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Old 05-20-2011, 10:30 AM   #1
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Driving ground rods


Any reason that, for a homeowner who is only going to need to drive at most 4 ground rods, a $16 air hammer wouldn't work for driving ground rods?

I've got 1 rod all the way in by sledgehammer, a second that has about 1 foot to go and a third that has 3 feet to go. I am putting in 2 at the house and 2 at the garage. I'm probably taking 20 hits to get 1 inch. A throw-away air tool would be cheaper than renting a hammer drill if I could get what I needed out of it before it died.

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Old 05-20-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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Driving ground rods


I use a hammer drill for ground rods. Don't see why a air hammer would not work as well.

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Old 05-20-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
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Driving ground rods


I was figuring the same, but I wanted to see if anyone else had tried. I don't have a hammer drill and getting one just for this would be impractical, and a $16 air chisel is cheaper than the $24 rental . My only concern is if the $16 air hammer would fall apart after 1 rod. I've been involuntarily reminded that low bidder can end up being more expensive when I bought a hole saw where it was cheapest to get one that the hole saw was driven by a d-shaped holes that turned into a circle that wouldn't drive the saw, after drilling 3 holes.

But if the air hammer lives, I know it'll be useful for car work. $20 right angle 4.5" grinders are a way of life in body restoration!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:16 PM   #4
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Driving ground rods


So being on a tight budget this weekend I bought the air hammer and HD didn't have anything but chisel or sharp point bits, so I improvised by taking a 3/8" spike and cutting off the sharp end. I was able to get it to drive the ground rod, but it's incredibly slow and only really useful if the arm just doesn't want to swing the sledgehammer any more. I'd recommend renting a hammer drill as a better choice if anyone else is looking to do this at minimum cost. Bear in mind I'm making that recommendation without having actually tried it, so I couldn't say if you might risk something bad like mushrooming the ground rod in place inside the chuck if you don't get the right bit or something like that.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:14 AM   #5
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Driving ground rods


Quote:
Originally Posted by WillK View Post
So being on a tight budget this weekend I bought the air hammer and HD didn't have anything but chisel or sharp point bits, so I improvised by taking a 3/8" spike and cutting off the sharp end. I was able to get it to drive the ground rod, but it's incredibly slow and only really useful if the arm just doesn't want to swing the sledgehammer any more. I'd recommend renting a hammer drill as a better choice if anyone else is looking to do this at minimum cost. Bear in mind I'm making that recommendation without having actually tried it, so I couldn't say if you might risk something bad like mushrooming the ground rod in place inside the chuck if you don't get the right bit or something like that.
I spent a lot of years doing things electrical in the military. One of them was grounding generators. There is a tool (you won't find at HD) called a ground rod slide hammer. Has no other purpose except maybe as a boat anchor though.
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