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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dish (AT-9) is mounted with a custom tripod I made (basically three metal fence posts) and and is cemented into the ground at three places. The collar of the dish is resecured with two 1/2" thick 4" long bolts holding it together via holes drilled in the mounting pole. Metal contacts metal everywhere, the install itself is sound.

My grounding block is located on my house right behind the dish, loops of coax on both sides. There is a grounding wire from the grounding block to the dish, but none from the dish to the ground or from the block to the ground. Would that be necessary? I couldn't see the need to drive a grounding rod into the ground and run a wire from it when my entire dish is mounted with three large metal poles run into the ground. Am I missing something?

edit: there is no metal anything nearby, my last dish I just drove a 4 foot metal grounding rod into the yard and ran a 14ga wire to that, but it's in a different part of the yard
 

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Éminence grise
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kay said:
My dish (AT-9) is mounted with a custom tripod I made (basically three metal fence posts) and and is cemented into the ground at three places. The collar of the dish is resecured with two 1/2" thick 4" long bolts holding it together via holes drilled in the mounting pole. Metal contacts metal everywhere, the install itself is sound.

My grounding block is located on my house right behind the dish, loops of coax on both sides. There is a grounding wire from the grounding block to the dish, but none from the dish to the ground or from the block to the ground. Would that be necessary? I couldn't see the need to drive a grounding rod into the ground and run a wire from it when my entire dish is mounted with three large metal poles run into the ground. Am I missing something?

edit: there is no metal anything nearby, my last dish I just drove a 4 foot metal grounding rod into the yard and ran a 14ga wire to that, but it's in a different part of the yard
Your local building code probably incorporates the National Electrical Code, which requires that the dish and mount be grounded. Typically this requires an 8-foot copper or copper-clad ground rod and a 10 gauge copper wire connection (it should also be bonded to the main service ground).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bobnielsen said:
Your local building code probably incorporates the National Electrical Code, which requires that the dish and mount be grounded. Typically this requires an 8-foot copper or copper-clad ground rod and a 10 gauge copper wire connection (it should also be bonded to the main service ground).
Geeze 8 feet is crazy, and the "main service ground" is on the other side of the property! I suppose I could take the sledge and drive in an 8 foot stake...

Wait how do installers do this? Surely dishes aren't always put near the "main service ground" and I can't see installers pounding in 8 foot stakes!
 

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Éminence grise
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kay said:
Geeze 8 feet is crazy, and the "main service ground" is on the other side of the property! I suppose I could take the sledge and drive in an 8 foot stake...

Wait how do installers do this? Surely dishes aren't always put near the "main service ground" and I can't see installers pounding in 8 foot stakes!
The installers who have put in dishes here (both Dish and DTV) have ignored any grounding requirement. I plan to add it myself.

It is permissible to tie it to the water pipes (unless plastic), since those are tied to the service ground.
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My water lines are PVC and nowhere near, so those won't work. Imagine if I had a dish in the middle of a feild, how would I ground it?

I mean to go the "proper way" i'd have to run a ground wire from my grounding block through my attic all the way out the other side of the house to get to the main electrical ground outside. I suppose i'm not against doing this, but it seems a bit strange, are there limits on how long the ground cable can be? It would have to be at least 75-100 feet to reach. I did a bit of google searching that does confirm exactly what you are saying, but there isn't any info on limitations.

I will agree with you, installers seem to ignore grounding - the one who did my original dish grounded it directly to a pvc water faucet, which makes no sense whatsoever, although the guy had only been on the job a few weeks. As far as the AT9 dish - I told him flat out to just set the dish down and turn away, and he did. I mean I wasn't rude to the guy, but I made it clear that i'd be doing a self install and it turned out well minus the grounding confusion. My whole system (7 receivers, 3 multiswitches) is running on the new dish now with no problems, just wanted to get up to code :)
 

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kay said:
I mean to go the "proper way" i'd have to run a ground wire from my grounding block through my attic all the way out the other side of the house to get to the main electrical ground outside. I suppose i'm not against doing this, but it seems a bit strange, are there limits on how long the ground cable can be? It would have to be at least 75-100 feet to reach. I did a bit of google searching that does confirm exactly what you are saying, but there isn't any info on limitations.
Not a good idea to run that long of a ground and through the attic. I would just use a 4' pipe at the dish, most likely point of contact with lightning.
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update - I was looking at this and here is the situation:

The main ground is a grounding rod sticking about 8 inches out of the ground at the electrical meter on the north side of the house. I would have to assume since I see no other grounds that this is the main ground for the home. This is approximately 65 feet from the dish including rise and fall (this takes into account that it has to be through the attic). I understand that the grounding has to be done there. So my two options are:

1. Run a 65 foot 10awg copper wire from the grounding block at the dish to the main ground
2. Run 55 feet (x2) of coax to place a second grounding block near the main ground, and run about a 10 foot 10awg wire from there to the ground. But
3. Do #2 but remove the original grounding block's ground to the dish, and run a seperate ground wire approximately 55 feet from the new block back to the dish itself.
4. Do #2 but just connect the two grounding blocks together with a 45ft 10awg wire to in essence create a single wire grounding the whole system.
 

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Mine is. I have one 8 foot grounding rod below the pole and another 30 feet away. Both are bonded with a #6 solid copper conductor. The main one is grounded to the service panel with a #4 copper conductor.

As a Master Electrician, I want to be really sure of my grounding system.

