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Old 06-15-2016, 09:06 PM   #21
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A lightning rod is the highest point on our place yet lightning ignored it and entered via the underground phone lines. The point is you can implement lots of protection yet still get hit by major zappage.
Grounding?

My father was having frequent problems with phone and DSL modem zappage after nearby lightning strikes. We finally figured out that the ground for the phone line was on the opposite side of the house from the ground for electrical power, a no no.

We had the grounds tied together per code. Hopefully that takes care of that.

We also subscribed him to a GPL protection program to come out and install a whole house surge protector and insurance for house damage from strikes. He's had a couple of close calls in the past few years. A lightening strike caused a couple of pinholes in his gas line under the house. He had all the ducting and gas lines under the house redone and relocated his propane tank. Another bad one blew out the wellhead electronics in an outbuilding and damaged his A/C. More repairs.....
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Grounding?

My father was having frequent problems with phone and DSL modem zappage after nearby lightning strikes. We finally figured out that the ground for the phone line was on the opposite side of the house from the ground for electrical power, a no no.

We had the grounds tied together per code. Hopefully that takes care of that. ...
Hmmm, I checked codes and you are correct, all grounds are to be tied to a single point, the ground rod where power comes in.

My internet dish, and my attic antenna are on the opposite side of the house from the ground rod where power comes in, with attached garage in between as well. Not sure what I can do?

-ERD50
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:48 PM   #23
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Hmmm, I checked codes and you are correct, all grounds are to be tied to a single point, the ground rod where power comes in.

My internet dish, and my attic antenna are on the opposite side of the house from the ground rod where power comes in, with attached garage in between as well. Not sure what I can do?

-ERD50
Does your wiring have a ground wire in the electric wires. (if you have 3 prong plugs it should). Since all those ground wires are tied to the ground bus in the electrical box, if you ground them to the ground wire in the wiring then they all have a common ground. (plus or minus the resistance of the wires which should not be very much). The one ground requirement exists because there can be voltages between the earth at different points so that if you had multiple grounds there could be problems. This is the reason all the ground wires are tied together in a bus in the electrical box.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:45 PM   #24
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Hmmm, I checked codes and you are correct, all grounds are to be tied to a single point, the ground rod where power comes in.

My internet dish, and my attic antenna are on the opposite side of the house from the ground rod where power comes in, with attached garage in between as well. Not sure what I can do?

-ERD50
In my Dad's case they were able to run a thick ground wire under the house to connect the grounds. His house is not on a slab/solid foundation.

I think what had been happening in an electrical storm was that is the two grounds momentarily were at different levels due to electrical charge, it would discharge through the devices connected both to the phone line and to power. Which is why the DSL modem would often get fried. Once we realized the ground problem we understood why.
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:38 AM   #25
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In my Dad's case they were able to run a thick ground wire under the house to connect the grounds. His house is not on a slab/solid foundation.

I think what had been happening in an electrical storm was that is the two grounds momentarily were at different levels due to electrical charge, it would discharge through the devices connected both to the phone line and to power. Which is why the DSL modem would often get fried. Once we realized the ground problem we understood why.

Interesting. I was looking deeper into the surge suppression offered by the power company (mainly if they would red-tag my electrical service if found out of code...which technically it is...the meter is under a deck) and it seems that unless there is a dangerous issue, they will not. BUT...the grounding rod/point does have to be up to code and if not, they will bring it up to code at no additional cost.

On our NextDoor page, there is now a post about the neighbor who had his stuff fried through the cable system. The total number of folks who have had stuff fried from that storm (and have posted in there) is 7!!! I really think I lucked out by not having cable!

There are also 3 trees in the neighborhood that have been significantly damaged by lightning...one helluva lightning storm!
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:01 AM   #26
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A surge in electricity can enter your house through a direct strike, the TV cable, the land line telephone, or a nearby strike, and in many cases won't go through the primary electrical feed of the residence. That means 1) a whole house arrester won't prevent all surges, and 2) you need a second line of defense for the devices in the house.

That doesn't mean the whole house arrester is a bad idea. I think it is still a good idea, because it is relatively inexpensive and effective at limiting the damage from surges in the electrical feed into the house, which are still a significant risk and can cause widespread damage.
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:16 AM   #27
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A surge in electricity can enter your house through a direct strike, the TV cable, the land line telephone, or a nearby strike, and in many cases won't go through the primary electrical feed of the residence. That means 1) a whole house arrester won't prevent all surges, and 2) you need a second line of defense for the devices in the house.

