[RFI] Re: Copper clad or Galvanized steel ground rods???

k0il@qsl.net k0il@qsl.net" <EEDWARDS@oppd.com
Fri, 1 May 1998 10:49:29 -0500

W5MEC-Mitchell Carson wrote: 
>Several of my friends have mentioned using 3/4" thick wall copper 
>pipe as ground rods. 
>Attach a garden hose to the pipe (with a hose clamp),  
>turn on the hydrant, and start shoving the pipe in the ground.  I can  
>see how this might work in sandy soils...but it may prove to be difficult  
>doing this in clay. 
BAD idea!  You wash away the "soil" you're wishing to make good solid contact 
with!  Easy to install.  Bad for conductivity overall. 
>So much for the installation method, but what about the effectiveness  
>of copper pipe vs. copper clad or galvanized steel ground rods? 
Copper pipe will probably bend and fold going into clay past 3-4 ft deep.  You 
need to go 8 to 10 ft at least!  It'll never get there.  I removed some old 6 
ft copper clad rods a few years back.  Only the bottom foot or so was making 
contact with "wet" conductive soil, and that's within 2-3 ft of my house which 
probably hold moisture better than farther away.  Not much of a safety ground 
I would guess.  Worked okay for RF though. 
For "ease" of installation: (These instructions come with Radio Shack Rods and 
actually wroks pretty well): 
  Dig a 1-2 ft deep hole. 
  Fill with water and wait till it soaks into hole. 
  If really dry, fill with more water and wait. 
  Repeat if really, REALLY, dry in your area. (Not that dry around here) 
  Now install rod.  It'll push into ground easy for a few feet. 
  Use rod driver with handles if you don't have a pneumatic type driver. 
  Sledge hammer in the final couple feet. 
  Attach tinned copper radial ground wire 4-6 inches deep using clamp. 
  You can use CadWeld, but clamps are pretty darn good. 
  Fill in the hole and compact soil.  
You can and should install a cap/cover so you can check the grd connection 
Good place to order ground rods, CadWeld stuff & asoorted grdg hardware is 
Harger Lightning Protection, Inc. in Grayslake, IL.  (800)842-7437.  I don't 
know if they'll give free catalogs to hams, but maybe to your work name and 
address will work!   
de ed -- K0iL 

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