Attached is a photo.....................
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A #6 copper wire from the grounding rod to the main is impossible without going through the attic, (I have two driveways and that would mean easily 200 feet of #6 going around the house and under at least one) but I haven't been able to find anything on the NEC About going through the attic. ~70 feet of #6 isn't going to be super cheap, but i'm not opposed to that method if it will get this done.

In perspective, this is down in a corner between houses under a 60 foot giant tree that blacks out the freakin sun, but i'm still the kind of guy who will be concerned if I don't get this resolved :p
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mike500 said:
Attached is a photo.....................
I see, yours is right next to the electrical main! I'm uploading pics of my situation right now (haven't emptied my camera right now, waiting for 300 pics to transfer :p)
 

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What kind of plumbing do you have?

If you have copper or steel, you are in luck. You can use the plumbing as part of the bonding system for another 8 ft. rod driven at the pole.

You just have to make sure that you have the necessary bonding jumpers at water heaters, filters or dielectric unions.
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mike500 said:
What kind of plumbing do you have?

If you have copper or steel, you are in luck. You can use the plumbing as part of the bonding system for another 8 ft. rod driven at the pole.

You just have to make sure that you have the necessary bonding jumpers at water heaters, filters or dielectric unions.
Nope, PVC! :( Here are pics, these are on opposite ends of the house, which is around 50 feet long from one side to the other:

The dish wasn't close to secure with a single pole, and I couldn't put it any lower to help stabilize since it wouldn't clear the neighbors roof. With the legs cemented in the thing is rock solid! The traveling wire (can't remebmer the name) on one of the sets of RG6 grounds the dish to the grounding block right now. The old dish was about 7 feet above this and a few feet over, grounded improperly (to a lone grounding rod that I added since the installer grounded it to a PVC water faucet)


This (from what I can tell) is the main ground for the house. This is where I would ground it to if I can find a proper method to do so. About 10 feet up, around 50ish feet through the attic, and 8 feet back down to meet the grounding block from there. The pipe on the right goes immediately to the electric meter (which meets with the box on the inside of the living room - was originally the garage) and the wires to the left appear to be cable, phone, and something else (not sure what)
 

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Not NEC conforming, but you can bond to the bare ground of an air conditioner, clothes dryer or a range.
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mike500 said:
Not NEC conforming, but you can bond to the bare ground of an air conditioner, clothes dryer or a range.
Nope, nothing in range. Both of those would mean going up and through the attic, the AC is about 6 feet from the main electrical ground, and conforming to the NEC is the goal - if it weren't for the NEC i'd just put a normal grounding post and be done with it, if I even grounded it at all. Why can't I just go up through the attic with the ground wire? I'm willing to route the coax all the way to the side of the attic the ground is at so that I can get my main grounding block within 10 feet or so of the main grounding post, it's just a matter of limitations.

I suppose what this ALL comes down to is - how long can the wire be from the dish to the main electrical grounding post? What is the limit? I can't seem to find this. I can measure it out, but i'm guessing it will be in the 60-70 foot range if I route it through the attic. If the rule is that it has to reach the main electrical ground, this simply cannot happen without going through the attic.
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mike500 said:
Full NEC compliance requires that the bonding conductor be outside of the structure.
I did the math and looked at the routing. There are two options if it has to be totally outside of the structure.

1. I can run a single cable almost exactly 80 feet from the grounding block at the dish to the main electrical ground. This would be tucked behind fascia boards and what not to hide it, but still would not go inside anywhere. Is there a specific goal of any kind for resistance? Can I get around the length problem of 80ft by using a larger wire to meet the resistance requirements?

2. I can put a grounding stake within 20 feet of the dish and then run 6awg copper solid wire to the main electrical ground. That would be rather costly I still don't think up to code, the impression I get is that I would have to add a full 8 foot grounding rod every 20 feet which means several unsightly cords all over the place.
 

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DBSTalk Club Member
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Couple of thoughts on the grounding:
1. Any strike will damage your system - even with the grounding.
2. If you have good insurance - you will get replacement gear that is newer and better performance.
3. My installer used grounds on his installs the first two years of working. He had tow customers with strikes that damaged everything. He stopped doing grounding since it did not help - and never has had a customer with a strike again.
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm not really concerned about damage to be honest, my entire system is covered and the dish is down in a corner where the odds of a strike are too low to be worth calculating, it's just a matter of meeting code if I can I guess.. I dunno for some reason not having things done "right" bothers me. I cringe at the thought of what the installer would have done if I let them install it!

I suppose since day one I haven't ever had "proper" grounding. I would just stick a long grounding rod in there and ground it that way if it weren't for the concern of causing a grounding loop, which may be better than no grounding at all!
 

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kay said:
2. I can put a grounding stake within 20 feet of the dish and then run 6awg copper solid wire to the main electrical ground. That would be rather costly I still don't think up to code, the impression I get is that I would have to add a full 8 foot grounding rod every 20 feet which means several unsightly cords all over the place.
This would be in compliance with the NEC, however, you'd only need to place one rod at the dish and run the #6 wire back to the main ground, NOT a grounding rod every 20 feet. The bonding conductor cannot be in contact with combustible material.
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mike500 said:
This would be in compliance with the NEC, however, you'd only need to place one rod at the dish and run the #6 wire back to the main ground, NOT a grounding rod every 20 feet. The bonding conductor cannot be in contact with combustible material.
That's do-able except not in contact with combustable material, since there is a driveway in the way stopping me from burying it.
 
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