to be the only one consisting of a few exposed copper wires twisted around each other.
PS: While I was down there I found another wire going from the phone line also to another hot water pipe for grounding. Question: how often should the electrical earthing system be inspected in erratic power areas? In developing countries where power supply is erratic, what frequency would you advise inspection of electrical and earthing systems?


Watch out: Anon, you really should call a licensed electrician - a ground fault such as the one you describe could kill someone. In general, I have never, in thousands of inspections, come across a welded ground wire-to-electrode connection at a building.
A shortcut might be to check with your local building department to see what they will accept.
I'll post further when I can find an authoritative citation on the connection we are discussing. If there is work done that bumps into the outside component of a water meter (my meter is in the basement and it's the new type that can be read as drive by) but I understand there is an outside component somewhere.
If I understand the question correctly, you ask if damage to an outdoor water meter would affect the proper operation of a subsequent water meter that is down-stream from the damaged one. Generally grounding wires can be spliced, with some exceptions where use of a continuous conductor is recommended. A trained electrician (that is someone who knows how to avoid getting electrocuted while messing with wiring) might use a DMM or VOM to check for current flow from hot to ground; if the ground is disconnected no circuit would be completed and no current would flow. I also check that the metal box is grounded and as we warn in these articles, we emphasize the importance of following NEC on grounding and grounded conductor wiring and connections - e.g.
More details about electrical grounding can be read at ELECTRIC SERVICE GROUNDING SYSTEM INSPECTION and ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS, SHORTS, and at OLD HOUSE ELECTRICAL WIRING. John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. Timothy Hemm, Yucala, CA, contributed the photographs of electrical equipment installed in California buildings. Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore. Recommended books on electrical inspection, electrical wiring, electrical problem diagnosis, and electrical repair can be found in the Electrical Books section of the InspectAPedia Bookstore. Rio's Olympic village looks nice on the outside, but the inside is a whole different story. RELIEF VALVE, WATER HEATER - CONTENTS: Water Heater Safety Inspections - check the TP Relief Valve. Here at we discuss temperature and pressure relief valves used on residential water heaters.
To reduce the risk of abnormally high and dangerous pressures in the hot water system and to reduce chances of a dangerous explosion, water heater manufacturers, building codes, and independent standards require that a temperature and pressure relief valve be installed on the water heater - a T&P Relief Valve. The tag providing information on any T&P relief valve describes its operating pressure and temperature rating.
The funny little device on the elbow seen at the left hot water riser on this water tank is in common use in Mexico. The relief valve on this water heater has been covered by owner-installed water heater insulation.
This is an unsafe condition as the operation of the temperature or pressure relief valve may be interfered with by the insulation and also because the valve cannot be inspected for evidence of leaks or failure. Do not depend on a pressure-relief only valve (no temperature response) to protect a hot water heating system. Pressure relief valves are only intended for protection of tanks that are not heated - such as a well water pressure tank or a cold water storage tank. Christian, Without some photos or other details, I don't know, but I speculate that if the discharge tube on the relief valve is piped down through the floor to a non-visible location, that's improper & unsafe and may be what the tagged meant.
Our photo above illustrates a T&P valve installed on the water heater top and connected to a discharge tube that passes outside the building through the wall. T&P valve discharge tubes are permitted to discharge below the floor of a structure but should not be piped to a hidden location where you won't notice that the valve is dripping or leaking. Julie a look at installation details for TP valves on water heaters didn't come up with an over-head clearance, though some common sense would indicate you'd need enough space for the test lever to be operated AND enough space to remove and replace the valve when needed. Now we can slightly tip a valve to get it out of the heater, buy - I'd like to see 12" or more to give both working space and space to remove the valve. Relief valve missing its discharge tube or drip line, also called an extension tube: this is an unsafe condition - someone may be scalded should the relief valve open. We inspected a hot water tank installation at which the installer actually cut off the temperature sensing probe from the T&P valve so that he could install it through an elbow. Watch out: As our photo shows (above left), mineral salts left behind as hot water evaporates from the mouth of a pressure or temperature relief valve can completely clog the spring that is intended to allow the relief valve to open under excess (unsafe) pressure.
