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Exothermic Ground Rod

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N5HZR, Sep 1, 2018.

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  1. KD8CGF

    KD8CGF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I stumbled upon a YouTube video showing that actual partial removal of a ground rod (about 4 feet of an 8 foot length, using about 9000 amps over several seconds being fed into the attached grounding wire. The video was recording part of a stress-to-complete-failure grounding test. Unfortunately I didn't bookmark it, so can't leave a citation. The voice-over included "We have ignition - and liftoff!" The ground around the rod was heaving up & down like waves on the sea. Most energetic and dramatic!
     
  2. KD8CGF

    KD8CGF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Attempts at creating exothermic connections do seem to fail, however.
     
  3. KD8CGF

    KD8CGF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yup. Someday I will have to post the incident when, after I reset a tripped breaker to my sump pump at the service entrance panel, only to have the ignition of an huge bright and smoking electric arc between both buss bars of my service entrance panel and several other circuit breakers attached to that immediate area. Fun times! I saved my housing from burning down by switching the main breakers off.
     
  4. KD8CGF

    KD8CGF Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is yet another example of the economic phenomenon call "rent-seeking". Vested interests capture part of the government to enact rules and regulations that effectively line their own pockets by extracting $ under force of law from the general public, while the public interest is not considered at all.
     
  5. KD8CGF

    KD8CGF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was on the verge of ordering an Erico brand Cad-weld (trademarked, etc.) device to install a grounding wire / ground rod assembly by an exothermal method, from a widely known supplier of Ham radio gear who will remain unnamed. After reading this long thread, I decided to read all the fine print at the supplier's web site. Good thing I did.
    Item in question was "ERICO CADWELD ONE SHOT Wire to Ground Rod Clamps GT1-161L"
    Following by more description: One-Shot, Cable to Ground Rod, Use #3-#4 Solid Cable, #4-#6 Stranded, ERICO 0.560 in. Ground Rod, Two Wires, Ea---
    Fits Ground Rod Size Range: 0.555 in. - 0.635 in.
    Hardware Included: Yes
    Quantity: Sold as a kit.
    Notes: Works on ERICO copper-bonded, threaded copper-bonded, galvanized and stainless steel ground rods. Hardware includes single use ceramic mold. Sized for ERICO ground rods, only.

    The last 5 words were key. I want a unit that fits the 5/8" diameter copper clad steel rod I drove into the ground, which was not an ERICO ground rod. Now I'm looking for another supplier of a similar "one shot" exothermic device - NOT this model and not Cadweld.

     
  6. KD8CGF

    KD8CGF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is that video:
     
    KC1HLU likes this.
  7. N5HZR

    N5HZR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think this is the most important spec for you. 5/8" rod is .625 inch. So, you'll be in the range that works. I'm guessing the rest is all marketing. The rod we used was a 1/2" rod, and it came from a local supplier. I'm guessing it wasn't Erico branded, I never checked. Use the 1/2" kit with the 1/2" rod. Use the 5/8" kit with the 5/8" rod. If you're really concerned about specs, just take a micrometer and measure what's in place. If you're .555 inch through .635 in, you're good to go. That's 10 thousandths over to 70 thousandths under a 5/8" rod. YMMV.
     
  8. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    You would be wrong there. First NFPA is not goberment. Second is public safety is job 1. It took hundreds of house fires and several lives lost for that requirement to be added. The problem was not needing the requirement, the issue is it was required before there were multiple manufactures and one company had a monopoly on the product for one code cycle. Every jurisdiction amended the requirement out until multiple vendors offered a product and brought the price down. The system self corrected itself. If you are looking who to blame for ppushing the requirement was Insurance Companies and 1 manufacture. They got their way initially, but the local jurisdictions simply amended out the requirement. Problem solved.
     

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