[TowerTalk] buried ground connections - a 13-year data point

Roger (K8RI) K8RI-on-TowerTalk at tm.net
Fri Sep 19 02:07:49 EDT 2008

Dick Green WC1M wrote:
> You're lucky, Pete. About 12 years ago I dug up a rod that had been in the
> ground only 3 years. The clamp had completely disintegrated and the wire was
> no longer connected to the rod. Must be a lot more acid in our soil up here
> in NH, maybe from all that acid rain the factories in the Midwest used to
> send over here.
> This is why I converted to Cadweld joints. So far, they're holding up well,
> even after 11 years.

I put in some temporary grounds using the acorn type connector as I was 
going to be removing them shortly. Unfortunately it was nearly a year 
before the back hoe could get in to change out the septic tank. Of 
course this is the same one that hooked a cable and pulled several 
blocks right out of the basement wall.  When I dug them up no one was 
making a good connection and I had made sure they were tight to begin.

BTW, my cables and grounds now go through the end plate rather than the 
block wall.  They'd end up pulling up conduit, and pulling the NEMA 
enclosure off the wall before damaging any thing really expensive.


Roger (K8RI)
> 73, Dick WC1M
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Pete Smith [mailto:n4zr at contesting.com]
>> Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 2:47 PM
>> To: towertalk at contesting.com
>> Subject: [TowerTalk] buried ground connections - a 13-year data point
>> I thought this might be of some passing interest.  Today I excavated
>> the
>> bare copper ground wire that I ran between each tower leg and an 8-
>> foot
>> copper-plated steel ground rod when my tower was installed in 1995.
>> The
>> connection between the wire and the ground rod was made with one of
>> those
>> "acorn-shaped" ground clamps.  Since then, this connection has been
>> undisturbed under a couple of inches of moist West Virginia loam.
>> I was fully prepared to find severe corrosion, or no wire left at
>> all.  Instead, what I found was completely intact wire, a pristine
>> ground
>> rod, and an intact connection between the two that was still nice and
>> tight.
>> What's the point?  I don't know, except that, in some conditions,
>> simple,
>> quick and cheap may be quite adequate.
>> 73, Pete N4ZR
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