Ground Rod Installation - Best Practice?

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Old 11-27-11, 07:44 AM
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Ground Rod Installation - Best Practice?

I am about to sink an 8' ground rod to ground a 40' radio tower. I have read a bunch of methods on the best way to do this but thought I would ask here as well. I am in Texas on the Gulf Coast with mostly gumbo / clay / dirt. Any input on the best approach to do this? Thanks!

TexasFire

We did get an inch of rain yesterday so the gound is a bit soft right now...
 
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Old 11-27-11, 07:54 AM
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I beleieve the easiest way is to use a rotary hammer with a ground rod driving attachment, but many people still use the old method of driving with an 8 lb sledge hammer.
 
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Old 11-27-11, 07:59 AM
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I saw a neat trick if you do decide to use a sledge. Take a 2x4, maybe 2' long and drill a 1" hole at one end. Slip the top of the rod into the hole and then angle the 2x4 downwards. You now have a pretty good handle on the ground rod while keeping your fingers and knuckles well clear of any mis-hits of the sledge.

I have heard a rotary hammer works best, but I've never had the opportunity to try it out for myself.
 
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Old 11-27-11, 08:15 AM
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Fence post driver works okay in a pinch, but make sure to put the acorn clamp on first.
 
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Old 11-27-11, 09:15 PM
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A rotary hammer was mentioned on a few ham radio web sites as well, I think I'll look into renting one. From what I read, its a breeze with the right tool. I have a 1/2" hammer drill, but the rod is closer to 9/16" so it wouldn't fit the chuck.....

TexasFire
 
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Old 11-28-11, 07:29 PM
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I'd probably start with a sledge... cheaper that way. If you get stuck, you can buy or rent something like this


(Google "ground rod driving bit")

that would go into your hammer drill. Looks like they run between $50 and $100.
 
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Old 11-28-11, 08:17 PM
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That's pretty much what I was suggesting. Here is another by DeWalt.

Amazon.com: DEWALT DW5847 Ground Rod Driver SDS Max Shank: Home Improvement

But if you have at least a 3/4" chuck on your rotary hammer, I have also seen the ground rod chucked to the rotary hammer and driven that way. The typical ground rod diameters are 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4".
 
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Old 11-30-11, 03:49 AM
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If you want a really good ground, use an Ufer ground (concrete encased electrode.) Or drive a copper rod deep enough to reach ground water. They sell 10' sections with connectors.
 
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