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  1. #1
    MrMajik's Avatar
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    Default Grounding a Satellite System

    I have a satellite pole buried and cemented 3 feet in the ground. I don't think this is deep enough to get a good ground. I have read that the house should share a common ground. So do to this I need to run a ground wire about 75 feet to the service box.

    I have two 18" satellite dishes on the pole, each have two LNB's. I purchased a grounding block that will ground 4 LNB's.

    Questions:
    From the ground at the service box to the satellite pole is around 75 feet. Is #6 solid copper wire ideal for this or is it a bit of an overkill. Can I use #8 or #10? Also, there will be at least a half dozen bends in the ground wire from point to point. Does this matter as this is not the ground coming from the service box? Finally, is it ok to secure the ground wire to a wooden floor joist or does this need to be outside the house?

    One last thing...Rather than run a wire 75 feet would it be a better idea to pound a 10 foot rod into the ground next to the satellite dish pole?

    I want to do this grounding project properly and am open to any suggestions and comments.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Last edited by MrMajik; 10-31-2009 at 07:26 PM. Reason: Added One last thing...
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  2. #2
    Fred Warner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Refer to 810.21(F) 2008 NEC or the edition of the NEC in effect in the area your work is installed in.


  3. #3
    MrMajik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Warner View Post
    Refer to 810.21(F) 2008 NEC or the edition of the NEC in effect in the area your work is installed in.
    Hi Fred,

    Thank you for replying. I have no idea what this means. I am an IT professional and have some understanding of electricity at the 5 volt and smaller level, DC.

    What I am looking for is not something etched in stone as I realize codes are different depending on where you live. This satellite installation is in my home and I have a problem with it and was told to properly ground the entire system and the problem will go away.


  4. #4
    Fred Warner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMajik View Post
    Hi Fred,

    Thank you for replying. I have no idea what this means. I am an IT professional and have some understanding of electricity at the 5 volt and smaller level, DC.

    What I am looking for is not something etched in stone as I realize codes are different depending on where you live. This satellite installation is in my home and I have a problem with it and was told to properly ground the entire system and the problem will go away.
    If you live in the United States, more than likely the standard will be the national electrical code. NEC. Using this standard will assure proper grounding. Seriously, if you earth your system as provided for in the NEC, your problem will undoubtedly vanish.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Warner View Post
    Refer to 810.21(F) 2008 NEC or the edition of the NEC in effect in the area your work is installed in.

