I am updating the main breaker box and want to sure everything is done properly according to the NEC. Can I run one ground wire (4) from the panel to the grounding rod and then another wire (4) from the grounding rod to the cold water pipe. Or, do I need to run a separate wire from the main panel to each independently? Rod is 5/8" and service will be 200 amp. Thank you in advance.

2 Answers 2


In the 2014 NEC handbook there is an exhibit 250.22 that shows this case. There is only 1 wire coming from the electrode to the panel. I would have said this would not be code compliant but it is clearly shown that the wire from the grounding electrode can run to the pipe saving a bunch of wire in some cases. Good Question!

  • I'd understood that ground bonding wires must be continuous and not spliced. The OP asked about a wire from the panel to the rod and another wire from the rod to the pipe. I'd think he'd need a single wire from the panel through the rod connection and on to the pipe connection.
    – DoxyLover
    Jun 24, 2016 at 18:06
  • @DoxyLover. As I said I would thought it needed to be a single wire from each but the handbook clearly shows the rod is the one that must go to the panel and the building steel / water pipe can go to the rod.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 24, 2016 at 19:19
  • It just seemed like you agreed with the OP and didn't emphasize that it had to be a single wire. All good.
    – DoxyLover
    Jun 25, 2016 at 0:51
  • Since I gave the exhibit reference and said I did not think it would be code, I was absolutely NOT agreeing with the OP, Check the NEC handbook.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 25, 2016 at 2:08
  • 1
    @DoxyLover, not all GECs and bonds need to be continuous. Jun 28, 2016 at 23:47

The wire in question would simply be a bonding jumper and can be connected to the grounding electrode conductor to the rod.

Typically a connection to only a ground rod needs to be no larger than #6cu. You are running #4cu so you can do as you propose, since the connection to a water bond for 200A would require #4cu.

The wire from the panel to the rod must be continuous and without splice, but you can tap onto it using a split-bolt splice or similar connection. The wire from the grounding electrode conductor to the water pipe would now be considered a bonding jumper.

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