Dish will not install a grounding rod, will I be OK?

H

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I have 2 dishes installed at my home. Last week I realized that when E* installed my dishes back in November of 03 at my new home, they did not install a grounding rod. Instead they ran a blue coated wire into my home, then attached it to a screw that is on a clamp on the water pipe for my outside spicket. It appears though that the clamp is not tight around the pipe. I argued with them for an 1 hour that I wanted a grounding rod b/c I did not want the electricity from a lighting strike to enter my house, b/c though it may follow my water pipes, you never know.

Dish claimed it was against NEC regulations to install a grounding rod. When I told them that I did not want to risk electricity enterering my home and damaging over $15k of equipment and that I would rather have the lighting strike discipate outside before entering the home, they just said they couldn't do it.

When I told them that I would leave E* if they did not install a grounding rod, they started saying that I have a committment b/c I got an 811. However, I ordered my 811 on 11/26 and was installed 12/8/03 and I know there was NO committment at that time

Folks, I have pretty much had it with Dish, now I find that we may be losing channels again. What are my options? Yes I can go get a grounding rod myself and install it, but please understand that it is about the principle of it all. Today was the 4th visit by Dish to my home, all b/c they have never gotten the install right. I pay for services and paid for the install, should I not get what I have paid for.

Is my equipment safest with the way they grounded the dishes

sorry for the long rant
 
Bobby

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HDTV Rookie said:
I have 2 dishes installed at my home. Last week I realized that when E* installed my dishes back in November of 03 at my new home, they did not install a grounding rod. Instead they ran a blue coated wire into my home, then attached it to a screw that is on a clamp on the water pipe for my outside spicket. It appears though that the clamp is not tight around the pipe. I argued with them for an 1 hour that I wanted a grounding rod b/c I did not want the electricity from a lighting strike to enter my house, b/c though it may follow my water pipes, you never know.

Dish claimed it was against NEC regulations to install a grounding rod. When I told them that I did not want to risk electricity enterering my home and damaging over $15k of equipment and that I would rather have the lighting strike discipate outside before entering the home, they just said they couldn't do it.

When I told them that I would leave E* if they did not install a grounding rod, they started saying that I have a committment b/c I got an 811. However, I ordered my 811 on 11/26 and was installed 12/8/03 and I know there was NO committment at that time

Folks, I have pretty much had it with Dish, now I find that we may be losing channels again. What are my options? Yes I can go get a grounding rod myself and install it, but please understand that it is about the principle of it all. Today was the 4th visit by Dish to my home, all b/c they have never gotten the install right. I pay for services and paid for the install, should I not get what I have paid for.

Is my equipment safest with the way they grounded the dishes

sorry for the long rant

If you install a ground rod you still must bond it back to the house ground or you have big problems. A water pipe that is steel or copper is OK for a house ground and is a choice in the National Electric Code. I think you got what you paid for. Now that ground clamp on your water spigot should be tight or it is useless. You should be able to lock that up with a screwdriver.
 
B

Burt

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Maybe the techs that Dish send out for installs are not "qualified" or "licensed" to install high voltage cabling. Therefore as homeowner, you would be responsible to make sure a qualified electrician installs proper grounding per national and local electrical codes. Liability would have something to do with it too.
 
H

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Burt said:
Maybe the techs that Dish send out for installs are not "qualified" or "licensed" to install high voltage cabling. Therefore as homeowner, you would be responsible to make sure a qualified electrician installs proper grounding per national and local electrical codes. Liability would have something to do with it too.


How is installing a grounding rod classified as high voltage cabling? If they are qualified to run a grounding lead cable from one side of a house to another (like they have to do with some homes), why then would they not be qualified to hammer a grounding rod into the ground and properly ground a system.

They sure had no problem doing it on the east coast when I lived in MD
 
cdru

cdru

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GROUNDING WIRES DO NOTHING FOR LIGHTNING (directly)!!! They are their to help dispate the slow buildup of static charge and/or provide a path to ground in case a power line bumps up to the system in order to trip the breaker. If lighting hits your dish or any component of your system, it will likely destroy it, anything close to it, and vaporize that little strand of copper.
 
H

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cdru said:
GROUNDING WIRES DO NOTHING FOR LIGHTNING (directly)!!! They are their to help dispate the slow buildup of static charge and/or provide a path to ground in case a power line bumps up to the system in order to trip the breaker. If lighting hits your dish or any component of your system, it will likely destroy it, anything close to it, and vaporize that little strand of copper.


So are you saying that it would be useless to have a grounding rod, b/c a direct hit would destroy everything, or are you saying that a grounding wire is not suffiicient and that I need to have a grounding rod installed. If I have a grounding rod installed, are you also saying that a direct hit will destroy it as well.

BTW, I forgot to mention, I live in Missouri, and though we are not directly in the center of tornado alley, we are still in the eastern part of tornado alley and lightning storms here get very intense
 
M

MRUSS

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You would be better of not to ground at all than to drive a rod and not tie it in with your house grounding.
 
