Earthing Electrical Installation to Metal Water Service Pipes
Please read this note carefully if you are considering having an Optional Meter installed which requires excavation and have metal incoming service pipes. The manner in which we install the meter involves inserting plastic pipe into the line.
It is not acceptable to rely on the incoming water pipe as an earthing point for electrical apparatus. It might even be dangerous, particularly if alterations or repairs have been carried out on the water service pipe or on mains in the vicinity. The Wiring Regulations have prohibited the use of metal pipes for earthing since 1966 and we are generally unaware of whether individual connections have been made. For many years prior to this though it was common practice for earthing connections to be made to incoming metal pipes. However you should be aware that new and replacement pipes are not made from metal and are not capable of providing an earth.
Electrical appliances in all modern houses and houses where wiring has been replaced, are connected to an earth point at the electricity meter. Also bonded together and connected to this earth point are the metal casing of boilers, cookers, storage heaters etc. and even the gas and central heating pipes. All this is to provide protection against electric shock in the event of an electrical fault developing.
If an earthing point is available at your meter you are strongly advised to use it. You can find out if you have an earthing point by contacting your electricity company or a competent electrician. They will be able to inspect your property and advise on any work necessary to bring the earthing arrangements in your property to the standard required by present regulations.
Correct earthing and bonding is vital for the electrical safety of your house and you should ensure that it is effective without relying on the incoming metal service pipe.
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