Residential Electrical Grounding & Bonding

Electrical - Upgrading the Main Electrical Panel

The following 10 items pertain to upgrading the main electrical panel in a single family dwelling:

  • An electrical permit is required to upgrade the main panel.
  • The owner or a State licensed contractor may obtain a permit.
  • Load calculations are generally not required for a service upgrade unless additional load is being added and the inspector determines that calculations are necessary.

Meter Height: Shall be between 48" to 66" above the ground.

Clear Working Space:30" wide by 36" in front of panel with a minimum headroom clearance of 6' 6".

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers must be listed and approved types for panels. (The brand of breakers must be specifically approved for use within the panel as stated on the panel's label).

  • A multi-wire circuit (3-wire, 240 volt circuit) to a single duplex receptacle requires a handle-tie on the circuit breakers


  • Any work involving adding sub-panels, upgrade of electrical service, change of water service, or re-piping of a structure will require upgrading of the grounding and bonding of the electrical service.
  • Grounding shall be per the 2001 California Electrical Code.
  • The water pipingsystem is not allowed to be the sole grounding source.
  • A supplemental electrode (usually a ground rod) must be installed ifthe water piping system is the onlysource of grounding.
  • A ground rod must be at least 8 feet buried in the ground. When made of iron or steel, the ground rod must be a minimum 5/8" diameter. Listed stainless steel or non-ferrous rods may be 1/2" in diameter. The ground rod must be within the first five feet of water piping into the building.
  • Bonding shall be per 2001 California Electrical Code.

The water piping system must be bonded

  • If the main water service piping to the house is metallic, the bonding must occur within five feetof water piping into the building.
  • If the main water service piping is non-metallic(e.g., PVC), the cold water piping system may be bonded at any accessible location.
  • Bonding shall consist of a continuous bond jumper installed at the water heater between the hot, cold and gas lines.

The gas piping system must be bonded

  • The gas piping is bonded via the grounding conductor in the branch circuit to the gas appliances (if available).
  • If the electrical system does not contain equipment grounds, then the gas piping system must be bonded externally with a bonding jumper (same as water pipe).

Gas bonding shall onlybe connected to the house side of the meter.

City of Concord CA