Mike500

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Clamping a ground wire to a spigot is only part of the ground. You must verify that the ground is continuous to the ground clamp. Jumpers must be placed around plastic pipe sections, dielectric unions, water meters, water heaters and plastic water filter housings. The ground clamp to the service panel must be within five feet of the entrance of the pipe into the basement, crawl space or out of the slab. It must be continuous and not be spliced except by a means that cannot be reversed (crimping) from the panel to the ground clamp. If the main service ground is only to a water pipe, it must be supplemented by an 8 ft. code approved ground rod made directly to the main panel. The simplest method is to ground at the meter base with at least a 6 ga copper conductor to the ground rod. (Article 250, 2002 NEC; also many previous NEC volumes.)
 
ken

ken

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Most tech's I know including myself will avoid grounding, if you have a near strike all it will do is cause more problems. It is code to ground and if you do ground you are better off going to a cold water pipe (make sure you do not have PVC between the bond and main water line at meter). The grounding point needs to be within a certain distance of point of cable entry into the house. NEC will require both a ground rod and a ground to the pre meter water line on new service (main elect) installs but not for low voltage. Remember when you ground everything that requires it, all of that equipment will take a hit when one takes a hit. I recently had my annual continuing education class for maintaining my state license and that is always a hot topic with everyone having a different opinion.
 
Mike_H

Mike_H

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Grounding has a quite a few different thoughts from many.

There are two things to consider with grounding. #1 - You have to follow NEC as NEC code is written to keep people safe. #2 - If you want to protect electronics you need to go further.

Your coax needs to be grounded at the outside of the house before it enters the building to meet NEC. Current code is as Mike500 described it. I was lucky in that my electrical panel is on the south side of the house, so the dish is just above it with the coax grounded directly to the service panel with a ground wire.
 
H

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Ok, I just took a look at my so call grounding again. My dishes are on the south side of my house. the grounding wire comes in from my dishes into my basement, then to both my dp 34 switches, then to a clamp on a water pipe connected to my outside spigot. From there is travels north from the south side of the house, then heads east to a pipe connected to my water heater, then north again to the main water shut off valve on the most northern wall behind my garage wall, then up to my panel (in garage) and water meter (outside)

The only thing this E* install tech did was run that grounding cable to the pipe for my spigot.

ok 3 questions based on what I have read here and how I am understanding it.

1- since I see no jumper going around my water heater, is it fair to say that if lightning struck, it would travel along that pipe then into my gas water heater and damage it

2- When dish did the install, who's responsibility was it to ensure the dish is grounded completely. I mean is it the Tech's job to only ground it to the pipe and then my job to ensure the continuity of the ground all the way back to the main grounding clamp. or is it part of their install job.


3- since my dishes are on the other side of where my main water pipe, meter, main ground clamp and panel are, it is obviously more than 5 feet between the dishes and ground clamp and panel, does that mean they should have placed a grounding rod or ran the grounding wire around the house to the other side where the main ground clamp is.

thx all- I have been trying to find this info on the web, but it appears the NEC article 250 is only available in a book for purchase, if anyone knows where I can get a copy of it online free, please let me know.
 
Mike500

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cdru said:
GROUNDING WIRES DO NOTHING FOR LIGHTNING (directly)!!! They are their to help dispate the slow buildup of static charge and/or provide a path to ground in case a power line bumps up to the system in order to trip the breaker. If lighting hits your dish or any component of your system, it will likely destroy it, anything close to it, and vaporize that little strand of copper.

Grounding of low voltage wiring for TV services is specified under Article 820; 2002 NEC. It has practically the same requirements as Article 250 for the main house ground.
 
ken

ken

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Mike, 1) Main service has to be grounded by BOTH ground rod and pre meter water pipe, low voltage does not require that. 2) the ground can be inside the building if connected to a code ground if within a certain distance of point of entry (don't have my book with me). Like I said earlier, it's a hot topic. To be safe use the ground, but for my stuff at home I don't. A few years ago we had a near strike that took out our grounded BUD and some other grounded equipment but did not harm the small dish equipment that was not grounded even when it was just a few feet away).
 
S

Stingray

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Oct 28, 2003
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I love to read a thread like this one. Every new post brings more good info and sometimes challanges.

I believe that most all of the grounding statements made so far are true with the exception of a jumper being required at (or around) the hot water heater since all grounding to the water pipes must be to the COLD water system. Of course IF you chose to use a hot water pipe (not code) a jumper between it and the cold water piping would be needed.

The most important thing to remember is that using the cold water piping system, either copper or iron, is to keep everything in the home at the SAME Ground Potential. This is best accomplished by grounding the entire electrical distribution in the home at a SINGLE location at or near the service panel.

If you were to ground the dish antennas to a ground rod remote from the one at the incoming service, some significant voltage differences would build up during nearby lightening strikes or power surges. These voltages would stress the coax and any other components in the receivers that connect the two seperate ground sources together within the home.

