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Grounding  

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
I have also posted this at satellite guys. Want AVS thoughts too. :)


Had D** via one of their local contractors install a system last week. Had Voom do an install yesterday and the Voom guy told me the new line D** installer put in wasn't grounded. So I call and the D** guy comes out today and grounds it to an outside faucet.

Now I have read that you aren't supposed to do that, it doesn't meet The National Electric Code. I tell the installer that and he says it meets code, they do it all the time, and that they wouldn't let them do if it it wasn't (while I think to myself "The last installer from your company didn't even attempt to install a ground wire".

Of course I am going to call the local building inspectors office Monday and make sure, but anyone else have the same experience?
post #2 of 59
As long as there is a copper strap/cable across your meter connecting the supply in and out, you should be o.k. Be careful when calling out a building inspector to your home. You could be opening up a can of worms. They look for other things on your property when they are there and will write you up. Most local codes are allowed to supersede the national codes so if your locale has more stringent enforcement, you may be suspect to them.
post #3 of 59
I ground to outside faucets often, but if you want to get picky, you have to actually ground to the pipe that goes into the faucet to meet the letter, and probably the intent, of the code. The faucet, itself, is not a cold water pipe. But I see no reason why you should care. A connection to the faucet will ground the system just as well as would a connection to the cold water pipe at the point where it goes into the faucet
post #4 of 59
Always check your local codes as they can vary. New plumbing items like Pex tubing have caused some localities to disallow water piping as a ground connection. A little plastic, or a lot, in the line will eliminate any possibility of proper grounding. On the other hand, if your water supply is all copper, bonded to the electrical panel, and code approved, a cold water pipe is a fine ground. The first time I had an antenna and a dish installed, neither was grounded. Since then I've let go of my fear of heights and done the work myself. I think it's better to have an inspector's assistance up front rather than have a fire and have your insurance refuse to pay because the followup investigation revealed code violations.
post #5 of 59
I think the only really safe place to ground is where the house's electrical is grounded. In my house the electrical is grounded on the cold water supply for the water heater. When I grounded my antenna and mast, I ran a wire here and bonded it.

Greywolf is right though, local codes vary. For me this was what was right.

Best,
jeff
post #6 of 59
I have a directway sat dish grounded the same way...water pipe where electrical box is grounded.... I am now installing a hd d** antenna on a galvinized pipe about 50 feet from the dway dish. My ? is do i have to run a new ground to the water pipe or can i run and connect it to the dway ground? It sure would be a lot easier than snaking it through a finished basement on the other side of the house. Thanks, sabre
post #7 of 59
As long as the connection is good and the Dway ground meets code, you can run it to the Dway ground.
post #8 of 59
Thanks Greywolf, and thanks to all the people who have answered my past questions......I would have been lost without you guys. The AVS forum is a godsend. Thanks to all...sabre
post #9 of 59
This grounding topic has had me thinking (& researching) for weeks concerning a new dish install at my house. I've read the NEC and still can't figure out something... can I bring a grounding wire inside my house to attach it to a properly (& in code compliance) bonded copper pipe water system? If so, how far of a run can I do safely? I mean, can I run the ground wire (from the dish & grounding block) through an attic down into my basement? It seems logical, but then also odd to have a grounding wire running that far inside a structure. Is there a chance for fire, etc. where the bare wire runs? For that matter, my entire electrical conduit system is tied to the house ground as well - I could tie to that right in the attic.
Sorry if this is monotonous, but after searching I still haven't found a satisfactory answer. Any help would be appreciated!
post #10 of 59
According to the national code, the ground wire can be run inside the house. If your conduit or copper pipe is continuous as it should be, it is a good ground. It and bare wire for ground is safe. Chicago area houses commonly use the water pipe as the main building ground. Always check with your local building dept to make sure what you do will meet local codes. Usually the only amendment to the NEC in the Chicago area is to disallow non metallic sheathed cable. There may be some future time when non metallic water pipe may be allowed in the area and that can cause problems with water pipe being used for grounding.
post #11 of 59
Thanks greywolf - I appreciate your input (based on all of my previous research I've found your posts to always be very informative!)