Water expansion pressure (thermal expansion) increases in a closed system with a check valve installed close to the water heater. At RELIEF VALVES - TP VALVES we explain that in the photograph above there are two blockages of the test leve on the TPR valve that can prevent it from opening in response to pressure or temperature: the plaster wall and the foam insulation sprayed around the lever. A relief valve on a water heater should have a BTU or heat spillage release capacity greater than the BTU input rating of the water heater.
The pressure-relief component of a TP valve or of a separate additional pressure-relief valve should be at least 20 to 30 psi above the maximum working pressure in the system. The standard opening pressure for TP valves on residential water heaters is usually 150 psi, and most water heater tanks also have a standard operating pressure of 150 psi. Note: we recommend that for most conditions residential water pressure inside the building should not exceed 70 psi. BLEVE EXPLOSIONS or boiling liquid vapor explosions can occur at both domestic water heaters (calorifiers or geysers) and at hot water heating boilers (hydronic heating systems). We can understand the huge energy release involved in a BLEVE explosion by a quick review of the extra energy required to change the state of water from a liquid to a gas. Water heater tank explosions are rare thanks to the widespread requirement for and use of pressure and temperature relief safety valves. But if the safety valve has been damaged, modified, or even omitted (as we saw on our neighbor's water heater), that condition, combined with overheating can cause a water tank to explode, creating a BLEVE - Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion that releases tremendous force and causing extreme damage to a building. Because repeated heating of the water tank bottom may combine with other conditions (such as corrosion or excessive heating due to mineral deposits on the tank bottom) to produce a weak water heater tank bottom, that is the part more likely to fail in an overheat and overpressure condition. A failure at the water tank bottom may explain why a BLEVE can produce a water tank explosion that behaves like a rocket, sending the water tank skyrocketing up through a building.
Other plumbers simply remove the relief valve entirely - this is the process recommended by some water heater manufactures such as A.O.
When replacing the relief valve use an approved teflon tape or pipe sealant and work neatly and with care so that there will be no leaks at this location.
Pressure relief valves (that sense pressure only, not temperature) are also required on pressurized tanks such as water tanks in buildings.
Some manufacturers (Rheem) recommend that the temperature and pressure safety relief valve be tested once every six months. After lifting the easing lever or relief valve opening lever, lower it gently back to its closed position.
One has to consider that the manufacturer would not be likely to include the test-lever feature on relief valves if it had no intended uses whatsoever. Water heater manufacturers' installation instructions for at least some water heaters advise building owners or maintenance personnel to manually operate the TP valve at least once a year to make sure it is working properly. Temperature and pressure relief valves should be re inspected at least once every three years by a licensed plumbing contractor or authorized inspection agency to ensure that the product has not been affected by corrosive water condition [sic] and to ensure that the valve and discharge line have not been altered or tampered with illegally. Certain naturally occurring conditions may corrode the valve or its components over time, rendering the valve inoperative. Such conditions are not detectable unless the valve and its components are physically removed and inspected.
Home inspectors do not normally test a TP valve out of concern that if it leaks and won't shut off the test has created a building flood. But by making this test you might find by that the valve is "stuck" or clogged and will not operate.
Watch out: Opening or operating the pressure relief valve using the lever is not a complete test and it should not be used by home inspectors nor by anyone who is not prepared to shut down the water heater and replace the TP valve immediately should the valve fail to operate or should it fail to close and stop leaking or dripping after it has been tested using the lever. And in sum, I agree completely that a questionable or used or leaky TP valve should be replaced immediately. A Temperature Limiting Valve that limits the outgoing water temperature to 50 degC in order to prevent scalding.
An Expansion Control Valve is used on water heaters in south and Western Australia where hard water is found, and in some other countries or other jurisdictions. The expansion control valve should be tested every six months, following the same procedure as for temperature and pressure relief valves as we described above. And see WATER HEATER SAFETY for our complete list of water heater safety devices and water heater safety inspection advice.
