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Re: [TowerTalk] Driving ground rods in rocky soil

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Driving ground rods in rocky soil
From: Ian White GM3SEK <>
Reply-to: Ian White GM3SEK <>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 23:30:00 +0100
List-post: <>
Peter Dougherty wrote:
>4 hours of back-breaking labour has resulted in my being able to get
>a ground rod down 14" using a 10# hand sledge. My soil is extremely
>rocky and this rod MUST go in within a foot of a 100+ year old oak
>(for a K9AY loop - Gary sez it must be right at the base). I don't
>know if I'm hitting roots or rock, but I can tell you I'll do
>anything or pay anything to get this driven in, no questions asked.
>I've tried 6 tool rental places, Home Depots, etc, and nobody rents
>ground rod driving tools in this part of the state (no idea why, they
>just don't).
>I've come this close to hospitalizing myself over this project and
>don't know where to turn. I've run the hose for two hours and it
>loosens up that top foot of earth real easy. I've tried driving it
>within about a 2' circle and the best I can do anywhere else is about
>6: before hitting something.
>Is there a trick to getting this done that I can try, or am I looking
>at hiring a heavy construction firm for thousands of dollars?

Drill a pilot hole using an SDS+ electric hammer drill and a 1.0 metre 
long carbide-tipped drill bit of the same diameter as the rod. You don't 
need a huge heavy drill - it's the hammer action that does the work. 
Then swap to an SDS+ adapter for 0.5in-square sockets, and snap on a 
socket that will fit over the end of the ground rod. Turn off the rotary 
action on the drill, and hammer the rod in.

That will get you down to 1 metre, at least. If you're very lucky, it 
may break through a shallow hard pan and into something softer.


73 from Ian GM3SEK         'In Practice' columnist for RadCom (RSGB)

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