Thread: Home Grounding
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:20 AM
leiniesred leiniesred is offline
Hard Core 4+
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Aurora, CO, USA
Posts: 1,298

So what have I done.

I have a roof mounted antenna re-using an existing 2' satelite TV dish tripod.

I ran a 6 AWG bare copper wire down from the antenna mount, over the lip of the roof and down to the ground. There are no standoffs attached to the house, but I might have to add a couple in the future if the wire bangs the house in the wind. The wire is about a foot from the house on the way down. Not a foot away at the roof. I used a large radius curve underground to traverse 5 feet or so the the existing house ground rod. I used nolox under a UL listed, designed for direct burial, clamp to attach the 6 AWG wire to the ground pole. I was surprised that the ground pole wiggled when I hit it with the shovel. It might not be an actual 8' ground rod. The rod is not marked on the end.

I removed the 24 AWG ground wire and 2 pieces of RG58 coax that were screwed to the roof, the eves, and the side of the house. They were well within 4' of the old tripod mounts on the roof, but cut off and left when the dish was removed (which must have been more than 10 years ago since it was gone when I moved in.)

The dish ground wire was attached to a spigot on the back of the house. Which would route a lightning strike into the house via the plumbing. sounds like a bad idea. The cable TV guys did a little better and ran a coated 14 AWG wire from their ground block, stapled to the bottom of the house around the side and attached it to the phone company's bare ground wire, which is attached to the main breaker box coming in from the street. I see some potential ground loops there.

So, what can I do to improve at least what I already have?
Removing the old wires from the roof was probably a good thing. Now lightning won't travel down those wires and light the roof, eves, and side of the house on fire where it is attached to the house before entering the house via the copper water pipe it was attached to.

My #6 ground wire on the antenna is a good start, but the 90 degree bend at the top will probably let the lightning short-cut through the roof and light the roof on fire anyway. *shrugs* Maybe the rain will put it out.

I think it would be wise to put a ground rod in directly below the copper antenna ground wire, but leave the wire continuing along to the original ground rod. but...The rods would be less than 6 feet apart. I think, (but don't know) that the NEC doesn't allow ground rods that close together (because it doesn't really help ground things)

The next good thing to do might be to simplify the grounds on the phone and cable TV. We don't actually have cable TV anymmore, so maybe the best thing to do is to remove the ground block and wires and make the cable TV company re-do everything again the next time we switch back to cable. Yeah right. I bet they would hook right to the handy spigot on a do-over.

Can I install more ground clamps directly on the main ground rod like I have already done and still be National Electric Code compliant?
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