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  1. #1
    one quarter civilized

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    Any electricians?

    I just had a new phone line run, and the installer ran a wire to the house's ground rod. After looking it over I realized that the phone line, meter box, and circuit breaker box are all grounded to the same rod. Is this safe?

  2. #2
    Marksman

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    Not an electrician, but an engineer, so take what I say as theory and not actual. But it shouldn't be an issue. Ground is ground, and all grounds in a building should at some point meet at the same place eventually. If you want me to go into a longer explanation why I can

  3. #3
    Expert in the field of wife avoidance

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    Also not an electrician, but yes, all of my grounds terminate at the pole sunk 10ish feet into the literal ground at the back of my house by the meter.
    USPSA #A74215


    Sarcasm. Just another fine service I offer.

  4. #4
    I despise ARFCOM

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    As long as it's a " good ground " , you're fine . 8 foot copper ground rod , everything clean and tight .
    I tried being normal once , I didn't like it .

  5. #5
    one quarter civilized

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    It's the same ground that's been there for at least half a century. I don't think it goes down 8 feet because I can wiggle it around in the dirt. It is also steel.

  6. #6
    Marksman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pale Horse View Post
    It's the same ground that's been there for at least half a century. I don't think it goes down 8 feet because I can wiggle it around in the dirt. It is also steel.
    I would get a new grounding pole then. While steel isn't bad, copper is better, and wiggling it means it is loose

  7. #7
    I despise ARFCOM

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    I agree .
    I tried being normal once , I didn't like it .

  8. #8
    Marksman

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    [Electronic contractor here]

    Most of the ground rods sold these days are copper clad steel. Some localities require copper clad or some other copper configuration (like a bronze alloy). A solid 8’ ground rod out of copper would be like a stack of pennies, 8’ tall… about $160 worth, I think.

    If you put a new rod in, here are some tips.

    It is fine to put in a new/additional rod beside the old one. Installing a new one beside the old one lessens the likelihood that you will hit something (like a sewer line).

    Tie everything together at the rod with a clamp used for ground rods. If the old wires won’t stretch, tie them all together with a sufficient length to reach. Use something made to tie large conductors together, such as a split-bolt connector (e.g., Burndy Servit).

    Connection to the rod should be made with something made for that purpose, such as an “Acorn Clamp” (sized according to rod [usually 5/8”] plus size/number of conductors) or a pipe ground clamp style (adjustable).

    The phone, cable, and electrical grounds need to be at the same rod. If you ground them separately there can be a potential difference (i.e. voltage) between points. Some ground issues are annoying but harmless (like ground loops in an audio system) but a major foreign ground problem can lead to shocks, injury or worse.

    I don’t know where you are, and codes can vary. In many jurisdictions all the piping systems must be bonded together and bonded to the electrical system ground. If you have plastic pipe, never mind. Many installers accomplish a tie-together at the water heater. There’s a cold water pipe, hot water pipe and a gas line all at the same spot. Best practice is to mount the clamps on each as close to one another, and bring to grounding conductor from the ground rod through each clamp all the way to the last one. Then work backwards tightening the conductors at each clamp. This avoids splices, which are undesirable. In theory this is meant to insure that the plumbing ground and electrical ground are at the same potential (0 difference).

    An older electrician taught me what he called the “Coke bottle” installation. You fill up a bottle with water, pour it on the ground and and push in the rod. Then pour some more and push/twist in some more. In truth, you will need more water than a Coke bottle holds. I just use the hose. Sometimes you can speed things up with a hammer drill on hammer, but still use the water. It’s not only faster, but it ensures optimal soil contact/conductivity.

    You will have a tough time trying to pound a rod in with a sledge hammer. I’ve seen a lot of people try. First you have to start on top of a ladder (8’). Many guys give up at four feet. I have seen some jack legs cut an 8’ rod in half so that the “factory end” is facing up and the inspector will think it’s an 8’ rod. It’s also 1/2 the cost, but illegal.

    Make sure that any non-power grounds (cable, phone, etc) are at least #8 solid (#6+ in some jurisdictions).

    Power system ground conductor sizes are based on the service size and are specified in the NFPA National Electrical Code. Local regulations and customs may vary.

    Once upon a time, phone installers either drove in their own ground rod (often a 3’x3/8” steel rod) or ran a ground wire over to a hose bibb, pipe, etc. Sometimes they would also run an additional wire to the house ground rod.

    One common rod is best, unless the electrical service size requires more than one. On the rear of some McDonalds you will see 3-4 rods 6” or so apart, tied together with a very large conductor.

    One system that is NOT tied to house ground is lightning arresters.

    A ground point that is damaged, cut or rusty needs to be fixed. If aluminum wire is used (rare) special connectors and grease are required. Sometimes there is a plastic cover on the clamp. If I had aluminum I would change it.

    Some of the kinds of installations that are not usually inspected (like satellite) may cut corners on grounding. I’m a stickler for doing the right thing. Many years ago I was shocked badly trying to get a spoon out of a disposer. The previous homeowner mis-wired it. The stainless steel sink was grounded but was insulated from the disposer due to the mount and gasket. I stuck my hand in the disposer to get the spoon while leaning on the edge of the sink. The shock caused my hand to clench up. Fortunately my wife was able to pull me free.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Rabble Rabble

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    Yrs, its safe and normal.

  10. #10
    sheepdog

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    Electrician here, as long as it’s a good ground, completely safe

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