At a house, with 200 Amp service there is a #6 ground wire loop going from the main service entrance panel to two ground rods, and then back to the panel. There is a separate wire to the copper plumbing in the house, but the water service is through PE, so there is no earth ground with the water service, except through the panel.

My understanding is that the loop is to be continuous. But if it gets broken, what is the repair approach?

Does the entire loop wire get replaced, or is there another way?

Jurisdiction: US-NY

  • That's one strategy (usually fairly easy), but you haven't explained where the break is in your loop. Please revise to be more clear.
    – isherwood
    Jul 27, 2021 at 12:47
  • I'll let one of the regular sparky's detail (I'm low-voltage, professionally) but there are approved methods of "irreversable splicing" or "cad-welding" for joining grounding conductors.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 27, 2021 at 12:59
  • From an audio perspective, ground loops are considered a bad thing. They act like a giant antennae and collect noise and hum. There should be only one path to ground. Jul 27, 2021 at 14:57
  • @Ecnerwal that may be what I am looking for, a splice method which would be approved for such a ground. See comments after the lone answer.
    – mongo
    Jul 27, 2021 at 19:56
  • @SteveWellens I changed the title which was ambiguous, but perhaps less so than my original one with a typo. The topic is electrical service entrance grounding, and there is only hum at 60Hz there.
    – mongo
    Jul 27, 2021 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


The conductor to each grounding electrode has to be continuous but there's no NEC requirement that the grounding electrode conductor form a loop (a local jurisdiction could add such a requirement). A separate conductor to each electrode, or to a group of electrodes, is fine. In the case that a single conductor goes to a group of electrodes the conductor must be continuous throughout the group.

If the GEC is broken it could be replaced or irreversibly spliced as mentioned in Ecnerwal's comment.

Are you certain that the GEC to the ground rods were a loop -- or might they always have been wired separately? If the latter there's probably nothing amiss.

  • 1
    I visited the site just a few minutes ago. The requirement for a loop is a power company requirement. The break is between the two ground rods. So the issue is whether there is any kind of an approved splice which could be made to the #6 wire, which would be considered acceptable. I will call the power company on Friday, as it is usually two hours of holds and transfers to get an answer.
    – mongo
    Jul 27, 2021 at 19:54

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