I believe that your Dish installers did the job correctly.

Stingray
 
Claude Greiner

Claude Greiner

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You keep on mentioning that they placed the ground clamp on the outside water Spigot. If im not mistaken, your not susposed to put the ground clamp Directly on the water Spogot, instead your susposed to go inside the house and put the clamp on the pipe and run it outside.

Keep in mind that your Dish will not survive a Direct lightning strike! A piece of #10 Copper, or #8 Aluminun Ground wire will not be able to handel all the electricity from a Direct strike. To carry all that voltage, you need something as big as your thumb.

If you want to do things by the book, the way to do it is to have a #10 Copper Ground wire coming off the base of the Dish and down to a Ground Rod. From there, you ground the coaxial cable at a ground block and ground it directly to the ground rod. Finally, you bond the ground rod with a cold water pipe inside your home.

Perferably, you would want to use the same ground rod as your main electrical service is connected to.

But I have been through this dozens of times and it doesn't make a difference. I think its perfectly accecptable to ground the coaxial cable at the point of entry, and then from there with a piece of #10 Copper, go inside the home and ground to a cold water pipe which also connects with the homes electrical system.

In light of that, if your receiver has a grounded outlet and the outlet is properly grounded according to code, then you technically don't need to ground the coax since the coaxial cable actually grounds to the Chasis on the receiver, and the chasis grounds to the electrical outlet!

Now with all that stuff said, none of the stuff at my home or office is grounded the way it should, so go figure :D
 
Mike500

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Stingray said:
I love to read a thread like this one. Every new post brings more good info and sometimes challanges.

I believe that most all of the grounding statements made so far are true with the exception of a jumper being required at (or around) the hot water heater since all grounding to the water pipes must be to the COLD water system. Of course IF you chose to use a hot water pipe (not code) a jumper between it and the cold water piping would be needed.

The most important thing to remember is that using the cold water piping system, either copper or iron, is to keep everything in the home at the SAME Ground Potential. This is best accomplished by grounding the entire electrical distribution in the home at a SINGLE location at or near the service panel.

If you were to ground the dish antennas to a ground rod remote from the one at the incoming service, some significant voltage differences would build up during nearby lightening strikes or power surges. These voltages would stress the coax and any other components in the receivers that connect the two seperate ground sources together within the home.

I believe that your Dish installers did the job correctly.

Stingray

Actually, you CAN ground to a hot water pipe. The NO NO is a gas pipe, although a gas pipe needs to be grounded, too.

Article 820.40(A)(4) Exception,2002 NEC adds the requirement of a second ground rod connected with #6 awg copper wire to the main ground, if the distance from the main ground to the coax entrance ground is more than 20ft.
 
J

JohnDoe#2

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Apr 11, 2004
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Oh, for Chrissake, neither DISH nor DirecTV nor Cableco nor BUD installers carry ground rods on their trucks as a a rule. I have one in my shop I've never used.

We'll install a ground block and tie it and the dish and or OTA to the service ground or a cold-water pipe if they're handy. We'll put in a surge protector if the customer is smart and has a properly wired electrical system.

Around half the time we don't ground the dbs system at all.

Guess what? Those are the customers with the fewest problems!

Lightening strikes aren't going to be prevented and the concequences aren't going to be lessened by grounding the system with a ground rod or anything else. As a matter of fact, using a ground rod is a good way to turn your dish into a lightening rod!
 
cdru

cdru

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JohnDoe#2, would you mind sharing what parts of the country you do your installs? Just wondering where I should avoid installers at. NEC isn't written to protect your electrical devices. It's there to protect YOU. If the devices get some added benifit, so be it.
 
B

bobj2004

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Feb 9, 2004
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I have noticed that if you ground the DBS Coax correctly you get a better picture on large screens like my RPTV 65"

Smaller screens did not seem to matter.
 
J

JohnDoe#2

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Apr 11, 2004
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cdru said:
JohnDoe#2, would you mind sharing what parts of the country you do your installs? Just wondering where I should avoid installers at. NEC isn't written to protect your electrical devices. It's there to protect YOU. If the devices get some added benifit, so be it.
I'm in the armpit of America.

The NEC code for grounding antennas is archaic & irrelevent.

Again, we're happy to do it if it won't take all day. A free professional installation includes 2 hours on site for the primary install & so far we haven't had any customers willing to pay extra & custom installation rates to wrap a house with ground wire even if they were willing to put up with the extra exposed wire it would entail.

We're not the only ones who don't always ground, either. We commonly find existing systems that weren't grounded including those done by DNSC & D*. If you had access to the retailer board you would see numorous threads from other pros about this. Several of them happen to be qualified & licensed electricians who happen to agree on what a bit of nonsense the whole grounding issue is.

FWIW, I'm a BSEE. I don't do many installs personally. I pay a couple of really good techs to do the vast majority of them including the 3 I've had myself at various times. My own system isn't grounded externally & it's never cost me a wink of sleep.
 

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