[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [TowerTalk] grounding quesitons: Ufer, strap, exothermic welds

To: Bert Almemo <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] grounding quesitons: Ufer, strap, exothermic welds
From: K8RI on TT <>
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2011 21:38:55 -0400
List-post: <">>
On 4/17/2011 5:28 PM, Bert Almemo wrote:
> I have a friend ready to put up a new tower and we're planning the grounding
> system.
> How about placing a big ground plate at the bottom of the hole for the tower
> foundation before pouring the concrete? Should the tower, ground plate and
> the rebar cage be connected together? Good or bad idea?

I have to go along with others that have already weighed in.  It's just 
not worth the effort or expense, particularly when you realize that big 
block of concrete is a very good ground and if large enough becomes a 
UFER ground.  I believe in adding a radial system with ground rods, 
which I did here as we have moist soil and that gives a very large 
ground system which has proven effective.


Roger (K8RI)

> 73 Bert, VE3NR
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of K8RI on TT
> Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2011 5:12 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] grounding quesitons: Ufer, strap, exothermic welds
> On 4/17/2011 2:06 PM, David Gilbert wrote:
>> Again??  Seriously?  That myth has been debunked so many times, both
>> here and elsewhere, that I can't believe people are still perpetuating
>> it.  I've issued this challenge several times before and nobody has
>> ever responded ... please quote one single URL or technical document
>> that describes a verified instance where lighting passing through a
>> proper Ufer ground , or any conductive element inside a buried
>> concrete structure whatsoever, cracked the concrete.  You'll find
>> instances where a direct lightning hit to the OUTSIDE of a block of
>> concrete caused damage (buildings, bridge abutments, etc), but not via
>> a Ufer system of sufficient size and construction.
> A while back I watched a training film from either NWS or NOAH that showed a
> lightning strike that had not just cracked, but blown part of a system apart
> BUT and and emphasize the but, stranded wire (either  0 or
> 00) had been used and it was in a wet location IIRC. Just what happened they
> weren't sure, but it was an extremely rare event and I think we need to keep
> in mind there is no 100 % guarantee against lightning, no matter what we do.
> That means we *always* end up playing the odds and approaching diminishing
> returns as we make our systems more robust and costly.
> OTOH every proper step taken increases the odds in our favor.
> Considering the odds I'd not worry a moment about tying the rebar in the
> concrete to the grounding system.
> I think it's a positive in our favor rather than a negative.
> I would make sure the rebar did not come within 3 to 6 inches of any surface
> of the concrete (code requirement I believe) and I would prefer solid copper
> instead of stranded, but even stranded can be sealed.
>> Check out the I.C.E. technical note on the subject if you don't
>> believe me.  It's not difficult to find on their website ... it even
>> uses the word "myth" in the subject title.
> I think they are wrong to call it a myth, but it's such a rare event AND the
> procedure actually increases the odds in our favor so, it would not be a
> concern for me.
>> Besides ... just think about it for a second.  There are thousands of
>> tower installations with a tower base buried in the concrete.  What
>> would be the difference, other than beneficial spreading of the
>> current, if the tower was also properly connected to the rebar cage?
> Mine has taken at least 17 direct hits and there's not even a chip in the
> concrete.  It was getting to be a regular thing, but nary a strike (that any
> one has seen) in the last 3 years.  This will be the 4th summer. Who knows
> what it will bring.
>> Lastly, connecting the tower to the rebar cage is REQUIRED by most
>> zoning regulations.
>> I'm honestly curious why certain urban legends, like this one, seem to
>> have such staying power in ham radio.
> Probably because those who have seen it were so impressed they let the
> rarity of the event outweigh the effectiveness of the procedure.
> 73
> Roger (K8RI)
> _______________________________________________
> _______________________________________________
> TowerTalk mailing list


TowerTalk mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>