We had an electrician friend upgrade our service panel and install grounding rods. I've read that you have to drive the rod flush to or below ground. Please see these pictures. Is this okay? Do I need to be concerned?

The conduit has copper on the inside and there is bare copper at the connection point of the grounding rod.

Also, do I need to find the water meter so that I put a jumper across it?

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  • Where are you? AFAIK in a lot of the world you are not required to have it flush or below the ground, and further more it is common to connect it to copper water pipes. (Which should be fine if you have a working RCD) -- in which case the copper water pipes are a better ground than you will ever need. Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 3:10
  • We are in California. The city inspector came today and OK'ed the service panel upgrade including the grounding rods as you see here. However he did note that we need to "Bond Hot-Cold Gas water heater with #6"...That's another question that I'm going to ask on this forum.
    – milesmeow
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 4:00
  • 1
    Bonding at water heater - diy.stackexchange.com/q/92707/672
    – milesmeow
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


The rod must be at least 8 feet in the ground, and should be below or flush with the ground level. If the electrode is above the ground, it has to be protected from physical damage.

So if the rod is 8 feet in the ground, you'll simply have to protect the aboveground portion from physical damage.

National Electrical Code 2014

Chapter 2 Wiring and Protection

Article 250 Grounding and Bonding

250.53 Grounding Electrode System Installation.

(G) Rod and Pipe Elecgtrodes. The electrode shall be installed such that at least 2.44 m (8 ft) of length is in contact with the soil. It shall be driven to a depth of not less than 2.44 m (8 ft)... The upper end of the electrode shall be flush with or below ground level unless the aboveground end and the grounding electrode conductor attachment are protected against physical damage as specified in 250.10.

250.10 Protection of Ground Clamps and Fittings. Ground clamps or other fittings exposed to physical damage shall be enclosed in metal, wood, or equivalent protective covering.


At one time piping to the house and in the house were metal, copper, galvanized, black. Jumping over the meter was required. Now a lot of service to the water meter is plastic. PVS, Pex, well pipe (black) etc. If you have any type of plastic pipe coming into your meter, then jumping the meter is useless.

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