How to Run a Ground Wire to an Electrical Panel Box

Your service panel's ground wire prevents a line fault from becoming a shocking experience. By shunting excess line voltage back to the panel's neutral pole, the ground current forces the circuit breaker to trip. The tripped breaker shuts off the circuit's current, preventing a potentially dangerous situation. Installing a ground wire to your electrical service panel can be done easily with a few hand tools. The codes of some localities differ from NEC (National Electric Code) standards. Be sure to check local codes before performing any wiring job.

Installing a Ground Rod

Step 1

Place the tapered tip of a ground rod at the desired location. Hold vertically.

Step 2

Drive into ground with the hammer. It is important to drive the rod as straight down as possible to give it the maximum depth.

Step 3

When only 3 to 4 inches remain above the surface, attach the grounding wire with the clamp and tighten with the wrench.

Step 4

Thread loose end of the wire through the wall next to the service panel.

Attach Ground Wire to Panel

Step 5

Turn off the main breaker.

Step 6

Remove faceplate from the service panel.

Step 7

Thread the ground wire through the knockout hole in the appropriate location (usually on the bottom or the side) on the service panel.

Step 8

Locate grounding bar and attach the ground wire. If your service panel does not have a separate grounding bar, attach the ground wire to the neutral bar.

Step 9

Replace the service panel faceplate. Turn on the main breaker.