That doesn't mean the whole house arrester is a bad idea. I think it is still a good idea, because it is relatively inexpensive and effective at limiting the damage from surges in the electrical feed into the house, which are still a significant risk and can cause widespread damage.
All very true. I am looking at a balance...to the extreme, I could cut all ties to the grid and install 4 lightning rods. BUT..since I like AC and I like to peruse useful forums like ER.org, then that isn't a great choice. On the other end is just do nothing and let insurance "take care of it", which isn't a *bad* choice, but it's expensive (deductible, increased rates for EVERYONE) and a huge pain to replace the items damaged. In the middle, is the suppression option. I think what I am going to do is opt for the electrical company option. They will put suppressors for the electric and the phone line (internet provider for me). I will also get some high-end suppressors for the fridge (which cost me WAY too much) and the "electronics center" where many of my components are hooked up (either electrically or through the router/phone line). If all that fails, I have faith that the good folks at Amica Insurance will do their best to get the stuff replaced.

At any rate, thanks for all the input/advice/experience...I certainly appreciate it!
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:34 PM   #28
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Living out in the country, we have frequent commercial power outages, flickers, dips, sags, etc. Some of our electronic devices were being affected even when we didn't notice a power "flicker". (probably due to AC power noise or voltage dips) So, we bought three UPS's w/surge protection and noise filters and put most of our electronics on them, (TV, DirecTV receiver, DVD players, computers, DSL modem, WAP, phones, etc.) Since we did this all the electronic anomalies have gone away and we now have good surge protection in place for most of our electronics. Already had surge protection on the central air and things like the refrigerator/freezers. If the power actually goes out for an extended period of time, the UPS's keep all the electronics running until I fire up the generator which then keeps the UPS's up indefinitely. No more power related PC, DirecTV reboots needed. Most outages around here last from 2 to 4 hours but some have lasted a lot longer.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:27 PM   #29
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RE - ground rod at power service entrance far from my antenna and internet dish:
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Does your wiring have a ground wire in the electric wires. (if you have 3 prong plugs it should). Since all those ground wires are tied to the ground bus in the electrical box, if you ground them to the ground wire in the wiring then they all have a common ground. (plus or minus the resistance of the wires which should not be very much). The one ground requirement exists because there can be voltages between the earth at different points so that if you had multiple grounds there could be problems. This is the reason all the ground wires are tied together in a bus in the electrical box.
Yes, we have ground wires (conduit in most cases), but code calls for very heavy wire (10 AWG) and a short distance (< 50' I think), and a separate connection back to the ground rod (we called this a 'star ground' in an electronic circuit, same idea). If you get a surge, and you don't have a separate run, you creat voltage differences on the grounds in between - such as:

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
In my Dad's case they were able to run a thick ground wire under the house to connect the grounds. His house is not on a slab/solid foundation.

I think what had been happening in an electrical storm was that is the two grounds momentarily were at different levels due to electrical charge, it would discharge through the devices connected both to the phone line and to power. Which is why the DSL modem would often get fried. Once we realized the ground problem we understood why.
Yep, for surges, heavy, short grounds to a common point.

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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
A surge in electricity can enter your house through a direct strike, the TV cable, the land line telephone, or a nearby strike, and in many cases won't go through the primary electrical feed of the residence. That means 1) a whole house arrester won't prevent all surges, and 2) you need a second line of defense for the devices in the house.

That doesn't mean the whole house arrester is a bad idea. I think it is still a good idea, because it is relatively inexpensive and effective at limiting the damage from surges in the electrical feed into the house, which are still a significant risk and can cause widespread damage.
All true, from my knowledge and recent reading on the subject.

-ERD50
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:23 AM   #30
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Hmmm, I checked codes and you are correct, all grounds are to be tied to a single point, the ground rod where power comes in.

My internet dish, and my attic antenna are on the opposite side of the house from the ground rod where power comes in, with attached garage in between as well. Not sure what I can do?

-ERD50
The question is... did you even provide a ground for your antenna in the attic?

In an earlier post there were links to antenna surge protectors. Many of these are just ground blocks that provide a grounding for the outer shield. Others have Gas Discharge tubes that provide some protection on the center (signal) lead also. These are usually place at the entrance of the cable to the house and use the single point ground.

If you have gas in your house, be a little cautious if you have corrugated steel gas line. This is suspected of being the fault point for lightning caused gas explosions. The old black pipe was better at carrying the surge current.

For those with lightning rods, consider a lightning static dissapater. Instead of trying to handle lightning surge current, it shunts the static build up the precedes a lightning strike so the path of least impenance is elsewhere.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:14 AM   #31
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The question is... did you even provide a ground for your antenna in the attic? ...
No. Just the antenna cable routed to a splitter to two TV's upstairs, and then to a distribution amp in the basement to two TVs and an FM recviever on the first floor.


Quote:
In an earlier post there were links to antenna surge protectors. Many of these are just ground blocks that provide a grounding for the outer shield. Others have Gas Discharge tubes that provide some protection on the center (signal) lead also. These are usually place at the entrance of the cable to the house and use the single point ground.
That's my problem. The antenna is far from the single point ground rod.

