Could someone please direct me to a source of information that explains the obvious reasons why we don't ground to gas lines, as well as the alternatives available to homeowners and utility installers? Thanks, Kate
It's very obvious, if you had a lightning strike that caused current to flow in the gas pipe due to equipment connected to it. the current could cause an arc in the joints of the pipe, and there for (bomb), also, many of times those pipes are joint together via pipe doop ( sealant )or tape to ensure no leaks, this joining of the pipes do not make for good grounds and can case nice arcs which you most definitely don't want. in other words, you never use any form of fuel feed or any type of ignitable fluid/gas plumbing for electrical grounds.
On top of all that, pipe materials don't conduct very well.
Your best electrical ground, is one with an electrode driven in the ground, as deep as you can get it. some even uncover the earth for a few feet around, to lay down strips of copy braid and or copper sheets for better grounding. soil samples should be taken to know the extent of what is needed for proper grounds.
Copper water pipes are not dependable because they could end up being joined into a PVC ( Plastic ) fixer some where. Some home owners connect the copper pipes to their electrode grounds to make sure the pipes are grounded and give less chance of shock.
"I am never wrong, once i thought i was, but i was mistaken"
Real Programmers Do things like this.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) is very specific about what is and is not permissible.
Failure to follow the Code results in invalidation of insurance in the event of fire, and total assumption of all legal liability by the errant installer.
The NEC is available at just about every local library. It might be a good idea to get a recent copy and flip through the relevant sections.
If you're new at this, you might also want to look at "Wiring Simplified: Based on the 2002 National Electrical Code (40th Edition)". It's available in paperback used at Amazon for a buck, if you can't find it at the library. If you're not experienced at electrical wiring, it can be helpful.