In order to maintain the integrity of Xcel Energy’s natural gas system, it is important that electricians, plumbers, cable companies, and all utility services understand that it is against the national and electrical code, and the National Fire Protection Association code, to attach electrical grounding to certain parts of Xcel Energy owned gas meters.
Xcel Energy is working with utilities to help them understand the responsibility they have to properly ground electrical wires and to prevent unauthorized attachments in the future. We are also providing the recommendation that they should attach the ground wire to an independent ground rod, not a gas meter. If they must, there is a particular location they can attach to on the gas meter, for which we have provided a diagram.
Xcel Energy’s steel natural gas piping has a corrosion prevention system to prevent corrosion related leaks. Improperly attached electric grounding wires from other utilities negatively impact the corrosion protection system.
When Xcel Energy gas employees identify improperly attached grounding wires, they must remove that wire in order to comply with Department of Transportation Pipeline safety regulations. In those cases, a door hanger will be left for customers, explaining that the grounding wire has been cut. Customers will then need to contact the appropriate utility in order to have the grounding wire properly attached. (The door hanger will indicate the utility believed to have improperly grounded.)
Xcel Energy may bill the responsible parties for costs incurred to troubleshoot and determine the grounding locations, as well as for any damage found to have been caused to our gas facilities for the unauthorized grounding to Xcel Energy’s gas piping.
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