At TUNDISH used in PLUMBING we describe special devices designed to provide an air gap in the relief valve discharge tube and piping: a feature that can permit visual detection of a spilling TP valve if its discharge has been piped to an otherwise not visible location, and a feature that can protect the potable building water supply system against contamination from cross connections.
If the building water pressure gauge reading is ever found at 80 psi or higher, you will want to install a water pressure regulator at the point where water supply enters the building. If your building already has a water pressure gauge installed, it may be defective or it may be set too high. An alternative to installing or changing a water pressure regulator when building water pressure is occasionally 80 psi or higher is the installation of an expansion tank to temporarily absorb that pressure increase.
Continue reading at RELIEF VALVE, WATER HEATER DIAGNOSTIC FAQs or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below. In small scale testing, the Mythbusters started with a small six gallon water heater and disabled all of its safety features under the theory of poor installation or neglect.
Because of built in safety devices most water heaters safely operate day in, day out without any major problems. Randall Hilton and crew, with help from the Service Roundtable has prepared this video of a water heater explosion as a demonstration of the explosive power of a simple water heater. New, Never Used Cleaver Brooks O-type watertube boiler – 75,000 PPH steam output at 350 PSIG. Unit constructed under ASME Code, Section 1 for pressure-vessel design.  Boiler is completely mounted, wired and piped on a structural steel skid with all water, utility and drain connections easily accessible. Powerhouse can customize a new Cleaver Brooks, Nebraska Water Tube boiler to suit your needs, or you can also choose from one of our pre-built stock boilers ready-to-ship immediately. Experience MattersFor over 30 years, Powerhouse has been solving the boiler needs of companies internationally. Powerhouse AdvantageThe Powerhouse Certification Advantage ensures that all of our used boilers are reconditioned to "like new" condition. But as you may want to read in our case study of loss of all ground connections at a building, don't assume that the current will always find its way to earth.
The grounding system is intended to conduct electrical current only in the event of a fault or emergency [such as a lightning strike or a hair dryer dropped into the bath tub or sink]. That's why new electrical work that uses aluminum ground wires should be performed only using wires that are insulated.
As we demonstrated at DOUBLE FAULT, LOSS OF ELECTRICITY, it's not safe to rely on just the utility company's ground connection.
A conventional plug-in circuit tester will not find false grounds, as we explain at False Ground at Receptacles where we provide details. If a grounding electrode cannot be fully driven into the soil the electrical code provides procedures for driving the electrode in cut-sections to achieve sufficient total earth contact. If the electrical box is connected to ground lots of current will flow (this is a short circuit) and the fuse or circuit breaker protecting the electrical circuit will blow or trip. How much is "high impedence" when testing an electrical ground system at a building?
As Fluke and other experts point out, to perform testing of the local grounding electrode it must be disconnected from the building.


I recall a ground water sourced air conditioning system that kept blowing out a very expensive cooling coil for which the problem was finally traced to just this issue. But if it were me, I'd also have a licensed electrician check that the home's grounding and neutral systems are properly wired, that the grounding electrodes are properly sized and installed, and that there are no stray currents on the neutral system nor shorts or leaks in the wiring system (an AFCI or GFCI can help detect these too). The excess flux lays in the bottom of the pipe and corrodes the copper, hence pin holes on the bottom only. I suppose we could confirm that problem cause after the fact by noticing just where the copper piping leaks are occurring - all at solder joints - and then disassembling or cutting one of those joints apart to inspect the interior of the pipe. By current NEC, metal piping may not be used as a grounding conductor, but metal water piping in contact with the earth for a length of ten feet or more, that piping is indeed connected to the electrical ground system.
If one of these is water piping it is tested and must show less than 25 ohms of resistance to earth. I'm not sure where your surmise takes us, since there are both code and basic safety reasons for grounding house plumbing. But with just 2-prong outlets installed in a home, the circuit tester cannot reliably test for ground and you must assume that no ground is present.
