There are two grounding rods outside my house that stick out above the ground. Besides being a pain to mow around, the longer (bent) one is quite easy to trip over. Is there anything I can do to get these completely buried?

Longer exposed grounding rod (~7"): longer exposed grounding rod

Shorter exposed grounding rod (~3"): shorter exposed grounding rod

Zoomed out to include utility box near smaller exposed rod: zoomed out

  • 1
    pound them in deeper, bury under a hill, cut them off flush, or yank them out? I don't see other possibilities. Do you still need them? they look un-used...
    – dandavis
    May 24, 2021 at 20:27
  • @dandavis I'm not sure if I still need them - is there a way to find out? How can you tell that they're unused?
    – Bucket
    May 24, 2021 at 20:41
  • 1
    usually they have a visible thick wire running off somewhere; inside, the power meter/panel, a lightning rod, etc. The top one has a mounting to connect such a cable, but it's clearly been removed. I would dig down a few inches and use a grinder to chop it off.
    – dandavis
    May 24, 2021 at 20:42
  • @dandavis Thanks, I'll cut the longer one and see if I can drive the shorter one in a little farther. I also added a pic to show the nearby panels, if that helps at all. Do I need to kill the power or take any other precautions before cutting them?
    – Bucket
    May 24, 2021 at 21:07
  • 1
    Have you dug down a little bit to see if the attached wires are underground? What does your house have for Grounding Electrode System, anyway? May 24, 2021 at 23:44

4 Answers 4


Never assume a rod that is not being is not needed!

If the #6 copper has been ripped out it probably needs to be replaced. The short one is easy dig around it and drive it below the sod. Next dig a trench to the other one and I would use a piece of metal pipe to straighten it out and drive it below the sod. Using the acorn nut on the rod connect #6 or larger copper wire rod to rod to your service panel. I have worked on a few homes that for some reason the ground was removed (this can be hazardous to your health)

So unless you can verify you do have a solid ground drive them a bit further. If new rods were driven they can be pulled up or cut off.

  • Is there any downside or risk to cutting the longer rod? I would imagine the part of the rod above the surface isn't actually grounding anything, but I tend towards caution around electrical stuff. Also, this rod is on our property line, so I'm not 100% sure that the longer one is mine or my neighbor's.
    – Bucket
    May 25, 2021 at 13:36
  • Grounding rods are normally only 8’ long, the person that drove it may have been lazy or just hit a large rock. I can not suggest cutting the rod as that would not be code compliant. Have I seen rods cut? Yes. I have an earth resistance meter and test for 25 ohms. Some locations do not need the extra rod some even 2 rods don’t take the resistance down to 25. A clean cut would be a giveaway to an inspector but if the end of the rod is pounded out and properly connected there is no way to tell other than pulling it up.
    – Ed Beal
    May 25, 2021 at 13:51

The other solution is just to plant a bush or flowerbed over them so you aren't trying to mow into that space...


Before you cut them or do anything else to them, I would dig around them and see if there are clamps on them with a copper wire. From the picture, I see you have you grounding wire going in to the ground and most likely connected to those rods. Dose are very important for your and your family's safety.

  • 1
    Even if no wires the home grounding electrode system needs to be verified. I have worked on homes where the water main was replaced with plastic, it was the only ground, rods in yards disconnected because like these they were an inconvenience. Most all of these had one thing in common the owners calling because they were getting shocked, especially in the bathrooms and kitchens so wires or not the home electrode system needs to be verified.
    – Ed Beal
    May 24, 2021 at 21:28
  • I thought that the fastener that clamps the heavy copper ground wire to the ground rod had to be out of soil contact so corrosion is prevented and tightness easily verifiable? My two ground rods project above the soil by 4". They are a few inches from the slab and I have a heavy wire guard around them so no one could step on them or run over them with a mower. May 24, 2021 at 22:08
  • 1
    @jim Stewart if you measure the rod in most cases they are 8’ long code specifies driven to 8’ I have actually had inspectors flag jobs because the top of the rod was not at 8’, this particular inspector required them to be below the sod (grass). I had have some mention it on updates that I did not drive the rods because they were not fully driven. The guard is a good idea but size 6 and larger do not require protection.
    – Ed Beal
    May 25, 2021 at 14:28

I would suggest that you use a shovel to dig out a pit maybe 6 inches deep surrounding each rod. Examine for an attached wire, and if you find one then dig deeper, so that when you pound the rod into the ground you will not cause the wire to slip loose.

Pound each rod in until the top is maybe 2" below ground level, then fill in the hole.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.