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Grounding the satellite dish necessary?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by MONSTERMAN, Aug 29, 2007.

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    MONSTERMAN Godfather

    Aug 18, 2007
    Crystal Bay...
    Is it really necessary to ground the satellite dish itself to a grounding block? Wouldn't the RG6 cable be enough when going through the grounding block and connected to a cold water pipe? Wouldn't that take care of any static charge built up in the line from entering the receiver?

    Where is the best place to put an (inline amplifier, gounding block, multiplexer) between the dish and the receiver? I'm thinking from the dish; inline amp then grounding block then multiplexer all within 30' of the receiver on a 100' line.

  2. hobie346

    hobie346 Icon

    Feb 23, 2007
    Why run the risk of a lighting strike taking out your receiver? You're talking about allowing the strike to travel down the RG-6 cable through your receiver and out the ground connecter and then down to the electrical panel's ground. Bad idea. Bad. :nono:

    Are you asking about puting in an in-line amp for the dish? If so it doesn't need one for 99.9999999999% of most users. A 100' feet is no problem without an amp. I'm running over 150' total from 6x8 switch to receiver. Only 6' from dish to switch.
  3. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Grounding is necessary. I've asked a couple very knowledgeable posters to weigh in on this.
  4. aim2pls

    aim2pls Icon

    Jun 18, 2007
    1) grounding is a N.E.C. (national electrical code) requirement
    2) it will NOT protect the receiver from a lightning strike ..nothing will
    3) does D*/E* tell you to ground it ... yes
    4) necessary ..... NO

    there are a thousand schools of thought on this

    one constant ... you get a direct hit .... pray is doesn't start a fire
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    [and get good home owner's insurance]
  6. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    I continue to be amazed that the question even gets asked.

    I have a 4' copper rod driven into the ground at the base of my dish tree, connected
    to a grounding block with heavy copper wire. Gounding will not protect delicate
    electronic gear from inductive lines surges created by lightning, but it may protect
    your home from fire by redirecting a lightning strike to ground instead of your home.

    Why take chances? :shrug:
  7. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    I also continue to be amazed this question is asked at least once a month..

    Grounding the dish and system is important. While we all know nothing will protect you or your equipment in the event of a direct strike, a properly grounded system will help if there is a nearby strike. Grounding also helps remove charge build-up from the system, possibly just from a windy day blowing across the dish. Why chance it?

    The NEC does require these systems be grounded, see NEC 810/820.

    If the dish is installed near where your electric service entrance and meter are located, you can use #6 copper to ground the dish and ground block to your service ground rod, but you must use a separate ground clamp. Do not use two wires under one clamp!

    If the dish is not installed near your electrical service's entrance, you can install a separate 8' copper ground rod (fully inserted into the ground - 8' of ground contact) and then this new ground rod must be bonded to the electrical service ground rod with at least #6 copper. Bonding these two ground rods ensures no difference in potential b/w the two.

    Under the D* agreement for installation, it says as part of professional installation that the system will be grounded per local/NEC requirements. In my area, I rarely see systems grounded. If they are, the tech often just connects the system to an exterior spigot and doesn't know this is connected to plastic (CPVC, PB, or PEX) which of course is not conductive.
  8. cgiannetto

    cgiannetto AllStar

    Aug 25, 2006
    Another thing to consider is a short in one of the pieces of equipment connected to the sat cables (a receiver for instance). While this should be prevented by the local grounding of said equipment, if for some reason that doesn't happen and the dish ends up at high potential, you risk your life or the life of your installer should you lay your hands on the dish. While you probably won't die outright from the jolt (unless you're doing this in the rain), you might die from the fall should it knock you off your ladder or the roof.

    I think this is the real reason for the NEC requirement. As has already been stated here, if the dish gets hit by lightening, you're screwed ground or no ground.
  9. aim2pls

    aim2pls Icon

    Jun 18, 2007

    what about the case where there is NO ground rod on the house electrical system ... as is the case with many new england homes ... grounding is done thru the cold water entry pipes ... this grounding is done internal

    based on the write up above this would require that ground wire bonding be run from the external ground rod INTO the dwelling (against code in sure).. this could easily be 50 plus feet of bonding.

    like i said .. hundreds of theories out there ... all right and all wrong and some inbetween ... there is no right answer that has proved effective.

    so I agree ... it comes up every month (at least) . and it will continue to come up ... in thirty years (approx) for satellite antenna useage ... no one has come up with a good solution .... what works on paper ... burns up in the flames
  10. skyviewmark1

    skyviewmark1 Godfather

    Sep 28, 2006

    Bout the only purpose it serves is to protect you from a lawsuit when the house burns down. Cause it isn't going to prevent jack from happening.
  11. FHSPSU67

    FHSPSU67 CE'er & Retired Engineer DBSTalk Club

    Jan 12, 2007
    Windber, PA
    I'll make it a +3
    and agree that there's many conflicting opinion on this subject by knowledgable people on both sides. I'm on aim2pls's side.
  12. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    I don't buy the "many conflicting opinions" argument, but if you need an excuse to
    not ground your system, be my guest. Truth is, you don't even need an excuse.

