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I am redoing the electrical in my 1940s house.

The house has no grounding electrodes but the meter and panel are grounded to my water pipe outside in the front of the house. (This actually looks like someone else's recent DIY hack job.)

To bring the electrical work up to code, I want to drive a ground rod right under the electric utility's meter. The only problem is that my gas meter would be located just a foot or so away.

I've already checked to make sure the rod itself wouldn't be driven into a gas line, but I need to know if it would be against code or just plain unwise to drive a ground rod here.


I found a very similar question here, but none of the responses specifically answer the question with regard to safety or code compliance:

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In this neck of the woods there have been at least two home fires I know of over the past 15 years where lightning struck some object (a tree in one case, the house itself in the other) and effectively burned through the gas line. Regardless of code, I would be wary of putting any ground rods within several feet of metal gas lines. –  Hot Licks Jul 29 at 1:17
    
Get them marked by the utility company before you do anything. Its generally free and definitely a better safe than sorry situation. –  James Jul 29 at 14:00

2 Answers 2

The electrical ground to the water pipe is required and not a hack. It is supposed to be connected as close to the supply side as practical, preferably upstream of any cutoff valves.

There should also be an electrical ground connection to your gas line if any of the gas lines inside the house are conductive, like black pipe.

When I set out to install the ground rods for my house a few years ago, I knew they would be within 18 inches of the gas feed from the street—as they had just installed the gas line. I asked the gas company, electrical inspector, and electric utility if that was okay. They all said that was just fine with them provided it didn't nick the gas line.

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While gas piping is required to be bonded, an external bond wire is not usually necessary. The gas piping is considered bonded by the equipment ground run with the circuit conductors to any gas fueled appliance. See NEC 250.104(B) –  Speedy Petey Jul 29 at 0:22
    
@SpeedyPetey: We had three different electrical inspectors for our last remodeling projects. All of them wanted to see the distribution panel ground bonded to the gas pipe near the panel with, I think, #6 copper. –  wallyk Jul 29 at 0:26
    
Just because a local inspector "wants" something does not necessarily make it code required. It may also be a local amendment in your area. If a gas appliance has an electric feed the gas piping is considered bonded, period. It is also expressly stated in the NEC that a gas pipe shall NOT be used as a grounding electrode, so you must be careful where you connect a bond also. –  Speedy Petey Jul 29 at 0:32
    
@SpeedyPetey: I agree, but we aren't particularly interested in causing ourselves grief. While everything is done to code, we aren't thrilled paying a $35 fee per circuit added and so have "bypassed" inspection for most of those. –  wallyk Jul 29 at 0:37

There is no electric code prohibiting this, and I don't think there's any gas codes on this either. Main thing is to be 100% certain you are clear of any buried lines/pipes.

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