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Question DetailsAsked on 12/17/2017

home waranty ins is paying for a new panel to be installed. Electrician wants to charge additional for a ground rod

main panel is being replaced by home waranty insurance. electrician is charging additional for a ground rod install. Is this normal I would assume it is part of waranty coverage.

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Assuming the replacement is directly related to a major panel flaw or overheating or such. If the existing panel did not have a ground rod (and ground wire leading to it), then that would have been a pre-existing code violation assuming the house was built after probably - oh - about 1950-1960 or earlier.

If your home warranty only covers "failures" or "damages" from various causes, as most do, then a missing required component would likely not be covered. You would have to read your warranty in detail, but unlikely to be covered.

Cost - probably about $50-70 materials except more like $100-120 if your locale code requires dual ground rods (some do, some do not) - and about $50-250 installation labor cost depending on how long a ground run is necessary to get to a suitable place to install them, how hard the installation is (above price range assumes driveable ground - not hardpan or bedrock which requires drilling a pilot hole or doing a trench excavation to install them horizontally in the ground), and whether there is a ground bonding wire already from the breaker panel to the exterior main breaker/meter box, which is where the ground rod main ground wire connection would be made. (There has to be a separate ground wire, usually with large gauge stranded bare copper wire, from the exterior panel to the main breaker panel, so that can add a couple to few tens of $ to the materials cost for the cable, plus labor to run it through the walls if the main breaker panel is not on an outside wall close to the exterior boxes. In some areas the breaker panel also has to be grounded to the water pipe - or if an older house from before when ground rods were required, that may be the only ground wire you have now, so that is why a ground rod(s) are needed now.)

If in an area with hardpan caliche or such or shallow bedorck which prevents driving in ground rods, then cost can commonly double or so to either drill a hole for the ground rod and grout it in, or to excavate a trench commonly 30 inches by general code [or sometimes 36 or 48" by local code] feet deep by code) to lay in horizontal ground rod(s) in lieu of the normal 8-10' vertically driven ground rod(s).

This does NOT include any repairs of drywall or painting needed to close up any wall penetrations needed to run the ground wire. Commonly it is run from the breaker panel directly to the outside, then along the outside of the house as much as feasible to get to the outside panels/ground rod location. Where it can be run to get outside varies by area - generally has to be run in walls clear of adjacent pipes or wires, can be run bare and exposed in some areas not in others but generally, I think, interior to the house runs NOT in the walls has to be run like any other wire - insulated and in conduit.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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