    Fred is referring to this:
    - From the 2008 NEC. (underlining and bold are mine)
    - - 810.21 Grounding Conductors Receiving Stations.
    - - - Grounding conductors shall comply with 810.21(A) through (K).
    - - - - (A) Material. The grounding conductor shall be of copper, aluminum, copper-clad steel, bronze, or similar corrosion-resistant material. Aluminum or copper-clad aluminum grounding conductors shall not be used where in direct contact with masonry or the earth or where subject to corrosive conditions. Where used outside, aluminum or copper-clad aluminum shall not be installed within 450 mm (18 in.) of the earth.
    - - - - (B) Insulation. Insulation on grounding conductors shall not be required.
    - - - - (C) Supports. The grounding conductors shall be securely fastened in place and shall be permitted to be directly attached to the surface wired over without the use of insulating supports.
    Exception: Where proper support cannot be provided, the size of the grounding conductors shall be increased proportionately.
    - - - - (D) Mechanical Protection. The grounding conductor shall be protected where exposed to physical damage. Where the grounding conductor is run in a metal raceway, both ends of the raceway shall be bonded to the grounding conductor or to the same terminal or electrode to which the grounding conductor is connected.
    - - - - (E) Run in Straight Line. The grounding conductor for an antenna mast or antenna discharge unit shall be run in as straight a line as practicable from the mast or discharge unit to the grounding electrode.
    - - - - (F) Electrode. The grounding conductor shall be connected as required in (F)(1) through (F)(3).
    - - - - - (1) In Buildings or Structures with an Intersystem Bonding Termination. If the building or structure served has an intersystem bonding termination, the grounding conductor shall be connected to the intersystem bonding termination.
    - - - - - (2) In Buildings or Structures with Grounding Means. If the building or structure served has no intersystem bonding termination, the grounding conductor shall be connected to the nearest accessible location on the following:
    - - - - - - (1) The building or structure grounding electrode system as covered in 250.50
    - - - - - - (2) The grounded interior metal water piping systems, within 1.52 m (5 ft) from its point of entrance to the building, as covered in 250.52
    - - - - - - (3) The power service accessible means external to the building, as covered in 250.94
    - - - - - - (4) The metallic power service raceway
    - - - - - - (5) The service equipment enclosure, or
    - - - - - - (6) The grounding electrode conductor or the grounding electrode conductor metal enclosures
    - - - - - - A bonding device intended to provide a termination point for the grounding conductor (intersystem bonding) shall not interfere with the opening of an equipment enclosure. A bonding device shall be mounted on non-removable parts. A bonding device shall not be mounted on a door or cover even if the door or cover is non-removable.
    - - - - - (3) In Buildings or Structures Without Intersystem Bonding Termination or Grounding Means. If the building or structure served has no intersystem bonding termination or grounding means, as described in 810.21(F)(1).
    - - - - - - (1) To any one of the individual electrodes described in 250.52; or
    - - - - - - (2) If the building or structure served has no grounding means, as described in 810.21(F)(1) or (F)(2), to an effectively grounded metal structure.
    - - - - (G) Inside or Outside Building. The grounding conductor shall be permitted to be run either inside or outside the building.
    - - - - (H) Size. The grounding conductor shall not be smaller than 10 AWG copper, 8 AWG aluminum, or 17 AWG copper-clad steel or bronze.
    - - - - (I) Common Ground. A single grounding conductor shall be permitted for both protective and operating purposes.
    - - - - (J) Bonding of Electrodes. A bonding jumper not smaller than 6 AWG 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 served where separate electrodes are used.
    - - - - (K) Electrode Connection. Connections to grounding electrodes shall comply with 250.70.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    MrMajik's Avatar
    MrMajik Guest

    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Fred is referring to this:
    - From the 2008 NEC. (underlining and bold are mine)
    - - 810.21 Grounding Conductors Receiving Stations.
    - - - Grounding conductors shall comply with 810.21(A) through (K).
    - - - - (A) Material. The grounding conductor shall be of copper, aluminum, copper-clad steel, bronze, or similar corrosion-resistant material. Aluminum or copper-clad aluminum grounding conductors shall not be used where in direct contact with masonry or the earth or where subject to corrosive conditions. Where used outside, aluminum or copper-clad aluminum shall not be installed within 450 mm (18 in.) of the earth.
    - - - - (B) Insulation. Insulation on grounding conductors shall not be required.
    - - - - (C) Supports. The grounding conductors shall be securely fastened in place and shall be permitted to be directly attached to the surface wired over without the use of insulating supports.
    Exception: Where proper support cannot be provided, the size of the grounding conductors shall be increased proportionately.
    - - - - (D) Mechanical Protection. The grounding conductor shall be protected where exposed to physical damage. Where the grounding conductor is run in a metal raceway, both ends of the raceway shall be bonded to the grounding conductor or to the same terminal or electrode to which the grounding conductor is connected.
    - - - - (E) Run in Straight Line. The grounding conductor for an antenna mast or antenna discharge unit shall be run in as straight a line as practicable from the mast or discharge unit to the grounding electrode.
    - - - - (F) Electrode. The grounding conductor shall be connected as required in (F)(1) through (F)(3).
    - - - - - (1) In Buildings or Structures with an Intersystem Bonding Termination. If the building or structure served has an intersystem bonding termination, the grounding conductor shall be connected to the intersystem bonding termination.
    - - - - - (2) In Buildings or Structures with Grounding Means. If the building or structure served has no intersystem bonding termination, the grounding conductor shall be connected to the nearest accessible location on the following:
    - - - - - - (1) The building or structure grounding electrode system as covered in 250.50
    - - - - - - (2) The grounded interior metal water piping systems, within 1.52 m (5 ft) from its point of entrance to the building, as covered in 250.52
    - - - - - - (3) The power service accessible means external to the building, as covered in 250.94
    - - - - - - (4) The metallic power service raceway
    - - - - - - (5) The service equipment enclosure, or
    - - - - - - (6) The grounding electrode conductor or the grounding electrode conductor metal enclosures
    - - - - - - A bonding device intended to provide a termination point for the grounding conductor (intersystem bonding) shall not interfere with the opening of an equipment enclosure. A bonding device shall be mounted on non-removable parts. A bonding device shall not be mounted on a door or cover even if the door or cover is non-removable.
    - - - - - (3) In Buildings or Structures Without Intersystem Bonding Termination or Grounding Means. If the building or structure served has no intersystem bonding termination or grounding means, as described in 810.21(F)(1).
    - - - - - - (1) To any one of the individual electrodes described in 250.52; or
    - - - - - - (2) If the building or structure served has no grounding means, as described in 810.21(F)(1) or (F)(2), to an effectively grounded metal structure.
    - - - - (G) Inside or Outside Building. The grounding conductor shall be permitted to be run either inside or outside the building.
    - - - - (H) Size. The grounding conductor shall not be smaller than 10 AWG copper, 8 AWG aluminum, or 17 AWG copper-clad steel or bronze.
    - - - - (I) Common Ground. A single grounding conductor shall be permitted for both protective and operating purposes.
    - - - - (J) Bonding of Electrodes. A bonding jumper not smaller than 6 AWG 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 served where separate electrodes are used.
    - - - - (K) Electrode Connection. Connections to grounding electrodes shall comply with 250.70.
    Hi Jerry,