Just so I am clear - when you say the conduit and bare wire are "safe" I assume you mean for risk of fire, etc. at a potential strike? I only mention this again because there would be direct contact with insulation, etc. as the bare wire (and/or conduit) routes through the house.

If you wouldn't mind I'd appreciate it if you would review my installation plan and let me know if you think it is sound:

Because of my house construction, the dish would be mounted on a second story eave. I would run a ground wire from the mast and connect it and the 4 rg-6 cables at a set of grounding blocks under the eave (inside or outside) and then route the cables and bare ground wire into the attic, 30 feet across the house, down a "passthrough" piece of conduit into the basement where my distribution area is. The ground wire could be terminated in the attic somewhere strapped to the electrical conduit system (upstairs hallway lights, etc.) or down in the basement on the cold water pipe system.

I'd appreciate your (or anyone else's) input! Thanks - Marc
post #12 of 59
Such a setup would have people cringing in many parts of the country.;)

In more and more areas, water pipe ground is not allowed.

The Chicago is very union friendly at some expense to the consumer though. As long as no DIY friendly non-conductive water pipe will be installed in the future, your plan sounds fine for the long term.

There have been fears of water pipe going electrically live in a major building shift and posing a danger but we haven't had an earthquake strong enough to break a pipe in ages.
post #13 of 59
Sometimes it pays to live here! :D

As far as the bare ground wire contacting insulation, etc. - you feel that is not a problem, correct? Just trying to allow myself to sleep at night without worrying about starting a fire in the attic or between floors!
post #14 of 59
or if all else fails go to your local electrical supply retailer and buy a grounding rod and drive it in the ground yourself and then you will have no worries that it will meet all codes. also this is a mandatory process when installing dway antennas on a pole mount.
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by mpiscitello
Sometimes it pays to live here! :D

As far as the bare ground wire contacting insulation, etc. - you feel that is not a problem, correct?
Right. That wire is always at ground potential. Worrying about that wire is like worrying about your conduit. It's bare and connected to ground too.
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by demonspawn
or if all else fails go to your local electrical supply retailer and buy a grounding rod and drive it in the ground yourself and then you will have no worries that it will meet all codes. also this is a mandatory process when installing dway antennas on a pole mount.
Then that rod would need to be bonded to the main building ground with #6 copper wire or its equivalent.
post #17 of 59
thanks again greywolf - excuse my ignorance, but just out of curiousity, what actually happens during a lightening strike? If the ground wire, conduit, etc. are installed like I mentioned, does a strike to the dish or house "electrify" those components? I know this probably sounds stupid, but I envision this bolt of electricity racing along those wires/conduit possibly igniting something. Is that a concern or am I just being foolish?
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by greywolf
Then that rod would need to be bonded to the main building ground with #6 copper wire or its equivalent.
ok for this purpose if i installed the rod and only wanted to use it for the dway sytem does it still need to be bonded to the main building ground or that it is driven 8 feet into the ground that it in itself is a ground?

and you could also use this to ground say your OTA antenna and satellite dish.

i think i see what you are saying about bonding so that all the electrical outlets in the house would also use this rod.
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by slick1ru2
Now I have read that you aren't supposed to do that, it doesn't meet The National Electric Code. I tell the installer that and he says it meets code, they do it all the time, and that they wouldn't let them do if it it wasn't (while I think to myself "The last installer from your company didn't even attempt to install a ground wire".
I've seen some web pages that say this is not code-compliant, unless you ground it to the first 5 feet of pipe after it enters the house. IMHO this is an incorrect reading of the NEC: they're confusing the house ground electrode system, with the grounding requirements for communications systems. Grounding to the faucet is fine, assuming you have all-metal or properly bonded water pipe.
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by mpiscitello
thanks again greywolf - excuse my ignorance, but just out of curiousity, what actually happens during a lightening strike? If the ground wire, conduit, etc. are installed like I mentioned, does a strike to the dish or house "electrify" those components? I know this probably sounds stupid, but I envision this bolt of electricity racing along those wires/conduit possibly igniting something. Is that a concern or am I just being foolish?
The idea of proper grounding is to bleed off static charge and prevent lightning strikes. Proper grounding also helps prevent damage in the case of a nearby strike. If you actually are struck, whatever is in the house isn't going to change the result much.
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by demonspawn
ok for this purpose if i installed the rod and only wanted to use it for the dway sytem does it still need to be bonded to the main building ground
Yes it does.

