Ground Rod

Should this ground rod be driven further into the earth?

I had a inspector here tell me drive it down till it wont move anymore.

needs to be 8’ into the ground to meet the requirement. hard to tell but it does not look like a #8 wire either if it’s grounding the panel.

That doesn’t look like a ground rod for an electrical panel. Might be for the phone/cable system. Was there a thick grounding electrode conductor in the panel?


Look on the ground running to the right toward, what appears to be, the riser for the meter base. It looks like it’s there.

WOW, good eyes. I had to stare at the photo for a while. I do see it, might be a 4# bare.

As for the height, I don’t quote code. I don’t know if the rod is 10 feet long, so it might have the 8 min, requirement. I don’t quote the requirement of at ground level or below, since AHJ sometimes want the top end visible. I do point out the impalement danger, or tripping hazard.


IRC 1006 E3508.1.4.1 Installation. The rod and pipe electrodes
shall be installed such that at least 8 feet (2438 mm) of
length is in contact with the soil. They shall be driven to a
depth of not less than 8 feet (2438 mm) except that,
where rock bottom is encountered, electrodes shall be
driven at an oblique angle not to exceed 45 degrees from
the vertical or shall be buried in a trench that is at least 30
inches (762 mm) deep. The upper end of the electrodes
shall be flush with or below ground level except where
the aboveground end and the grounding electrode conductor
attachment are protected against physical damage

I dont like the tripping Hazard, But there is something to be said for SEEING that the connection is correct. If it were totally buried, who knows.

The 8 foot is right but anyone actually measure it? Hack saw anyone ?
Anyone seen one installed on it’s side by chance? In extremely rocky area

always give the wire a tug

I have numerous pix of 2’ rod and this one from Friday

Rods in horizontal position would/should be buried, all we’d see is a wire entering the earth

I believe there is a tool town electrical inspectors use it, attaches to the top of the rod, they click it and the tool tells them how deep the rod or how long the rod is. I have cut a foot off them and got by in rocky soil.

There is a ground ohm meter, which some inspectors use to identify if a second grounding rod is necessary. Some grounding rods have anti-tamping features. One is a core color a different color than the outside. Only visible if the rod is cut. Another is that rods have stamped numbers near the ends, which are visible it you dig down a couple of inches.

IMHO, for the home inspector you need only know/report, it’s presence, condition, and whether is poses a risk to anything.

For code, I wouldn’t even take the time to have my ground rod ohm measured, if in doubt a second one, regardless of the final ohm reading, installed will keep the ohm meter in the truck. If I was concerned about ground effectiveness. Time is money.


P.S. As for laying in a trench, I’ve gotten most of the time with a 45 degree angle and a powered ground rod driver.