    But keep in mind there is only one opposing opinion, that is not to ground, and it
    is only an opinion and not one based on any facts, but an untruth told & repeated
    by lazy or hurried installers. Seven years ago, my installer did a good job, except
    he failed to ground the system say it wan't necessary.

    Next day I called the owner and he came out to do the ground himself. He knew
    the code and it was his policy to install a ground. He said he had a release form
    for the few customers who refused a ground. He knew the requirements, and he
    knew how to take care of a good high-end customer.

    Ground your dish.
  13. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    While grounding is part of the DTV basic installation they continue to offer their service to the 50% of apartment dwellers who have a southern view. Apartments are just not compatible with the DTV system. The building ground bond if often inaccessible and the rest of the list is long. But still they do not refuse to activate apartment accounts. Don't ask & don't tell.

    The other posts are a good summary.

  14. Bijou Media

    Bijou Media Mentor

    Jul 28, 2007
    It's so simple isn't it? I don't know why people make such a big deal out of it. There is a lot of arguments mainly about lightning. I'll explain this again one point is not going to create enough static bleed to prevent a strike. It does however remove some static so that the static doesn't interfere with normal operation of the device for example removing noise from other devices like an AM radio, or static that may corrupt the signal. As for Lightning arrest the only way to prevent (and this is not 100%) is to put lightning rods in multiple areas around an object like many buildings have they dissapate the static build-up making the potential lower, hence much less chance of a lightning strike. One rod alone not connected in a circle will not dissapate much charge at all.

    It is code, and should a lightning strike happen the insurance company could use that as a reason not to pay, they love to find reasons not to pay! The code is used for legal reasons, and in court it is considered law.

    MONSTERMAN Godfather

    Aug 18, 2007
    Crystal Bay...
    YES... This is what I'm talking about. The built up charge that is in the line. NOTHING (GROUNDING ETC...) will prevent electronic damage or possibly fires if your dish gets a direct hit from lightning.

    I searched thoroughly and did not find anything that matches this question, about the "actual dish grounding" not RG6 grounding.

    Two years ago an acquaintance of mine living at 6500' feet had his dish struck directly by lightning, even with all his precautionary steps of (buried grounding rods, surge protectors and whole house surge protectors) all of his electronic equipment was fried. The lightning even started a small fire, melting one of his satellite receivers. YES, I know surge protectors don't help with lighning strikes.

    So, I'm not so concerned about lightning strikes (nothing can be done about it) unless you get a lighning rod to deflect the charge into the ground (still not 100% effective according to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN who created the lightning rod). I'm just asking about the built-up static charge. I stated in my first post that I have a grounding block already. Wouldn't a grounding block splitting the RG cable take care of this charge, instead of having to ground the actual dish?

    Gounding the actual dish itself seems like overkill if the cable from my dish is going to be grounded with a grounding block connected to my cold water pipes which I know run underground already.

  16. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    When lightning strikes, its heading to find the shortest path to ground.
    By connecting a ground wire from the dish to the closest possible earth ground, you are giving it one. Otherwise it's heading directly inside and it will find a ground through some very expensive electronics etc.

    That's really it in a nutshell.
  17. Bijou Media

    Bijou Media Mentor

    Jul 28, 2007
    Not 100% correct. This is a common misconception
    It can find a path to ground through the IRD, and many other ways. A no. 10 ground wire will melt from the amount of current going accross it. Grounding a dish doesn't really do anything to stop lightning a no. 10 wire will melt at around 500 amps (off the top of my head could be a little more, or less). lightning will find several paths to ground. So if the main wire melts where else can it go?
  18. aim2pls

    aim2pls Icon

    Jun 18, 2007
    lightning rods to protect a grounded dish????
  19. ballen2221

    ballen2221 AllStar

    Jul 7, 2007
    We experienced a lightning strike here a couple of months ago. All the sudden our bedroom TV just stopped working.

    Called DTV and they sent a tech out. What happened was that our LNB on our then LNB3 dish was popped, along with the bedroom TV coax from the dish to the grounding block was absolutely fried. But everything between the grounding block to the inside of our home was fine, including all of our equipment.

    They ended up replacing the LNB and the one piece of coax between the dish and the gounding block, and all was well again. So I guess in our situation the grounding block did exactly what was supposed to do.

    On our newly installed Slimline, which is pole mounted in about a ton of concrete, they installed a second grounding block on the pole itself. So now we have 2 grounding blocks on our system. I'm not sure if it's any better than before, but I feel better about it.
  20. vernonator

    vernonator AllStar

    Jul 31, 2007
    So when they (a D* installer) come out they should ground the dish? Is that part of a "standard install" because of my 3 installs NONE have ever done so.
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