I have a main service panel with two breakers: the main service breaker and a single large breaker to another subpanel in the same structure.

All other circuits are serviced from the subpanel.

My understanding of NEC is that each panel requires two grounding rods at least 6 feet apart.

My home uses PEX but there is a copper main coming in on the opposite side of the crawlspace.

Do I need two full ground rods per panel? So four, total, rods?

  • 1
    Are both panels in the same building or structure?
    – Tester101
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 19:57
  • @Tester101 Yes.
    – Matthew
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 21:30
  • 1
    You can get away with one grounding rod, if it has a low enough resistance. If you use one ground rod it needs to be tested (with a specialized testing device). If you two ground rods you don't need to test, which is easier, so that is why it is so common. Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


Do not connect the sub panel to grounding electrodes. A grounding conductor must be run back to the main service panel. The main service panel is the only connection to a grounding electrode system in a single building without a separate means such as a genset. The underground metal pipe could be used as an electrode, but it sounds distant. So you should install two ground rods near the service entrance and connect those to the service panel.

  • The subpanel has its ground bonded to the ground at the service panel. Is there a problem with running the grounding conductor 30' to a rod? The service panel is over concrete.
    – Matthew
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 13:19
  • 1
    I know of no limitation to length of grounding electrode conductors in the NEC, 30' should not be a problem. The conductor must be continuous with no splices or joints, amongst several other requirements, but nothing about length.
    – bcworkz
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 1:51

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