Ground rods, how?

Started by gil, September 16, 2012, 10:09:32 pm

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gil

Hello,

How do you get those 8ft. copper rods into the ground? Dig a hole? Pound on them from the top?

Gil.

rah

Hi Gil.  I usually start by standing on the tailgate of the pickup with a steel fence post pounder.  That'll work till

you have two feet or less left, then a heavy hammer will generally finish the job.
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gil

Thanks, now I need to find someone who can loan me a steel fence post pounder!
Or maybe they're cheap enough...

Gil.

cockpitbob

I live in rocky soil and didn't want to get an 8' rod in 4' and get stuck there.  So, I taped a piece of small diameter garden hose to the rod and to my surprise I was able to water-drill down over 4'.  That told me I probably was OK with boulders, so I took the hose off and used an 8lb sledge.

gil

Interesting Bob, I'll remember that trick, thanks!

Gil.

Chasrobin

One thing to remember about grounding.
Soil conductivity matters, here where I live we have sandy dry soil so it doesn't conduct very well until it gets wet.
Thankfully most lightning strikes happen when it's raining.
My solution was to water the base of my towers dailey thankfully I planned it this way and built mow strips right into them.
No trimming just run the riding mower around.

Paul

Something else to keep in mind is that 'deeper' isn't better.  Slanting that 8 foot ground rod instead of straight down will work just as well.  Actually, just burying that groundrod a couple of inches in dirt will also provide as much 'grounding' as burying the thing 10 feet.
It makes a big difference if that ground rod is being used for safety grounding or RF grounding.  For RF grounding, ground rods are worthless.  For safety grounding, if done correctly with the proper connections (see NEC), they are worth having.
- Paul

That NEC, National Electrical Code, is a -very- good thing to read.

WA4STO

Ah!  Watering the tower.  I just KNEW there was a cheaper -- and much safer -- way to grow my tower another ten feet or so.

Works for my tomatoes, anyway.


Frosty

Salt helps increase conductivity of the soil.  Dig a trench around the buried ground rod, pour in the rock salt, replace the sod, and it'll dissolve into the soil as it rains.  Replace the rock salt every year or two.  Speaking of which, need to add some to mine too.

fastback65

I have had good luck starting the rod, after about a foot, i remove the rod and fill the hole with water.  Give it a little time and replace the rod in the hole and pound it in.  Also, there is a difference in grounding for RF and grounding for lightning protection.   Several rods, (6 or so) connected together will give much better protection from lightning than a single rod, while a single rod is sufficient for RF grounding.  Be sure the connection between rods is not a resonant length

Jim Boswell

I connect a water hose to a 3/4in section of pipe. This makes a water drill. Turn the water on full force and push the end of the pipe into the dirt. This will let the water dig the hole for the ground rod. After you get a hole deep enough for the ground rod, I remove the water drill, pour salt into the hole then push the ground hole into the hole.
Many time I use several ground rods, and remember to water the ground rods every week. The ARRL handbook has a good section on grounding.

73'S  KA5SIW

White Tiger

Quote from: Paul on September 17, 2012, 03:05:38 pm
Something else to keep in mind is that 'deeper' isn't better.  Slanting that 8 foot ground rod instead of straight down will work just as well.  Actually, just burying that groundrod a couple of inches in dirt will also provide as much 'grounding' as burying the thing 10 feet.
It makes a big difference if that ground rod is being used for safety grounding or RF grounding.  For RF grounding, ground rods are worthless.  For safety grounding, if done correctly with the proper connections (see NEC), they are worth having.
- Paul

That NEC, National Electrical Code, is a -very- good thing to read.


Where I live - the soil is very sandy and wet. As a matter of fact, once you get down about a foot, you begin to encounter ground water...the deeper you go, the more ground water.

So I'm not sure if you're suggesting to bury an 8 ft ground rod horizontally (for safety/electrical grounding) under a few inches of dirt, but it would seem logical that - considering the soil condition is so wet - we wouldn't exactly NEED to pound the ground rods a full 8 ft...?
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

gil

I pounded mine into the ground using a fence post pounding gizmo, it was very easy...

Gil.

White Tiger

Quote from: gil on October 17, 2012, 05:33:34 pm
I pounded mine into the ground using a fence post pounding gizmo, it was very easy...

Gil.


Gil, how much of the copper rods did you leave out of the ground & how far apart did you place them?

I was going to use my plumbing ground, but I've changed my mind on where I'm going to put my shack...so I think I'm going to need to investigate the 4 rod option, too!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

gil

Well, I have only one! Six inches stick out of the ground...

Gil.