Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-13-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,202
Share |
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Hi;
I tried to install a 2nd 8ft x 5/8" copper clad steel ground rod today but failed after getting it down about 6 inches.
It was going to be about 8" from the foundation of the house, along the side directly below my amateur radio antenna. I just wanted to add a rod for the antenna, which would be bonded to the main rod for the electric service.

The top surface is asphalt. The driveway comes right up to the foundation. I was able to get through that. But after getting nowhere with the 8ft rod, I tried a shorter section of 1/2" rod I had; just to test the soil. I could not drive that rod any farther into the ground, so I abandoned the project.
I had been using a 3lb sledge hammer, with the rod supported through a wood step ladder to prevent it from moving too much. I also tried the 2x4 with a 3/4" hole drilled for more support, but just could not get to go anywhere.

I have several thoughts on this:
1) I am too close to the foundation. I don't know what lies below the ground close to the foundation, but I have read about rock fill that is often used, making it difficult or impossible to drive a rod, and to get an acceptable resistance to ground at such a location. That said, the main rod for the electric service is located only about 5 inches from the corner of the foundation, next to the meter.

2) Before the asphalt driveway was put down, there was a concrete sidewalk next to the house. But I thought that had been removed before the asphalt had been laid. It seems that it must have been, since the asphalt is perfectly level all the way to the foundation.

I poured water into the hole, then jammed the shorter section of rod into it. That resulted in mud coming up, so at least I know that I did hit earth.

Even though I live in NJ, I don't think the ground is frozen hard enough to prevent the rod from going more than six inches. I tried the short rod in another area, away from the house, and it went in easily.

The house is 80+ years old.

Any ideas?

Thanks

FW

__________________

KE2KB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
JOATMON
 
ddawg16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: S. California
Posts: 6,826
Default

Unable to install ground rod


You may have found the only big rock in the yard....

Find another spot....or get out the hammer drill and punch a hole......and hope it's not the water, gas or sewer line.....

Just don't do like some....cut the rod so that it's only 12" long...and shove in 6" to make it look like you have in all the way in the ground.

__________________
"The dream is free but the hustle is sold separately."

My 2-Story Addition Build in Progress Link ... My Garage Build Link and My Jeep Build Link
ddawg16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
Master General ReEngineer
 
Bondo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chaumont River, Ny.
Posts: 3,673
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Ayuh,.... An electric hammer drill driver will sink that rod, Quicker than ya can read this post...

That said, I'm guessin' #2 is the answer,...
The blacktoppers probably shimmed the area with stone over the ole concrete, 'n paved the result...

I'm a blacktopper, 'n it's done All the time...

I donno if the electric hammer drill driver will sink that rod through a chunk of concrtete or not, never tried it,...
But I know it'll drive that ground rod through compacted frozen ground... stone or otherwise...

I've got a cheapy imported driver, 'n the ground rod slips right into the bit driver,...
I take out the drill, or chisel, 'n drop it over the rod,...
Pull the trigger, 'n the rod Disappears...
Bondo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,202
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Hi guys;
Thanks for your replies;
It would figure that I hit the biggest rock!
Unfortunately, I don't have a hammer driver. Maybe I can rent one.
Maybe I'll get one of those smaller ground rods from Radio Shack (the 4ft 1/4" or 3/8" ones used for TV antenna) just to test for rocks. I don't want to keep making larger holes in the blacktop until I find the right spot.

Incidentally, I just measured the resistance to the main ground rod and it reads 0 ohms on my DMM. It's been raining recently, and before that we had some snow on the ground. I guess I should measure it again after it's been dry for a while.

FW
Edit: I think I can use a length of rebar to test for rocks. At least then I won't be making such large holes.
__________________


Last edited by KE2KB; 03-13-2013 at 05:39 PM.
KE2KB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 03:20 AM   #5
Electrician
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Oviedo, FL near Orlando
Posts: 227
Default

Unable to install ground rod


You can't use a digital multi meter to measure a ground rod. The readings are meaningless. You can use a megger (megohmmeter), but it's difficult, labor intensive and involves math. Or you can use an Earth Ground Clamp Meter that costs one or two thousand dollars.

And, yes, rain will effect the readings.
Glennsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Glennsparky For This Useful Post:
Jim Port (03-14-2013)
Old 03-14-2013, 08:06 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eighty Four, Pa.15330
Posts: 1,216
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Use a demo hammer with a ground rod driver. Any electrician should have one.
bobelectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 04:36 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,202
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennsparky View Post
You can't use a digital multi meter to measure a ground rod. The readings are meaningless. You can use a megger (megohmmeter), but it's difficult, labor intensive and involves math. Or you can use an Earth Ground Clamp Meter that costs one or two thousand dollars.

And, yes, rain will effect the readings.
I wonder whether the electrician who installed our service tested it. According to code, one ground rod is not sufficient. But the copper water line is also bonded to the GEC via the ground buss in the panel.

