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Question DetailsAsked on 10/31/2014

What should it cost to re-ground the house electrical system after replacing copper plumbing with PVC?

Had to have the plumbing re-piped because of leaks. The electrical system had been grounded to the copper plumbing, so the ground had to be re-done. The job took less than two hours and consisted of running a cable from the outside electrical box to a copper pole hammered into the ground, and then another cable connecting to a second copper pole which, according to Code, had to be six feet from the first cable. I've looked at the cost of copper per pound and factored in a conservative hourly rate, and think the charge was excessive. Before writing a review on the work, I want to be knowledgeable about the fairness of the price.

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3 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Hopefully, the ground cable was run to both the outside breaker box/meter base as well as to the inside breaker box, unless the breaker box had ground cable leading to it already - usually bare multi-stranded copper but braided and aluminum allowed in many areas. 8' ground rods cost about $11 apiece - 10' if required in your area about $15 each. The grounding wire, assuming #4 bare copper wire, about $1.20/LF, 4 clamps at $5 ea - so assuming about 10' run to each rod, then about $66-74 materials - say maybe $80-90 with markup. About 1 hour labor $75-150 except up to $300 in a very few large uban areas like parts of NYC, Boston, NYC suburbia Ct, some Frisco areas. So - total cost normally about $160 in real low labor cost area, about $235 in normal cost areas, maybe $385 in real high cost areas. If 2 hours because of accessibility issues (like under a low deck or such) then more like 2 hours, for $235 / $385 / $685 for the three cost ranges.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


Thank you, LCD. I haven't figured how to thank you or follow up except to "answer" my own question. I do appreciate your response. In my case, the technician didn't connect anything to the inside breaker box, so I hope that is OK.

I haven't looked inside the outside box, but unless a clamp was used there, only two clamps were used. There is no second grounding rod, as the wire from the first rod is clamped to the pipe to my gas line. Further, the gas line is only about four feet from the first rod. This may be OK, but I thought the technician told me the spec was six feet apart.

I see two clamps, maybe 12' of wire tops, and only one grounding rod. Using your prices, I get $80 in materials after a generous 100% markup. There were no accessability issues, and the technician was here less than two hours. Unless something really complicated had to be done inside the box, I think I could have done what he did in about 30-45 minutes.

Including the $59 I paid for the Angie's deal

"$59 for an Electrical Service Call + $100 Credit Toward Service and More"

my total cost was $560. I am in Pinellas County, FL - not a depressed area, but certainly no NYk, Boston, or San Fran. I conclude I paid way too much, and suppose it would have been worse if I hadn't had the Angie's deal. Thanks again for the information that helped me confirm my thoughts.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9632468


I hate it when I have to say this instead of giving a definitive repsonse, but it depends on your code jurisdiction, because most states/cities/counties have their own amendments to the national/international residential building, gas piping and electrical codes. In general - you are supposed to (on new or rewired installations) have two copper-clad or solid brass ground rods at least 6 feet apart, generally 8' but some areas require 10' long, 5/8" (some areas 3/4" in diameter) driven essentailly all the way down into the ground, and a ground wire from the service connection (at meter base usually) running to the two rods. Some areas require separate ground wire runs to each rod from the service, but general code allows running to one and then jumpering on to the next rod. Generally #6 bare copper wire required for 100A service, #4 for 200A - but some areas require insulated ground cable which actually makes more sense since it is implied that this wire may carry high amperage electricity at some point so could arc to nearby metal. The presumption, (which is usually true) is that once power flows through the ground wire the circuit/GFCI/AFCI breaker should trip the circuit out, so theoretically the only power of any note that should flow through it is low-amperage stray currents like from electromagnetic effects, storms, static electricity, and radio frequency induced currents (all of which should be minimal danger) - and lightning. There should also be a ground wire of the same size jumpering from the service (or bonded at the ground rods) to the ground connector in each breaker box. Then, all the metal piping in the house (hot, cold, gas) is supposed to be bonded to the ground rods as well - usually can be to same ground, but some locales require a separate ground rod for that, and many allow grounding to your water pipe (if metal) on the street size of the first valve though that is a bad idea as it commonly causes a corrosion point that can resulting in a leak that cannot be shut off with your main house shutoff valve. So - if your area allows only one ground rod then the wire connecting the gas pipe might be the gas line "bonding" to ground. If two ground rods are required, then he cheated and connected to the gas line for the second ground and that would be illegal, as well as not being 6 feet apart. Even more dangerous because if that is the case, gas company techs servicing or checking your meter will commonly disconnect the wire from their line - they are supposed to contact the electric company to have electric service cut off first if they do that but commonly do not. There will commonly also be a bonding wire running from your outdoor gasline near where it exits the earth leading inside to all gas-fired appliances - some areas require this only to electric powered appliances, some to all - some also allow combining this bonding with hot and cold water pipe bonding and grounding, so there are a lot of variations in exactly what is bonded and where, but the intent is to avoid any location where a water or gas line or device could potentially get energized and not have a ground connection to earth. Check your local code jurisidiction website (city, or county if out of city limits) or eMail them for how many rods are required, and your gas compnay could tell you how your gas piping is supposed to be grounded, because it makes a difference if they used plastic pipe below ground because then the interior metal piping (usually black iron) has to be grounded to a ground rod - sometimes can use the electric service ground rods, some utilities or locall codes require a dedicated ground rod for the gas service. And yes - unless you way out in the boonies and outside normal service area, I would think you have been royally cheated on price by a factor of 2 to 3, because as you say this can take 1/2-1 hour typically if no interior bonding/grounding has to be done, depending on how hard the rods are to drive (and whether one or two are ruined because they curve at a rock and pop back up to the surface). Of course, if shallow bedrock and he had to dig an alternative ground trench or drill a borehole into rock for the rods and grout them in, then price might be in the reasonable range. If I were you, I would talk to the contractor about why the price was so high (suggest you think maybe labor got counted twice or something) and see if you can get a partial refund first - you might just casually let slip you were getting ready to do a review on AL and found the price he charged looked quite high - might get him to come down to something more reasonable.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


At least 1000 - what i found doing with angies list electrician. Plumbers and electricians have to be licensed just like doctors so supply is down and all the old stuff is breakingâ˜ș

Answered 3 years ago by Russell

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