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Advice needed - ground rod bonding distance about 200'

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KA3BQE, Jul 4, 2021.

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  1. KA3BQE

    KA3BQE QRZ Lifetime Member #424 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    New QTH. Still getting all parts and pieces back together to set up the shack. New tower went up and bonded to the house electrical ground with #6. Read through the bonding pages pinned above and still have some questions having never been in this long distance situation before.

    I've never been in this situation being so distant from the electrical ground at the house. My problem is my shack will be on the opposite side of the house from the electrical ground of the house, PEX and PVC for water/sewer piping so no ground on my side of the house.

    Is it okay to sink the ground rod near the shack and run #6 trenched underground all the way around the house to the electrical ground? I'm looking at a distance of 150'-200' for the #6 to travel. Do I want insulated #6 or bare #6 for this long run? Again, first time having to look at such a long distance and just want to be sure I get this right.

    Also using the MFJ-4601 for the first time to run the coax into the shack.
  2. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    #6 bare is just fine. Well, maybe not. I do not know if line loss can be added to a grounding conductor.

    KA3BQE likes this.
  3. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I read an excerpt from the NEC once that declared #4 or #6 bare or insulated was the standard used for bonding to the service ground electrode (I suspect bare is preferable since there is direct contact to earth the entire length) and I think there is no line loss to consider in this type of application, but perhaps this bears further checking to be sure.

    Afterthought: One could also bond that wire at various intervals to alleviate the situation as well.


    KA3BQE likes this.
  4. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It sounds like the tower isn’t very far from the house service ground, so can the feed line enter the house at that point (grounding it there), and run inside the house to the shack? Even if you had to go up to the attic and back down (or basement/crawl space similarly) you would have a better functioning ground system for transients. I would try very hard to make this work, since the bonding run would be so long.

    If it just can’t be done, then I would use a continuous run of bare #6 wire and rods every 20 feet.

    Grounding and bonding conductors are allowed to be run inside, so you could do that and shorten the length. But if that is practical, then you could run the feed line the same way and have a much better system.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
    NN4RH and KA3BQE like this.
  5. K2AR

    K2AR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a ring ground around my house that uses #2 bare stranded wire, is cadwelded to to ground rods every 25 to 30 feet and on average is 18 to 24 inches below grade. My electrical panel, my entrance panel where all of the coax/ control cables connect to and my tower connect to the ring ground. I have drawings and pictures on my QRZ page.
    KA3BQE and K1LKP like this.
  6. KA3BQE

    KA3BQE QRZ Lifetime Member #424 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the replies. I have some good options I'll look at before breaking ground. Thanks again!
    AK5B likes this.
  7. KA3BQE

    KA3BQE QRZ Lifetime Member #424 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the replies. I certainly have a few options I need to look at/consider.
  8. KO4HFX

    KO4HFX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just went through this. #6 bare copper wire is the minimum by code. Bigger is better but the cost goes up with it. You should sink an 8 ft ground rod every 16 feet (twice the length of the rod). Mechanical connectors designed to be buried are fine but exothermic welds are better.
    AK5B and KA3BQE like this.
  9. NG1H

    NG1H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    FWIW tinned #2 solid is the industry standard for commercial installs. The cost premium over #6 isn't that big of a difference in terms of the your overall cost (an extra $0.60/ft or so), most electrical supply houses will have it in stock, and possibly most important that's going to be the size of molds your installer will have on him/her if doing cadwelding. #6 is the minimal size, not necessarily the recommended size.

    Note also that there are molds made to weld the wire to a tower leg. But not all installers have one unless they do a lot of work on a Rohn towers.
    KA3BQE and AK5B like this.

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