Grounding OTA Antenna? (1 Viewer)

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reubenray

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Dec 30, 2018
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Bella Vista, Arkansas
Now that I have my OTA antenna setup I want to ground it being it sticks up about 8' in the air. The mast is secured to the house fascia with an 1 1/2" thick piece of rubber spacer to keep it off of the shingles. The base is secured to the top wood rail of my deck. I am thinking of putting in a ground rod right below the deck and connecting the ground from the mast and the coaxial to it. Will this work?
 
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rabbit73

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Jul 17, 2020
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S.E. VA
Now that I have my OTA antenna setup I want to ground it being it sticks up about 8' in the air. The mast is secured to the house fascia with an 1 1/2" thick piece of rubber spacer to keep it off of the shingles. The base is secured to the top wood rail of my deck. I am thinking of putting in a ground rod right below the deck and connecting the ground from the mast and the coaxial to it. Will this work?
Hello, reubenray

It will "work," but it will not be according to code.

If the antenna is outside, the coax shield should be grounded with a grounding block that is connected to the house electrical system ground with 10 gauge copper wire for electrical safety and to reject interference. For further compliance with the electrical code (NEC), the mast should also be grounded in a similar manner to drain any buildup of static charge which will tend to discourage a strike, but the system will not survive a direct strike.

The coax should be connected to the house electrical system ground also for electrical safety.

Your antenna coax is connected to AC operated equipment. All AC operated equipment has leakage current, even when operating properly. You can't feel it because it is below your threshold of perception. If the AC operated equipment becomes defective, the leakage current can increase and go through your body, creating a shock hazard.


NEC Grounding_1.jpg


If a separate grounding rod is used for the antenna system, the NEC requires that separate rod be bonded to the house eletrical system ground with 6 gauge copper wire (expensive). This is to prevent any difference in voltage potential between the two grounding systems.

Separate Ground Rod_1.jpg


The local electrical inspector (AHJ, authority having jurisdiction) has the final say if you are willing to get him involved. Some inspectors are more friendly than others; a local electrician could tell you. The local inspector's interpretation of the code is the local law that is binding on the local electricians and you.
 

reubenray

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Dec 30, 2018
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Bella Vista, Arkansas
My meter can location is 50 to 75 feet away from my house. But I have the main disconnect switch a short distance from my antenna. At the bottom of it is a ground block (something) with 6 spots for ground wires. The Dish Network ground wire is going to it. I don't know if Dish installed that or if it was installed when the house was built. Would this work?
 

primestar31

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My meter can location is 50 to 75 feet away from my house. But I have the main disconnect switch a short distance from my antenna. At the bottom of it is a ground block (something) with 6 spots for ground wires. The Dish Network ground wire is going to it. I don't know if Dish installed that or if it was installed when the house was built. Would this work?
It MAY work as a "better than nothing", provided it's also bonded to the actual house-ground, and that means the ground rod right next to your meter box. However, the longer that ground wire has to be, the larger the gauge should be. If it's very small, I wouldn't do it.

#6 is really the minimum, if you are going say 75 to 100 feet. Otherwise you risk a higher resistance created at the antenna mast, which means possible different ground potentials, and actually making your antenna system a potential lightning rod instead of at neutral ground potential.

Mine is grounded with #6 solid copper wire I bought off of Ebay, and it's 60' to get from my tower, to the house ground. I had to trench around the house to bury that wire. Good thing it's mostly sand right there.
 
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