Read through prior posts but still not fully sure, and I've had multiple electricans come by and give me different views (some say no need, some obviously want to do the work)

I just repiped my house with pex water pipes.

Previous, I had my 200amp box grounded to a hose bib, and ground rod (about 1 foot away from hose bib), and my gas main (about 10 feet away from hose bib). All with the same continuous wire.

Now given the water pipes are pex, the hose bib no longer grounds. My water main is on the other side of the house. Do I need to run the same wire all the way to the other side of the house to the water main? Or should I just install a second grounding rod further away? Or do I even need a second grounding rod at all?

Thanks in advance - no clue here

edit I was digging through the code (live in Los angeles) and I think the code requirement is it HAS to be water main, even though effectively if I just add a 2nd rod it would be the same thing?

Which is why there is some confusion with the electricans on what is right vs what is enough to keep me safe

  • 2
    Your location matters since the rules can be different. Usually a second ground rod is all that is required. Will depend on costs to run wire to water main, if rod or water main is cheaper. Will probably need a permanent(non-removable) splice on the ground wire extension if needed.
    – crip659
    Jan 23, 2023 at 18:10
  • It looks like you've got two separate users - Inefficientmarkets and inefficientmarkets - which is kind of funny because I just read law.stackexchange.com/questions/88477/… ) A moderator can help clear that up, but the key is to login the same way on every device. Jan 23, 2023 at 19:50
  • As to your edit, you have to go by what local code requires, but code is usually the minimum required. Going above/improving on code is also allowed, so a second ground rod is not against your local code if you also ground at the water main(if you want).
    – crip659
    Jan 24, 2023 at 0:33
  • 1
    In light of @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact's comment, please follow the instructions here to get the accounts merged.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 24, 2023 at 15:03
  • The best way to get an answer is to call the local building inspector's office and ask them. Since they'd be the ones signing off on any electrical work, they're the ones who know the code the best (or, at least their interpretation of the code is the one that matters) and they have the final say.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 24, 2023 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


Some parts of this vary by local code. According to my electrician (works in multiple jurisdictions in Maryland and surrounding areas), some places (including Montgomery County, MD, where I live) require one ground wire to copper pipe at entrance to the house (i.e., before the first valve) and one ground wire to a ground rod. And some places require one wire to two ground rods (that's where it is, as I understand it, always the same wire) several feet apart and don't require the water pipe ground. And some places require all of it - and he was prepared to add another ground rod if the inspector asked for it (despite not normally having to do that).

So assuming your jurisdiction is like mine: water pipe and one ground rod:

  • Leave the existing wire in place going to the ground rod.
  • Add a new wire to the copper pipe at the entrance to your house. If your house is like mine, that's relatively easy (a bunch of holes through joists in an unfinished basement). If you have finished ceilings and walls in between the main panel and the water main then it may be a lot of work. If that is indeed the case then I would check with your local building/electrical permitting office to see whether they are OK with two ground rods several feet apart attached to one wire as an alternative.
  • 1
    From previous posts I believe that recent Code requires the Grounding Electrode Conductor wire to be continuous/unbroken from the grounding electrode to its connection in the service panel. However, the connection from additional grounding electrodes or e.g. water service needs to be connected, but not necessarily permanent/unbroken, so something like a clamp or split bolt could be used to connect those to main GEC
    – Armand
    Jan 23, 2023 at 18:43
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    Yup, second rod conductor can clamp to first rod, and "a few feet" is 6 or more feet (and more is better - but 6 is code minimum.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 23, 2023 at 19:45
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    Additional Grounding Electrode(s) could be connected to an existing Grounding Electrode; in that case the additional is called "Supplemental Grounding Electrode" and its connection to the first is called a Bonding Jumper. There is another way, though: the additional Grounding Electrode could have its own independent Grounding Electrode Conductor home-run back to the system bonding location (main panel). If the water pipe is to be re-connected, it might be more convenient to run to the panel rather than to the existing ground rod.
    – Greg Hill
    Jan 23, 2023 at 19:57
  • But, the purpose of grounding metal piping is not to provide a ground for the electrical system, but rather to ensure that the metal piping does not become "hot" should a live wire come in contact with it. Isn't this right?
    – SteveSh
    Jan 23, 2023 at 20:21
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    And, just as a data point to prove the point that "it depends", where I live in Indiana, one single ground rod is acceptable for my brand new meter main. The electricians actually removed the ground wire from the original main panel.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 24, 2023 at 15:04

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