Electrical question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by tallpines, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    DH wired our new home----3 years ago.
    Outlets were all grounded and indicator on surge protector verified this.

    But, recently the indicator says NOTHING is grounded other than the outlets closest to the sinks in the kitchen and bath.

    So-----I bought a new surge protector with ground indicator..........Same results.

    DH is EXTREMELY ANNOYED with me because this worries me......

    Is my concern ligitimate?
     
  2. hogrider

    hogrider Member

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    Sounds like the kitchen/bath are grounded to the pipes (typical quick connect). Are the rest tied to pipes or a ground rod?

    I find grounding to be important in the country, where the house may be the tallest structure for 100's of yards. Surge protection against lightining strikes is critical to maintaining electronics (TV/DVD/Computers).
     

  3. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    We live in the middle of a 40 acre woods with 100's of tress much taller than the house.

    Does this mean I can stop worrying about not being grounded?


    What about if an appliance shorts out-----can not being grounded increase the possibility of a fire?
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you lost the ground across most of the house then I would look back at the breaker box. All the grounds should come back there. Did you loose the ground wire out of the box? I dont know where you are but soil condition can change ground conditions.

    Test the ground at the box and work your way out.
     
  5. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

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    If you're not grounded properly not only is there a greater chance of fire, there is a greater chance of death from electrocution. Check for a wire from the breaker box to a ground rod outside -- this is a National Code requirement. If you have a water meter a ground wire must jump past the meter giving you ground on the water pipe as well if you have copper pipes. In this case the ground bus on the panel will also have a ground wire leading to the copper pipes in your house.

    Ken in Glassboro :confused:
     
  6. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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  7. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    You should definitely get this checked out, it is probably a very simple fix to re-connect wherever your ground is disconnected. This is definitely something that should be checked out. It really has little or nothing to do with lightning protection, and much more to do with your family's personal safety, especially anywhere water or dampness is involved (basement, outside outlets, kitchen, and bath)

    Generally, houses can have two points of ground - one to a metal water pipe within 5 feet of where it enters the house from the well, and one or more copper or galvanized ground rods, six feet in length, driven completely in the ground and buried a few inches underground.

    Your main ground will be a bare copper wire nearly as thick as a pencil. It may be connected in your meter base or in your main breaker panel.

    Have you had any plumbing work done recently? It may be possible that your water pipe ground was disconnected to do the work, and forgotten to be re-connected.

    What about landscaping or any digging near where your main electrical wire comes to the house?

    You don't by chance have some lights in your house dimming, while other lights get brighter? If you do, turn off your main breaker immediately and call the power company. A disconnected or 'floating' neutral is the problem, and it would be compounded by the lack of a house grounding system. The power company would need to fix the problem at their transformer on the pole, and you will need to re-connect your house grounding. A floating neutral is a major problem, and can send 240 volts through all of your 120 volt outlets and appliances, destroying all of them, and possibly starting a fire. BAD news. Enough of scaring you.

    As Gary said, I'd check the grounding in your breaker panel, and any subpanels you may have. Turn off the main breaker and tighten up ALL the screws on your neutral and grounding bus bars. They can and do loosen up over time. Whil your main breaker is off, it wouldn't hurt to re-tighten all of the hot wires coming off of the branch circuit breakers. DO NOT touch the feed wires coming in, or the screws/ allen head bolts that the main feed wires connect to on the main breaker. Those are still hot. Your husband likely knows all this, but in case you get ambitious, you should know what you're looking at.

    John
     
  8. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    "Have you had any plumbing work done recently? It may be possible that your water pipe ground was disconnected to do the work, and forgotten to be re-connected"

    That's the first thought that came to my mind too. Did you replace any section of copper pipe w/ plastic pipe??
     
  9. Are you currently experienceing drought conditions in your area. If so then turn a water hose on trekling and leave where your ground rod is driven into the ground. You may have to let it saturate for a day or two and then check to see if your outlets are now grounded. Some summers around here when we have droughts the ground can dry up down to 8 - 10 ft. or more. When that happens we loose ground also. Usually clears up when the fall rains finally move in.

    If that doesn't work check the ground connections in your breaker box, meter box, and on your ground rod.