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Corrosion on ground clamps, either side of the meter

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horseatingweeds

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There is a ground wire attached to my water line, clamped on wither side of the water meter. What is the purpose of this ground wire?

Also, there is a lot of corrosion on the clamps. Should I move these off the copper and onto the brass on either side of the meter, or get new clamps?
 

HWSleuth

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I presume your meter is exposed and not in a ground box. The wire and clamps complete the grounding circuit to earth ground through your home’s water line when it goes into the outside soil. Plastic water meters and/or dialectric meter unions will break that grounding circuit leaving your house with not grounding protection.

If the clamps can not be easily cleaned with a steel brush, replaced them with new clamps and wire if also corroded.
1. Be very careful when removing clamps and wire. There may be minimal voltage and possible spark.
2. Clean piping too a shine before installing new clamps. A good connection is very important at these two points.
3. Install wire jumper. Make sure screws clamping wire is very tight.
4. Recheck clamp screws.
5. Paint the clamps with good coat of paint to protect them from the surrounding air and possible vapors.

I ran into the lack of a “grounding loop” around water meters while dealing with premature anode/water heater tank failures. If this interests anyone I can explain more.
 

Jeff Handy

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Install another temporary grounding jumper before removing and cleaning up that existing one.
Only about ten bucks for parts, and it beats frying your house wiring, appliances, or sensitive electronics.

Never put your hands on both sides of the meter, or you might become the grounding jumper if the existing one has failed.
 
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Jeff Handy

Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber
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Jul 5, 2019
Messages
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I presume your meter is exposed and not in a ground box. The wire and clamps complete the grounding circuit to earth ground through your home’s water line when it goes into the outside soil. Plastic water meters and/or dialectric meter unions will break that grounding circuit leaving your house with not grounding protection.

If the clamps can not be easily cleaned with a steel brush, replaced them with new clamps and wire if also corroded.
1. Be very careful when removing clamps and wire. There may be minimal voltage and possible spark.
2. Clean piping too a shine before installing new clamps. A good connection is very important at these two points.
3. Install wire jumper. Make sure screws clamping wire is very tight.
4. Recheck clamp screws.
5. Paint the clamps with good coat of paint to protect them from the surrounding air and possible vapors.

I ran into the lack of a “grounding loop” around water meters while dealing with premature anode/water heater tank failures. If this interests anyone I can explain more.
You can also apply an anti-corrosion coating, like you would on battery terminals.
Available cheap at all auto parts stores.
 
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