I’m involved in maintaining a small campground. Some areas are served by overhead electric and an underground services. No ground wire was ever ran or pulled from the main breaker panels. Individual ground rods have put at each sub panel. And they are bonded in many cases. What we are doing now is putting in new sub panels on our utility poles and installing new 50/30/20 outlet panels for each RV site. Each sub panel at the utility pole has a ground rod that’s for that sub panel. Do we run a ground wire ground from the sub panel to the new outlet panel or put another ground rod at the new 50/30 /20 outlet panel? It would be impossible to run a separate ground wire in the underground conduit.


The conduit is PVC. With 3 wires 2 hot one neutral. No ground. Overhead is aluminum triplex.

  • 1
    Is the existing underground conduit plastic or metal? Why would it be impossible to run separate ground wires in the underground conduits? Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 0:05
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    PVC conduit. When it was run they didn’t leave room for anything else. Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 12:35
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    What's in there for wires right now? (Wire size, insulation type, conductor material) Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


With current code (17) if you have a 4 wire feed a local ground rod was not required in the 2017 code not sure about 2020 as it will not be adopted until October on my state but I don’t know why they would change that.

  • We have a three wire 230V single phase feed from the transformer. Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 12:37
  • When you say 230 is this part of an older 3 phase system, I ask because 230v used to be common in RV parks but today 208 3 phase is more common. But in any case you will need a true ground 550.16.b1 the supply cord or permanent feeder: the green colored insulated grounding wire in the supply cord or permanent feeder wiring shall be connected to the grounding buss in the panel board or disconnecting means. I have in the past driven rods at each location, depending on your lengths and numbers of locations it may be cheaper to run a new grounding conductor since you have conduit.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 14:16

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