How to Install a Ground Rod How to Install a Ground Rod

What You'll Need
Wire strippers
Wire or ground conductor
Copper ground rod
Blow torch
Shovel
Water
Hammer

Installing a ground rod will redirect current from any electrical circuit you may have into the ground where it is installed. This is vital for any home to prevent a small short circuit from turning into an electrical fire. In the event your electrical systems malfunction, the grounding rod will dissipate all the released current away from your house and into the ground. Here's how you can install one yourself.

Step 1 – Solder Wires to the Ground Rod

Soldering can be really tricky. The first thing that you have to do is to strip a copper wire of its insulation if you are installing the grounding rod with a device like an antenna. Once you are done with that, simply wrap the stripped wire around your ground rod. You may also substitute the wire with the ground conductor. Then, start heating the ground rod and the wire with your propane torch. It’s very important that you do not position the flame directly onto the wire as that will cause it to oxidize. Once you are done with that, set the rod aside for at least an hour to cool.

Step 2 – Install the Ground Rod Vertically

To save yourself from having to dig a deep hole to install the rod in, you can opt to use water instead. Start by digging a small hole where you plan to place the pole, and add water into it. This will make the ground softer and easier to work with, so you can simply stick the ground rod in and start pushing your way down, an inch or two at a time. You shouldn’t have any problem with this unless you encounter a rock. If you do, hammer the rod in at an angle that does not exceed 45 degrees. For ground rods installed vertically, you need to drive them at least eight feet into the ground.

Step 3 – Install the Ground Rod Horizontally

If you hit a rock trench before you can hammer the rod down all eight feet, then you can simply install it horizontally. Shovel out a strip of the earth at least 2 1/2 feet deep and long enough to accommodate the entire grounding rod. Bury it in the hole, allowing the wire to creep out before you shovel dirt back into place.

Step 4 – Grounding the Electrical Circuit

Now that you are done driving the grounding rod into the dirt or burying it, it’s time for you to connect it to the electrical circuit that you want to ground. Switch your circuit breaker off and give it a few minutes to ensure you are in no danger of an electric shock. Then, you only need to connect the copper wire you soldered earlier to the breaker box and you're finished.

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