Grounding Mobile Home Antenna

goatwhsperer

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Apr 29, 2020
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Lakeland GA
I am installing an antenna on a 65' mobile home. The Service Entrance pole id about 12'ft from the opposite end of the trailer. Per code the ground and neutral in the trailer panel are not bonded and there is a 4 wire entrance cable in from the service entrance. There is a factory installed 10 gauge copper conductor from the panel ground bus to the trailer frame. This is an old trailer I think the size requirement has gone up on that conductor. But if I remember right you are not supposed to install any other ground rods nor ground the frame to the ground rod. Unfortunately I haven't owned a copy of the NEC for over 10 years and several moves, and the libraries near me are all closed for Covid19 .
I have 2 possible sites for the antenna one is mounting the mast to the end of the trailer, the other is a free standing mast using the old 4' satellite mast for a base. which is about 15' off the end of the trailer. I am trying to figure do I run a #6 wire from the mast about 80' to the service entrance pole ground? drive aground rod at the mast and then run a #6 to the SIP ground? do the same but run the ground to the trailer frame? Also is there any reason not to run a wire from the trailer frame to the ground rod at the service entrance? (anyone have a current NEC they can reference that for me?) I would think since the frame is bonded to the panel ground bus which is then bonded to the ground rod the potential should be the same and grounding the frame would only help insure that it was all good.
 

ancient

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 12, 2014
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USA
My understanding when it comes to ground rods is that more are better, BUT they must all be tied together, especially to the ground rod or ground wire feeding your home's service entrance. I had a situation similar to yours, where I came off an antenna tower and went immediately to a ground rod, then connected another length of #6 to that and went another 15 feet to another ground rod, then another about 15 feet of #6 and another ground rod, and finally another 15 feet to the ground rod at the service panel (I think I used a bronze split bolt to connect to the existing ground wire, or maybe I added another ground wire clamp on the rod itself, I don't remember). My thinking was that if lightning should hit that mast and travel to ground, I wanted it to have several opportunities to go into the ground before getting to my electric service panel, also it had the reverse effect of giving my electrical panel a better ground. I will also say that prior to doing that I had lost several pieces of electronic equipment during nearby electrical storms, but after adding those additional ground rods I have never lost a thing during a storm - can't say there's actual cause and effect there, but I find it interesting.

I know for a fact that these days electrical inspectors in my area are requiring two ground rods a few feet apart near the electric service entrance, also when someone I knew built a detached garage a few years ago and put a sub-panel in that, the electrical inspector required a ground rod (maybe even two) at the garage itself, in addition to the ground running from the main service panel in the house. So I actually don't think you can have too many ground rods, at least not in my neck of the woods (for all I know the rules may be different for dryer or wetter climates, or maybe even depending on the whims of the inspector). As for an additional ground wire to the mobile home frame, I see no problem with that at all, that's just an added layer of safety, but again it must be connected to the sevrvice entrance ground. Now, I have to add that I am not an electrican, I am just going by what I have seen electrical inspectors require in a few specific instances. But they do seem to love grounds and ground rods, as long as they are all interconnected. I'd be shocked if the NEC actually puts a limit on how many you can have.
 

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