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Author Topic: Grounding - Bonded  (Read 1196 times)
AD5QA
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« on: July 22, 2007, 06:10:53 AM »

I just moved into my first home that has no Home Owners and can put all the antennas up that I want. Well as many as I can without my wife screaming. I am building my station and have heard many things about properly bonding my station.

This is my thought...

Ground my station at a local station bus, that being grounded in a star config outside my window. From that bus also ground to the cold water pipe at the window. Then I will have to ground the water pipe at the power company's ground. This should essentially bond our grounds and will be a good ground. Is there anything more I can do? Any ideas? Should I run a ground between my station bus and the power company's ground. But that will make an additional path for the strike.

Hopefully the water pipes will make the shortest path to ground.
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W5JRI
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 03:43:18 PM »

It would be better to drive a ground rod outside your station and run your ground from your station to that ground.Then connect that ground to your main ac ground rod.You might have to drive some extra rods in the ground depending on how far away you are from the ac ground.
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 07:00:53 PM »

Water pipes bad; ground rods good.  Read the technical articles on the Polyphaser and ICE (Industrical Communications Engineers) websites and then ask any further questions.  There's only one right way and all elements must be in place.

To recap:

1)  Antenna/Mast/Tower ground
2)  SPG (Single Point ground)
3)  Lightning Arrestors
4)  Shack ground
5)  Electrical entrance ground

All should be tied together.
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 07:03:41 PM »

But that will make an additional path for the strike.


No that will ensure that all the grounds that are tied to your expensive equipment are at the same potential and during any energy surge, all will rise and fall in voltage potential together.  When they don't rise and fall together, then there is a voltage potential difference and this difference manifests itself in the form of current which usually takes a path through your equipment and voila, the smoke is released.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 11:28:12 PM »

A "Single Point Ground" is what you want in your house, Near where the coax enters the building. The place coax switches and lightning arrestors are mounted to. Usually sheet copper (.026" or so thick) The thickness of copper roof flashing, Is mounted to 3/4 inch thick plywood to screw those items to, then that sheet is bonded to your outdoor ground system with flat copper strap of 2" or more inches wide.....
And I agree that should go to its own ground rod BEFORE being interconnected with any plumbing. IF you have copper pipe plumbing, It can make a nice conductor, IF it is copper all the way with no insulators in its run......... If really old galvanized pipe, It should be bonded to the ground system if it is within 6 feet of any of your other grounds, But NOT relied on as a conductor of any type.
For good info see: http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/ground0.htm
(The link to the very good site of Polyphaser is provided in that link, Be sure to read that one also)
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W8EZT
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2007, 09:50:13 AM »

As stated elsewhere, voltage differential is the (equipment) killer.  All electrical conductors leading into your shack should be grounded at a single point and protected by lightening arrestors.  Don't forget phone lines, network feeds (for your computer), and rotator control cables (if you use them).  Direct lightening hits can be difficult to protect against unless you're willing to install commercial level grounding systems, however most equipment damage is a result of near by hits (ex: a tree in the back yard) and even distant lightening strikes (ex: on a utility pole, a mile or two away).  Usually, these are survivable with the good grounding techniques mentioned above.  Good luck and may the only voltage entering your antennas be at microvolt levels.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2007, 05:43:18 PM »

"Water pipes bad; ground rods good"

If the water pipes in your new home are all copper, it is perfectly fine and safe to use them as a grounding tie point.  Chances are that the telephone company, the cable company and the electric company already have.  

The stories of problems with water pipe grounds stem from the useage of plastic inlet piping in newer construction--which is why there should also be a ground rod used.  It is NOT uncommon to see a ground rod driven in at the water meter mounting area and the water piping grounded to that point.

When you set up your station, put in one--or more--station ground rod(s), and then tie it/them into the present grounding system, whether it be through the water piping or through the cabling to the electrical ground rod.  As long as all ground rods are bonded together, you will satisfy safety concerns and be in compliance with the NEC.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2007, 07:31:39 AM »

I should quantify my statement by saying that in some states and localities it may be illegal to attach grounding wires to the house water pipes.  Check you local electrical codes before you do the work.
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2007, 11:45:05 AM »

If the water pipes in your new home are all copper, it is perfectly fine and safe to use them as a grounding tie point.


Wrong wrong wrong.  Specifically prohibited by NEC.


And all the ground authorities do not recommend it.  Yes if the other utilities grounded to them then fine for them but not good for you.

You want the proper ground rods and all the connections specified.  

Do it the right way.
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W3LK
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2007, 02:54:06 PM »

I had an electrician in today to discuss some wiring changes in our new house and he noticed that, for some reason, the water lines (copper throughout) were not connected to the electric company's ground. Cable TV and telephone connections were there, but no apparant connection to the electric ground. He is going to correct that!

As we were discussing my grounding plans for the shack, he advised me NOT to use the water lines as a shack ground, but install seperate ground rods for the shack and tie them to the electrical ground, as per most of the recommendations here.

It will be done. Smiley

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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K1CJS
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2007, 03:20:45 PM »

Water pipe grounds "Specifically prohibited by NEC."...

Oh really?  Please provide the location of that law in the code book.
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 07:37:35 PM »

Actually I'm at fault.

The NEC, which is concerned about AC safety grounding, does allow connection to a contiguous water pipe system.

But....that's only concerned with AC safety grounding.  Not lightning grounding which is another matter.

One can not rely of your water pipe system within your house to be of sufficent low impedance to be an effective lighting ground.

Therefore, that's why all manufacturer's of lightning suppresion equipment and most engineers in the field, recommend the bonding of all grounds (SPG and electrical service entrance) be done outside of the residence.

Using the water pipes effectively use the internal system as the bonding path and any one joint that if high impedance will defeat that.


It's all a matter of risks.  One either does it the "right way" or you take your chances.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2007, 04:55:09 PM »

I'm glad that is cleared up, Phil.  And I'll go a step furthur as well--a primary ground for lightning protection should go outside the house and be connected by copper straps to the ground system to disperse the charges.  It shouldn't be connected through the house water piping for the reasons you state--also, the charge would probably melt the solder at the joints and cause more problems.

However, a safety ground for the shack could be connected to the house water piping safely.  I erred by not specifying that point.  BTW, that lightning dissipation ground should always be on the outside of the house, never inside.  I also neglected to specify that when I talked about the safety ground.  73.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2007, 04:57:07 PM »

Oh, yes.  Before you get back to me for not including this--that safety ground should be connected to the station ground as well.
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