Did they just not care back in the day what pipe they were grounding to, or was it actually better to use the hot water pipe than the cold one?
Send me some sharp photos so i can see the ground wires coming out of the panel and where they go. Certainly I can't imagine diagnosing the problem by message exchange - you need an experienced eye on the scene.
The more I read about what it takes to ground all three legs of the mast correctly for lightning protection, and to then properly bond it to the house electrical ground, the more I am inclined to realize I need an electrician to supervise my work and an inspector to bless the whole project.
I don't have an answer but will do some research - as you might too, using Google Scholar or NEMA or the NEC.
Most often we see a few inches of grounding electrode above ground and a clamp connecting the grounding conductor to the ground rod. I prefer to se the ground electrode tip above ground to confirm its presence and status of the connection. That might cause leaks at or damage to building plumbing system components including piping, valves, or even a meter.
An example of the latter is the wire connecting the building metal water supply piping around a water meter an onwards to the grounding electrode.
Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator.
Athletes have been complaining about electricity, gas and plumbing problems and only 12 of the 31 buildings have passed inspection.
We explain the function, inspection, and maintenance of temperature & pressure relief valves on water heaters used to produce hot water for washing and bathing.
Where a pressure-only relief valve is to be used it should be installed as close as possible to the equipment it's protecting. Never close off or block the discharge opening of the discharge tube, just as you wouldn't plug the discharge opening of the T&P valve itself. This relief valve needs to be replaced immediately and the cause for the valve's leakage also needs to be determined.
In this case the TP valve is doing its job - find and fix the cause of too-high water temperatures in the system.
Watts suggests installing a bypass model water pressure regulator that lets the excessive pressure head back to the street main or building water supply system - a solution that only works if the supply pressure is lower than the T&P relief valve spill pressure - which it usually is. Water hammer causes a momentary very high pressure in the water piping system, sufficient to open a TPR valve for a brief time. Otherwise even if the valve opens it can't release heat fast enough and there is a real risk that the water heater could explode. We observe an increase of leaks and drips at faucets and toilets at higher building pressures as the pressure may exceed the design pressure of some plumbing fixtures. The hazard is that minerals in the water supply accumulate inside the valve during the passage of hot water through the valve assembly. In a BLEVE explosion, the state change of superheated water from a hot liquid to a vapor (steam) form releases an enormous amount of energy. To test the valve the lever on the valve is lifted, which should result in (hot) water flushing through the valve and its discharge tube into a bucket placed below the discharge tube for that purpose or into a floor drain. More frequent replacement of the safety valve may be needed in areas where hard water is found. Not finding that the valve is stuck is not a 100% promise of proper function but the risk is reduced.
This valve should be checked annually by measuring water temperature at a nearby water taps, making sure that the water delivered closest to the water heater is not hotter than 50 degC.
The Expansion Control Valve discharges water into a drain to relieve excess pressure in the hot water tank.
The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones. If improperly installed, water heaters can be detrimental to the structure, as well as being potentially fatal to its occupants. Three were treated and released from a local hospital, but one woman was admitted to Harborview Medical Center with second-degree burns to her arm.
But don't let the excellent safety record of water heaters lull you into forgetting about the explosive potential of these marvels of convenience. The hot water tank explodes using the steam pressure that any water heater can generate when the thermostat and temperature pressure relief valve (T&P valve or PT valve) malfunction. Benefit from our industry-leading partnerships, unparalleled commitment to customer service and expert knowledge to meet your needs.
Every boilers undergoes a rigorous 28 Point Certification Inspection to provide ease of mind when buying a used boiler. Similar hazards exist at other building locations such as basement laundry equipment & sinks, at building tubs and showers, etc.
Our client was kind enough to demonstrate just how ineffective this electrical ground system was, thanks to someone's shortcut. The ground testing instructions that we cite below include additional important safety warnings and procedureal details from which we excerpt.
