Cut Service Ground Wire.


I recently completed an inspection on a 3 year old home and found the grounding wire cut about 12" below the meter. Have any inspectors run across this? Is there possibly another wire in the chaseway below the meter? How would you report this?

Howard Tennyson

That may have been a grounding tail left out so that the utilities like phone and cable could tie their grounds to. Without seeing inside the panel it would be hard to tell. If another conductor is available perhaps from a ufer ground this may not be an issue. Did you look for a ground rod below the meter?


There was not a rod below the meter…

Did you see a ground on the water line?

If I cannot observe any system ground (after looking thoroughly) I call it out and refer it to a qualified electrician. I’ve never seen a situation as is shown in your picture

Very well could be the tail of a 6 AWG trying to comply with 250.94. However, it should be easy to determine this once you pull the panel inside. If you can’t see other GEC’s within the enclosure other than one 6 AWG leaving then you have your answer…if you see others inside the panel then you have to look around…do you see a 4AWG going to any water pipe…? you see one going to a ufer…?..are you able to find any ground rods…?

If you find yourself not able to answer those questions once the panel is pulled and you have other issues in your report most certainly call it out to have it evaluated by a licensed electrical contractor…why…? simply because of liability if you really want a single reason.

IN my areas ( Richmond,VA ) you will see this all the time and not because they are trying to comply with the intrasystem bonding requirement. They are CUT because people steal copper all the time. In a single day with a concentrated area a THIEF can earn quite a little take on stealing this…Why hold a sign at the street corner beggin for a dollar when you can steal copper in 1/3rd the time.

Wayne, Frank & Paul,

Thanks so much for looking this over with me. The homeowner asked the builder to send out his electrician. The electrician contacted me and told me the grounding is a ufer grounding to the rebar in the slab… not visible above ground. I am still uncertain if seeing a 6 AWG in the panel connected to a ground bar is a sure sign the home is properly grounded.

Howard T.