National Electrical Code - Search for "dish"
The information there also applies to antenna grounding.
http://forums.nfpa.org:8081/necfaq/necsrch.htm

The NEC quote from that site is, "A bonding jumper not smaller than No. 6 copper or equivalent shall be connected between the radio and television equipment grounding electrode and the power grounding electrode system at the building or structure where separate electrodes are used."

This is to prevent damage to equipment, including the possibility of a fire, if the 2 grounds differ greatly in potential. Such an occurance is common when lightning strikes nearby. http://www.cinergy.com/surge/ttip08.htm



Quote:
Originally posted by demonspawn
and you could also use this to ground say your OTA antenna and satellite dish.
Sure, as long as it's bonded.

Quote:
Originally posted by demonspawn
i think i see what you are saying about bonding so that all the electrical outlets in the house would also use this rod.
Rather all ground connections of all equipment would be at the same potential.
post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by demonspawn
i think i see what you are saying about bonding so that all the electrical outlets in the house would also use this rod.
That is the theory, use the same ground to prevent/isolate differences in ground potentials (very common is the coax from the cable co which is known to induce ground bars in video equipment).

If you do not bond to the same ground potential you stand the risk of creating your very own "ground loop".

Do I have this correct, greywolf?
post #23 of 59
ok so if i am reading these things right
if i install an additional grounding rod and use a #6 copper wire i have to physically attach one end of the #6 to say my mast where my eletrical power comes in from the pole and the other to the new rod?

then i could use the new rod as a ground for my rooftop antenna and dway dish when i decide to get it and directv dish?

or would it just be easier to ground everything to my mast that i already have. was just wondering just wanted to avoid possble lightning strikes on antenna from going straight through main power mast. and i know a direct hit means that there is no hope for any electrical devices in the home

i am just trying to get this straight since i got hit last year with lightning
i am getting ready to get every thing grounded well. i do not want my rooftop antenna being a lightning rod this year.

sorry for the third degree just want to get my facts straight and do this thing right.
post #24 of 59
IIRC, you just need to connect the 6 AWG ground wire from the new rod to the existing rod...that's it. Remember, the purpose of grounding is to, as Greywolf stated, bleed off static electricity charges. It will do nothing if you have a direct lightening strike. When you're hit, you're done.
post #25 of 59
so lets say i cannot get to the exsisting rod would it be ok to attatch it to the mast? since it is already connected to the old rod.
post #26 of 59
Not really sure what you mean by "mast". How would you not be able to get to the original rod? It's outdoors usually located near where the main power line from the co comes into the house. If the mast is bonded to this ground rod then I believe, but could be wrong, that you could bond the new ground to the mast then.
post #27 of 59
thanks again for the help greywolf - what would you recommend as a ground wire type and gauge for an indoor run of approximately 50 to 75 feet?
post #28 of 59
yes the mast where all the lines from the pole come into the house i took a look at it and the mast comes from roof to the meter box and from the bottom of meter i see a pvc pipe that goes into the ground i am suspecting this is where the rod actually goes into the ground but it is covered by pvc for some reason. looks to be all the other things are grounded to this mast so maybe it is gronded there
post #29 of 59
http://www.mikeholt.com/mojonewsarch...s~20020303.htm

found this with a google search seems to have answered my question!

thanx guys for the info and the input as always when in doubt go to AVS
post #30 of 59
If you go into where your power comes into the house (at the main panel) you should see a bare copper twisted wire going into your panel through the wall. You should be able to ground at that point as well to any cold water pipe in the house (assuming the piping is copper with no PVC). If I understand you correctly, it sounds as if the mast feeds the meter box. That other PVC pipe may have more wires in it than just a ground. For instance, in my house (underground power) the power goes up a PVC pipe into the meter box and then another wire runs from that into the house. The panel is then bonded to ground by a bare copper wire that is running from the main panel out throught the wall to the outside and is attached to the grounding rod.

I look more when I leave work and go home...in about 7 minutes. TGIF
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