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Old 06-18-2016, 09:55 AM   #32
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I think what had been happening in an electrical storm was that is the two grounds momentarily were at different levels due to electrical charge, it would discharge through the devices connected both to the phone line and to power. Which is why the DSL modem would often get fried. Once we realized the ground problem we understood why.
Thats right, there was a potential difference between the two earth grounds. Nothing wrong with having multiple ground rods (usually its a plus), but they need to be connected together. Grounds can also be effected by soil conductivity.
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:02 AM   #33
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Thats right, there was a potential difference between the two earth grounds. Nothing wrong with having multiple ground rods (usually its a plus), but they need to be connected together. Grounds can also be effected by soil conductivity.
From what I've read multiple ground rods is against code - everything needs to come to a single point.

To tie multiple ground rods together should be better than separate, but it really should be a very heavy gauge wire, and the shorter distance the better. If more than two rods, ground each with its own heavy wire to the main ground rod at the power box, do not chain them together.

Now, even though it isn't code, I would think multiple ground rods would be better than nothing? I may re-think my layout, in order to get things closer to the power box ground rod.

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Old 06-18-2016, 12:46 PM   #34
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From what I've read multiple ground rods is against code - everything needs to come to a single point.


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Do you have any idea how radio stations are grounded? Anyway, here is some info on residential grounds:
How Far Should a Ground Rod Be From the House? | Home Guides | SF Gate
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:57 PM   #35
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Do you have any idea how radio stations are grounded? Anyway, here is some info on residential grounds:
How Far Should a Ground Rod Be From the House? | Home Guides | SF Gate
I'm not sure what your point is?

That article discussed distances from ground rod to panel (the closer the better), and requires very heavy wire. Two rods ~ 6' apart, connected together by heavy, short jumper, are only specified for soil with poor conductivity (dry areas I would assume).


Does that counter anything regarding not having multiple ground rods with different equipment connected to them?

So how are radio stations grounded?

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Old 06-18-2016, 01:08 PM   #36
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I'm not sure what your point is?

That article discussed distances from ground rod to panel (the closer the better), and requires very heavy wire. Two rods ~ 6' apart, connected together by heavy, short jumper, are only specified for soil with poor conductivity (dry areas I would assume).


Does that counter anything regarding not having multiple ground rods with different equipment connected to them?

So how are radio stations grounded?

-ERD50
My point was that having multiple ground rods should be acceptable, especially if you can't get an 8' rod in the ground near the electrical panel or if the soil has poor conductivity. As long as the rods are not too far apart and connected by proper wire size that should be fine.
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:29 PM   #37
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My point was that having multiple ground rods should be acceptable, especially if you can't get an 8' rod in the ground near the electrical panel or if the soil has poor conductivity. As long as the rods are not too far apart and connected by proper wire size that should be fine.
OK, thanks - I understand that, but it isn't relevant to my issue (maybe you weren't addressing that specifically anyhow, but that's why I'm confused?). My internet dish (point-to-point, not satellite) and attic antenna are far away from the power ground rod. They would be too far apart, and require massive wire if I were to connect them.

Maybe I could run a massive copper rod through my house and garage, from ground rod to ground rod, and declare it as an " object d'art "?

And what about radio stations?

-ERD50
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:54 PM   #38
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And what about radio stations?

-ERD50
Well, any antenna becomes a target for lightning, and they will usually have multiple ground rods at the base of the antenna. I had a ham radio setup that had a 38' antenna in my backyard which had several ground rods and was tied via buried jumpers and more ground rods to my service panel ground. I also had my equipment which was connected to the panel via more jumpers and rods and lightning arrestors. It was a pain to install due to the distances between the panel ground, the antenna, and the equipment and dealing with heavy gage copper wire.

Also, for home service grounds, the electrician should really do a conductivity test to see if the soil is sufficient, although I doubt that most of them do that.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:05 PM   #39
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My internet dish (point-to-point, not satellite) and attic antenna are far away from the power ground rod. They would be too far apart, and require massive wire if I were to connect them.

Maybe I could run a massive copper rod through my house and garage, from ground rod to ground rod, and declare it as an " object d'art "?


-ERD50
Is it impossible to run a ground wire from the antenna to a ground rod below and then connect that to your service panel ground?
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:23 PM   #40
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Is it impossible to run a ground wire from the antenna to a ground rod below and then connect that to your service panel ground?
From where the internet dish wire comes down to the ground I'd need to go around the back of the house (3 -season room juts out), across and then back to the panel, probably 150 feet.


Having multiple ground rods in close proximity to the radio antenna makes sense- they help to work in parallel. Having it tied back to the service panel ground rod might be more sensible in that case, as you don't have other equipment in-between. I think that's the issue that the code brings up for in-house wiring, all the stuff in-between gets 'lifted' above ground.

I would still think a separate ground rod, even far away and un-coupled, would be better than nothing?

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