FW
__________________

KE2KB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 4,718
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
I wonder whether the electrician who installed our service tested it. According to code, one ground rod is not sufficient. But the copper water line is also bonded to the GEC via the ground buss in the panel.

FW
You still need two ground rods to meet code, but some people consider them house anchors anyways... I would not lose an once of sleep over one or two rods driven. I just install two because im paid to meet code.
stickboy1375 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,794
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Rent/borrow a good sized hammer drill - if you still can't drive it there is an obstacle - find another location.

W6CD
__________________
____________
Vince
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: new mexico
Posts: 344
Default

Unable to install ground rod


is 8" far enough from the foundation? might your footer for the foundation be that wide?
redman88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,202
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by redman88 View Post
is 8" far enough from the foundation? might your footer for the foundation be that wide?
You've got a point. I don't know. The house is more than 80 yrs old.
I don't want to go out any farther with the rod though; It would be an obstacle someone could trip over. Perhaps if I completely bury it, but then I have to make a small trench in the asphalt for the wire.
Perhaps I could try going in at a slight angle away from the house?

FW
__________________

KE2KB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 04:47 PM   #12
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 4,718
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
You've got a point. I don't know. The house is more than 80 yrs old.
I don't want to go out any farther with the rod though; It would be an obstacle someone could trip over. Perhaps if I completely bury it, but then I have to make a small trench in the asphalt for the wire.
Perhaps I could try going in at a slight angle away from the house?

FW
Code requires the ground rod to be completely buried.
stickboy1375 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2013, 02:06 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,202
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Code requires the ground rod to be completely buried.
Then technically, the one that is installed at the corner of the house near the meter is not meeting code. I can still see and access the acorn nut, as it is located above ground by about 1".

I was thinking that I could bury my new ground rod farther away from the foundation, then cut a small "trench" for the wires to reach it from where they run along the foundation.

Is there a special type of wire I must use if I am going to bury it?
I believe what I have coming off the antenna mast is #4 THWN, but not sure. It could be just THHN. But since it's a GC, it shouldn't need any insulation in the first place, correct?

FW
__________________

KE2KB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2013, 06:02 AM   #14
Electrician
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Oviedo, FL near Orlando
Posts: 227
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Then technically, the one that is installed at the corner of the house near the meter is not meeting code. I can still see and access the acorn nut, as it is located above ground by about 1".
It may have when it was installed. Now it's grandfathered in. A new install that looked like that should not pass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
Is there a special type of wire I must use if I am going to bury it?
FW
Corosion resistant = copper only for burial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
I believe what I have coming off the antenna mast is #4 THWN, but not sure. It could be just THHN. But since it's a GC, it shouldn't need any insulation in the first place, correct?
FW
Correct. Stranded or solid, insulated, covered or bare. It would be a special kind of harda$$ that flunked you because there wasn't a W in the GEC's insulation letter code or sunlight resistant in it's specs. Still, it wouldn't look nice to see it cracking and peeling.

Last edited by Glennsparky; 03-18-2013 at 06:06 AM.
Glennsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2013, 09:19 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,202
Default

Unable to install ground rod


Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennsparky View Post
It may have when it was installed. Now it's grandfathered in. A new install that looked like that should not pass.



Corosion resistant = copper only for burial.



Correct. Stranded or solid, insulated, covered or bare. It would be a special kind of harda$$ that flunked you because there wasn't a W in the GEC's insulation letter code or sunlight resistant in it's specs. Still, it wouldn't look nice to see it cracking and peeling.
Interesting. I can use bare copper wire, but if it is insulated, it needs to be THWN. I guess I can take my chances, and if it fails, then replace it.
I will first check the wire. It should be labeled as such.

Will I get knocked down because I have a split bolt connecting the GEC from the second GE to the GEC on the first GE?
It's the only way I can see adding the 2nd GE, unless I am going to run a new GC from the panel through the first GE (acorn nut) to the second GE as one continuous GEC. I know that code says it has to be continuous, but I believe someone here told me that continuous only to the primary GE.

What if I should decide against the second GE alltogether, and just leave the #4 wire from the primary GE to the antenna mast?
Is that still code, or do I really need to install the second GE directly beneath the antenna?

FW

__________________

KE2KB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need to know if my grounds and neutrals are connected right dorlow Electrical 185 01-15-2012 02:54 PM
Connecting new dishwasher and garbage disposal -- no ground wire in the conduits. arca Electrical 17 03-28-2011 02:06 AM
This doesnt seem right. JoulesWinfield Electrical 27 07-26-2009 07:40 PM
Hot Tub Install--Grounding Rod Question statgeek_rob Electrical 16 09-15-2007 02:59 AM
Subpanel feeder questions Silhanek Electrical 4 03-22-2007 06:30 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.