    Thank you for this information. I do live in the United States. Michigan.
    What I believe this to say is

    I only need a 10 gauge copper wire.

    The ground from the mast should be as straight as possible. Does this mean I should drive a ten foot rod in the ground right next to the satellite pole? Or is it saying I am to use the existing ground seventy five feet away at the service box? As previously noted to do this will require about a half dozen bends in the ground wire.

    Steve


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Steve,

    Because the main purpose of the grounding electrode system is to reduce damage from lightning strikes and to take those strikes to earth ground in the most direct route possible, through the least resistance possible, you should install a grounding electrode at the antenna dish pole, making sure the grounding electrode (if a driven rod) is at least 8 feet long, using a 10 foot rod would be even better.

    The part which needs to be run as straight as possible is the grounding conductor from the dish to the grounding electrode you just installed:
    - (E) Run in Straight Line. The grounding conductor for an antenna mast or antenna discharge unit shall be run in as straight a line as practicable from the mast or discharge unit to the grounding electrode.

    The grounding conductor needs to be run and connected as:
    - (F) Electrode. The grounding conductor shall be connected as required in (F)(1) through (F)(3).
    - - (1) In Buildings or Structures with an Intersystem Bonding Termination. If the building or structure served has an intersystem bonding termination, the grounding conductor shall be connected to the intersystem bonding termination.
    - - (2) In Buildings or Structures with Grounding Means. If the building or structure served has no intersystem bonding termination, the grounding conductor shall be connected to the nearest accessible location on the following:
    - - - (1) The building or structure grounding electrode system as covered in 250.50
    - - - (2) The grounded interior metal water piping systems, within 1.52 m (5 ft) from its point of entrance to the building, as covered in 250.52
    - - - (3) The power service accessible means external to the building, as covered in 250.94
    - - - (4) The metallic power service raceway
    - - - (5) The service equipment enclosure, or
    - - - (6) The grounding electrode conductor or the grounding electrode conductor metal enclosures
    - - - A bonding device intended to provide a termination point for the grounding conductor (intersystem bonding) shall not interfere with the opening of an equipment enclosure. A bonding device shall be mounted on non-removable parts. A bonding device shall not be mounted on a door or cover even if the door or cover is non-removable.
    - - (3) In Buildings or Structures Without Intersystem Bonding Termination or Grounding Means. If the building or structure served has no intersystem bonding termination or grounding means, as described in 810.21(F)(1).
    - - - (1) To any one of the individual electrodes described in 250.52; or
    - - - (2) If the building or structure served has no grounding means, as described in 810.21(F)(1) or (F)(2), to an effectively grounded metal structure.

