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Re: [TowerTalk] Grounding Rod Lenght

To: "James" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Grounding Rod Lenght
From: "Jim Lux" <>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 10:30:06 -0800
List-post: <>
You won't find the NEC online; it's copyrighted, and the publisher, NFPA,
which goes to some expense to create the code, would prefer to be paid for
their labors.  If you're in a business subject to "the code", it's probably
worthwhile to spend the $50 and get a copy, especially if questions like
this come up very often, or if you operate in a litigious environment.

Transcript during deposition:
Q: What precautions did you take to mitigate damage from electrical
transients for our client's equipment?
A: We installed grounding rods and other grounding equipment.
Q: Was this installation in accordance with any recognized system or
A: Yes, it was entirely to code.
Q: What do you mean by "to code"?
A: In accordance with the National Electrical Code, the NEC.
Q: Do you have ready access at your workplace to the current edition of the
A: No.
Q: Do you have any version of the code at your workplace?
A: I think we have one from 1985, and not much has changed since then, for
what we're doing.
Q: How do you know that the installation is in accordance with the code
A: By training and experience
Q: Does that training use the printed NEC?
A: No.
Q: What sort of training materials do you use?
A: The foreman just tells us what to do.
Q: Does the foreman have a copy of the NEC?
A: I don't know
Q: Thank you, no further questions

The above is paraphrased from an actual deposition I was involved in... you
don't want to be there, no way, uh-huh... It's exceedingly uncomfortable for
the poor guy being questioned and to watch it from the sidelines, as I
was.The guy probably actually knew the content of the code better than
anybody else involved, from years of practical application and study.
But... he didn't have the "artifacts" to prove it.

 Buy the darn book and be done with the arguments.  It's one thing when it's
a ham doing his own work or helping out his buddies. It's entirely another
when you're doing it as part of a business.  Likewise, the IEEE "Green Book"
or "Emerald Book" might be worth getting. Both cover aspects of grounding,
the former for big stuff, the latter for smaller, more sensitive stuff.

Practically speaking, the grounding requirements vary, depending on the
usage.  What's good for telecom may not be good for radio (since they are
covered by different parts of the NEC).

There's some real useful material on grounding for low voltage systems at
the Mike Holt website ( ?)
including a good (free) handbook on the current requirements applying to
grounding radios and other Class II, low voltage installations.

Jim Lux

----- Original Message -----
From: "James" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2004 9:37 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Grounding Rod Lenght

> I'm disagreeing with a manager about the length of grounding rods.
> He's a former small town independent telephone outside plant manager
> and said they used 4' rods, so if it was good enough for the telephone
> company, its good enough for his satellite and two-way radio
> When I did southwestern Bell contract, they required 8' rods on
> which is more in line with current National Electric Code.
> I tried a Google search for NEC Sections 210 and 850 (?) that pertain to
> ground, but only found references and no direct quotable links.
> Any help on this?
> _______________________________________________
> See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless
Weather Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any
questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
> _______________________________________________
> TowerTalk mailing list


See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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