I am replacing the 200 amp sub panel in the basement, and trying to understand if it is required to run the grounding electrode wire to that sub panel or not. Currently, there is no grounding electrode wire connected inside the old sub panel. The ground electrode wire goes and bonds straight to the water copper plumbing.

See attached diagram.

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1 Answer 1


No. The Grounding Electrode System wire goes to from the main disconnect to the grounding rods. A ground rod can be a water pipe (if using a water pipe is legal for your house). It must be continuous with no splices; check with your local electrical supply for special welding apparatus or hydraulic crimp you can use if you're hellbound to make a splice, but the cost of the tool will be at least 10 times the cost of a wire.

Any auxiliary bonding also goes to the main panel/disconnect. I am not sure if it can have splices.

The GES wire does not go to the subpanel. The subpanel derives ground via the non-flexible EMT, RMC or IMC metal conduit between it and the main disconnect/panel. If metal conduit was not used, you must run a ground wire of appropriate rating (#6Cu or #4AL if I recall).

  • Thanks for the reply. What happens if I leave a splice as is, not permanently welded, aside from it is not going to meet the code? Is it dangerous, why the connection needs to be irreversible? May 3, 2022 at 2:22
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    @madebyanton They don't generally put things in Code that aren't needed for safety. Builders have a big problem with unnecessary work, and they have a great lobby. But again if it's not your primary EGC, I'm not sure splicing is forbidden. May 3, 2022 at 2:58

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