    Now that you have installed the new grounding electrode you will need to bond that electrode to the existing grounding electrode system:
    - (J) Bonding of Electrodes. A bonding jumper not smaller than 6 AWG 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 served where separate electrodes are used.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    MrMajik's Avatar
    MrMajik Guest

    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Hi Jerry,

    Thank you for the reply.

    In the short of this I need to drive a 10 foot rod in the ground right next to the mast. No problem.

    Ground the mast to the 10 foot rod. No problem.

    Run #6 copper wire from the ground rod to the cold water copper pipe in the house as this is where the house is grounded to. Is this right?

    If this is correct then I understand what needs to be done.

    Steve


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMajik View Post
    In the short of this I need to drive a 10 foot rod in the ground right next to the mast. No problem.

    Ground the mast to the 10 foot rod. No problem.
    So far so good, but you could use an 8 foot ground rod (but 10 foot would be better).

    Run #6 copper wire from the ground rod to the cold water copper pipe in the house as this is where the house is grounded to. Is this right?
    No.

    You would need to run that grounding electrode bonding conductor around to where the service is grounded and connect it to the grounding electrode conductor, a grounding electrode, or in the service equipment to the grounding electrode conductor there.

    The interior metal water piping is "bonded" to ground, it is not being used as a ground throughout the house.

    You do not want to use that as a grounding electrode conductor (which is what you would be doing in your description), you want to run all the way around to wherever the existing ground rod/whatever is.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    MrMajik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Hi Jerry,

    I appreciate you taking time to assist me in this project.

    My house is grounded to the water well as I live in the country. There is a heavy copper wire coming out of the service box and is clamped to the cold water pipe where the water comes into the house. This is why I thought I could clamp the #6 wire to the cold water copper pipe as it would be on the same piece of pipe that leads to the water well. Will this work?

    I do not believe there is a grounding rod for the service box. I could be wrong.

    Steve


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMajik View Post
    My house is grounded to the water well as I live in the country. There is a heavy copper wire coming out of the service box and is clamped to the cold water pipe where the water comes into the house. This is why I thought I could clamp the #6 wire to the cold water copper pipe as it would be on the same piece of pipe that leads to the water well. Will this work?
    No.

    You would need to run around the house where that "heavy copper wire coming out of the service box" is connected to the cold water supply pipe ... which would need to be within the first 5 feet if inside the house, or before it enters the house if outside.

    [quote[I do not believe there is a grounding rod for the service box. I could be wrong.[/quote]

    If you do not have a ground rod you would need to drive two ground rods there, at least 8 feet long and at least 6 feet apart (not *6 feet* apart, but *at least* *6 feet* apart, preferably more, by at least an inch or two, or even a foot. I am presuming that the underground metal water service piping is your only grounding electrode.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    MrMajik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Hi Jerry,

    The water well is 76' deep. The heavy copper wire is clamped to the water pipe a few inches inside the brick wall where the pipe enters the house. Wouldn't this give me a much better ground than a rod?

    Thank you,

    Steve


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMajik View Post
    The water well is 76' deep. The heavy copper wire is clamped to the water pipe a few inches inside the brick wall where the pipe enters the house. Wouldn't this give me a much better ground than a rod?

    Yes, it is much better than a ground rod ... (see below at the bottom) ...

    But just don't take that the step further and presume that it is better, or even acceptable, to connect that grounding bond conductor to a cold water pipe on the other end of the house like you were thinking of doing.

    Run that grounding electrode bonding conductor around to the service where its grounding electrode conductor is attached to that underground water pipe and well casing.

