Grounding rods cost $100 to $300 to install, depending on accessibility and local code requirements
This project might require grounding your outlets and running grounding wire
Grounded outlets cost $135 to $300 each and grounding wire costs $6 to $8 per linear foot
Electrical grounding gives excess current a safe route out of your home and into the ground, where it dissipates harmlessly. A grounding rod costs around $100 to $300. However, costs can quickly rise if more electrical work is needed to ground the property fully.
While most modern homes come equipped with a grounding rod already in place, many older properties do not. Ungrounded systems are at an increased risk of electrocution and electrical fires.
Cost of Grounding Rod Installation
Installing a ground rod—sometimes called an earthing rod—costs between $100 and $300, on average. This estimate assumes a straightforward installation with no access limitations and no hiccups.
Usually made of copper or coated steel, a grounding rod is placed near your main electrical service panel. You must tie it to your main service panel to provide a proper ground connection. The grounding rod itself costs around $30.
It's important to remember that a grounding rod is just one part of a home's grounding system. A home without a grounding rod in place usually indicates a lack of grounding wires as well. You should hire a licensed local electrician to perform the installation and guide you on the additional steps needed to protect your home from power surges.
Factors That Influence the Cost to Install a Ground Rod
The price to upgrade your electrical system with grounding methods will vary based on a few factors: labor costs in your area, local code requirements, accessibility, and additional wiring needs.
Most electricians can tackle this job in less than an hour, but they might charge a minimum callout fee to cover travel costs and other expenses. Hiring an electrician costs between $50 and $100 per hour.
If your home requires running ground wiring to your outlets, plan for the project to take longer and budget accordingly.
Where you live impacts the price you'll pay to hire the best electrician. Generally speaking, electricians have a hire right in urban areas than rural locations where there's less demand for services and a lower cost of living. You could pay up to 50% more per hour for labor in larger cities compared to smaller rural suburbs.
Plus, your jurisdictions might have other requirements that affect your overall project costs. For example, you might need an eight- or 10-foot grounding rod to meet residential electrical service grounding requirements.
National Electrical Code might also require copper rods over steel or aluminum, or two rods to achieve the required grounding resistance levels.
If your electrician must work on difficult terrain to drive a rod through hard or rocky ground, it will add time to the project and increase the costs.
Number of Grounding Outlets
After installing the grounding rod, you’ll need to tackle the outlets—assuming you already have grounding wiring in place. Grounding an outlet costs between $135 and $300 per socket. This is a pretty simple job that requires switching out a two-pronged outlet for a grounded three-pronged outlet.
Adding Grounding Wiring
Just installing a copper rod and connecting it to your electrical panel won't fully ground your house if there isn't grounding wire running through it. (This is likely the case if your home was built before 1970, when grounded wiring wasn’t required.) Budget for more extensive electrical work to bring your electrical system up to code.
Grounding wires cost $6 to $8 per linear foot, or roughly $130 to $170 per outlet. If you need to upgrade your knob and tube wiring—meaning, you need to rewire the whole house—costs rise rapidly. Rewiring a house costs $2 to $4 per square foot, or $4,000 to $8,000 to rewire a 2,000-square-foot home.
Cost to Install a Grounding Rod Yourself
If you possess advanced electrical skills, you might consider tackling this project yourself—but know this type of work is not for the novice homeowner. The grounding rod costs about $30, and you may also need extra wiring.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
As with most advanced electrical work, we don’t recommend grounding rod installation as a DIY project. Most local authorities require a licensed electrician to perform electrical work, so it’s up to code. They’ll ensure the installation is correct and handle any additional work needed to complete the project, such as rewiring or upgrading outlets or electrical panels.
If your heart is set on a DIY, consider learning how to ground a wire, and thus an outlet, in your home to ensure better surge protection.
Grounding Rod Installation Questions and Answers
How does grounding work?
Grounding gives electrical current a safe passage through your home and into the earth to protect you from shock and surges. It provides a more stable connection and pathway for any excess current.
While you hope never to need your home's grounding system, grounding can save your life by routing the current to the ground if the neutral wire fails.
How can you tell if your current is grounded?
Grounded electrical outlets are usually three-pronged. You can also look for a grounding clip in your outlet boxes or use a circuit tester. If you’re unsure, consult a suitably qualified electrician regarding your home's electrical safety.
Is a grounding rod necessary?
Yes, the NEC requires all homes to have at least one grounding rod installed and properly connected for the home to be up to code. While many older homes still don't have grounding rods, they can install a grounding rod when upgrading any electrical work.