Wire from ground at gas meter

acker7April 20, 2014

I'm posting a picture of my gas meter. There are two wires here I'm going to ask about. The first, and the one I'm most curious about, is the wire coming from the ground at the gas meter. In the photo on the left, this would be the bottom left red arrow.

Is this a ground wire to the main house ground bonding system? If I need to ground a new TV antenna or a satellite dish, can I just use this as the ground connecting for it? (If not, what SHOULD I be connecting the antenna or sat dish to?)

The second wire I'm interested in is the wire in the picture at the top right (with a red arrow). This is connected with a grounding block on the gas pipe going into the house. Obviously someone has tried to ground something here, but I don't know what it is (old satellite dish? cable?), and I don't know if they did it right either. I'm a little concerned because the wire in the grounding block is unstripped and I'm fairly certain no electrical current is going to flow from an unstripped wire into a grounding block, unless the grounding block screw has penetrated the wire insulation.

The final question I have:
Is the bottom wire coming from the ground supposed to be connected to that wire at the grounding block, but someone has cut it before I moved into this house?

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No pretense here that I understand all about your situation. The unstripped conductor may be a tracing wire, for locating equipment signal. Possibly not a ground at all.
The NEC does require that metallic gas piping be grounded--but the gas piping MAY NOT be used for equipment grounding. Sounds like a matter of semantics-- but you may not bring your antenna ground to the gas piping.
The antenna, CATV, telephone, etc., grounds go to the service ground.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:02PM
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The wire coming up with the gas pipe is a tracing line, probably because the gas line is plastic, not metal

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:53PM
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I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it seems to me that the LAST thing I would want to attach a potential lightning strike wire (tv antenna ground wire) is to a gas line. I'd be looking for a water pipe.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:56PM
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"The antenna, CATV, telephone, etc., grounds go to the service ground. "

I guess I need to understand where that service ground is accessible. There's an electrical meter box, that is just to the left of the gas meter. There's a plastic cover on the stucco below the electrical meter near where the stucco meets the ground. I'm wondering if I take that cover off if I'll find access to the service ground?

Or would I just attach a grounding block directly to the metal box containing the electrical meter (which has the circuit breaker attached to it as well)?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:14AM
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>> it seems to me that the LAST thing I would want to attach
>> ...is to a gas line. I'd be looking for a water pipe.

I don't know about anywhere else, but when I got a permit to replace a buried gas line in Tucson I was clearly told on the paperwork that gas piping is not to be used for grounding.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:22AM
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I should also mention that tv antenna ground is currently connected to exterior copper pipe for back yard water spigot. But I've read a lot that this isn't really acceptable ground either for newer houses [1999] (presumably because the copper pipe turns into PVC pipe at some point). But what's unclear to me in all these posts is if that exterior copper is still supposed to be grounded to the house 'service ground', despite it being PVC plumbing below ground. [In which case I would assume it is an acceptable ground point for the tv antenna?]

At any rate, I'm willing to connect into the service ground instead of the pipe if I can find the service ground access.

It's likely I'd have to run the wire a fair distance to get to it (backyard to front side, where the electrical meter is.) Hopefully that's ok. The upside of the water spigot pipe is it's a lot closer to the antenna.

Not trying to take any shortcuts here. That's why I posted and asked for the right way to do this from the experts here. (Thank you!) I won't even attempt anything with the gas pipes as it's clear from the responses it's a no-no, so that's ruled out.

This post was edited by acker7 on Mon, Apr 21, 14 at 0:30

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:24AM
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Ron Natalie

The safest way is to drive a new rod at the closest point you can get to your antenna. Then bond that rod to some other accessible point in the building's ground system.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 7:48AM
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