    ... but (from above at the top) ... the code REQUIRES that if an underground water pipe is used that it be supplemented with a ground rod (okay, the code does not state "ground rod", the code states "shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in 250.52(A)(2) through (A)(8)", which includes "ground rods", "plate electrodes", "ground rings", and other electrodes).

    The reason is that, while that well casing may very well make an excellent grounding electrode, there is the very real possibility that the underground metal water pipe will eventually be replaced with a non-metallic pipe, which makes that well casing *totally useless* as an electrode, and which is why the supplemental electrodes are required.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 11-05-2009 at 07:52 PM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    OK, so it's not bonding .. just more still more satellite installer craziness I was looking for a place to post... the mast ran so far down the vent stack that I couldn't see the bottom even with a flashlight, but whenever they did really wedged in there - I could neither turn it nor withdraw it...

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    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 11-29-2009 at 08:20 PM.
    Michael Thomas
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Michael,

    You wrote up that white cable tie being used outdoors, of course ... not mentioning all the other things you wrote up about the vent and blocking it and not being allowed to use it as a flag-pole, etc., because you already got that stuff too ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Just a note: Keep this ground wire away from any and all gas pipes. Its ok to bond the gas pipe but do not let any grounding wires come in contact with any Gas or LPG pipes. I had a home the other day and the grounding rod was in contact with the Gas pipes.

    Best

    Ron


  17. #17
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    All of the grounding wires to a house have to come from a common rod. you are not supposed to have more than one place of ground. The cable company in my area for got to attach the ground from my cable connection to the house ground and twice burned all of the electronics in my house that was connected to my phone service. blew up my outside receptacle and actually blew the plug for my stereo out of the socket but did not harm the stereo? It then went out through the top of my fireplace chimney.The second time i myself checked into the situation and found that they were connecting to the outside faucet thinking my pipes were copper,,the problem was, my pipes are plastic.


  18. #18
    Leigh Goodman's Avatar
    Leigh Goodman Guest

    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Advise that one not assume a 75' deep well has 75' of steel casing.
    Around here the steel casing is driven only down to bedrock. My 62' deep well has only 8' of steel casing. If the casing went the full depth of the drilling it would prevent water from running into the shaft at the underground streams that fill the well. In my case the water enters the shaft at 12' and another crack at 23'. From 8' down there is nothing but a hole drilled in rock. The space below 23' is a basin to store available water.


  19. #19
    Fred Warner's Avatar
    Fred Warner Guest

    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra Cook View Post
    All of the grounding wires to a house have to come from a common rod. you are not supposed to have more than one place of ground. ...............
    These statements can be very misleading. Although I understand the intent of such statements, they are not precise. Although you may be referencing the commonality of 250.58, also see 250.50, 250.52 & 250.53 for additional electrodes other than just "rods".


  20. #20
    Cobra Cook's Avatar
    Cobra Cook Guest

    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    I'll admit that I am rusty on the code book as I am not a code inspector but rather a Home Inspector. The inspection forms i use asks what type of ground is noted I simply relied on what My electrical company stated and that was verfied by the cable company when i indeed asked them to install another ground rod on the side of my house where the underground cable was located. It was struck three times by lightening and twice entered my house, I had a surge protector installed in my panel box to help prevent the electrical surge from damageing me circuits again and it did its job, no damage was noted.


  21. #21
    Fred Warner's Avatar
    Fred Warner Guest

    Default Re: Grounding a Satellite System

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra Cook View Post
    I'll admit that I am rusty on the code book as I am not a code inspector but rather a Home Inspector. The inspection forms i use asks what type of ground is noted I simply relied on what My electrical company stated and that was verfied by the cable company when i indeed asked them to install another ground rod on the side of my house where the underground cable was located. It was struck three times by lightening and twice entered my house, I had a surge protector installed in my panel box to help prevent the electrical surge from damageing me circuits again and it did its job, no damage was noted.
    Happy to learn that the building did not catch fire, as so many do. Glad to hear you've got the system adequately earthed.


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