I have seen this before and traced it to bad grounded (neutral) connections at the utility transformers or tap boxes causing all the neutral loads to be carried on the grounding system such as the copper plumbing. Also I am nor sure which jumper you saw, but connecting a ground between similar metals ought not create the concern youncite. I mention this connection because we can, for example using a neon tester, often confirm the existence of that path by connecting the neon tester between the hot wire or hot slot in the 2-slot receptacle over to the wall plate mounting screw. There are also sparks jumping out of some outlets when we plug in our laptops (we now use surge protectors).
My question is, would it be better if the grounding was done to the cold water pipe, since then it would not have to go through the water heater, and be more directly connected to the city main water supply line? My question is, when it comes to connecting the recommended #4 solid copper wire to each grounding rod, is it true that the grounding rod can only be fully buried in the ground if the wire was cad-welded, and if it were clamped on, the grounding rod top needs to remain slightly above ground so that it can be inspected annually?
With only two weeks to go before the games start things aren't looking good for the Rio Olympics.
This permits emergency hot water to be discharged without risk of burning the face and body of a bystander.
What is the minimum clearance distance that is required from the bottom of the countertop to allow the temperature relief valve adequate clearance?
If a relief valve is dripping the deposit of minerals inside the valve will accumulate still more rapidly if the valve points to the side or upwards.
That accumulation of scale will eventually block operation of the relief valve, causing the relief valve to fail to operate properly if unsafe pressure or temperature occurs in the water heater in the future. This figure is the latent heat of vaporization, the number of BTUs of energy used to raise one pound of water at 212 degF to one pound of steam vapor at the same temperature; in other words, the temperature is unchanged but the state of matter is changed from liquid to vapor. Removing the relief valve makes it easy to inspect this critical safety component itself, and it's easy to clean or replace the safety valve at that time. The purpose of this valve is to release pressure through a separate control so that the safety provided by the Temperature and Pressure Relief valve is not compromised by clogging from minerals should that valve frequently open. The proper installation of a water heater is so important that according to Texas State Law all water heater installations must be inspected by a state licensed plumbing inspector.
The Mythbusters then upgraded to larger thirty gallon water heater which exploded with significantly greater force, sending the water heater several hundred feet into the air.
When a water heater explodes, it releases a tremendous blast force which can easily demolish a building. Our inventory levels for new, used and rental boilers is unmatched and ensures you receive the fastest solution at the best possible prices.
From reading the literature our opinion is that this test is technically difficult, requires expertise, and should not be attempted by a homeowner nor by anyone else who lacks the necessary expertise.
Even if this was meant to ground the piping, would it be better if it was connected to a cold water pipe? The result is a clogged valve as we explain above - a dangerous situation that risks an explosion. Purdue's chart shows the number of pounds of lime deposited per year as a function of the water usage in gallons per day, with an assumed 10 grains of water hardness. The steam-powered tank hurtled across the busy intersection at First Avenue South and South 152nd Street -- over at least six lanes of traffic -- before landing more than 439 feet away in the parking lot of a Pizza Hut. In order to confirm the stated myth, the Mythbusters obtained a full size fifty two gallon water heater and built a shack around it with a roof that followed standard California building codes. When our assistant plugged in and began using a vacuum cleaner in the same room we got an electrical surprise - a shock while touching the BX cable! There is a transformer on a phone pole at the foot of our driveway which they also checked. Other than what may be in the hot water heater, there is no other non-metallic materials in between it and the water meter, and then its metallic piping going out of the house from there. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home.
Then, visit the Q&A page for warning signs as well as simple steps which can help you prevent your own water heater from exploding.
In the particular sense of the phrase's context, the dielectric blocks the flow of electrons between the dissimilar metals, thus preventing the flow of dissolved ions from the water to the cathode and (metallic) ions from the anode into the water. I am wondering if this is an easy (not too expensive) or difficult (expensive) problem to fix and am assuming I need an electrician. In light of these results, and the fact that there is documented evidence corroborating the myth, the Mythbusters deemed it confirmed. I checked whit a meter and I do have continuity between the main panel and my plumbing and my gas pipe to the hot water. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order.



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